September 26, 2016

Wayne State announces new certificate in entrepreneurship and innovation

The Wayne State University Board of Governors has approved a new undergraduate certificate in entrepreneurship and innovation, designed by the Mike Ilitch School of Business to provide students with the specialized knowledge and skills to develop and launch startup ventures. Courses will begin in January 2017, and the 15-credit certificate is open to students of all majors.

“Entrepreneurs and innovators are critical to the long-term health and prosperity of Detroit’s economy, and students are significantly and increasingly interested in avenues that will help them launch their own businesses,” said Associate Professor of Marketing Jeff Stoltman, who is coordinating the certificate program. “This new academic offering draws upon Wayne State’s existing endeavors in entrepreneurship programming, as well as its already strong investment in the city’s bootstrap culture.”

Through this certificate program, students will:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the stages of the new venture creation process, from discovering, creating and refining ideas, to building, testing and evaluating a value proposition and viable business model, to launching, sustaining and growing this new venture by acquiring and managing financial and human resources
  • Learn how lead, manage, and work effectively within teams to achieve success, and to create a positive and ethical work culture
  • Develop a personal network within the entrepreneurial ecosystem with a special emphasis on Detroit and the state of Michigan
  • Tailor their program of study to their unique talents and interests as they explore what it takes to translate ideas into reality, and plan the next steps on their journey of discovery, experimentation and action

The certificate’s first required course, Introduction to Entrepreneurship and Innovation (EI 5000), will be offered in the winter 2017 semester and serves as a prerequisite for full admission to the certificate program. The three-credit class is open to students who have completed at least 60 credit hours and have a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or above.

Following the introductory course, students will tailor nine credits of entrepreneurship-focused electives to match their interests and goals. Electives are offered through the Ilitch School, the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts, and the College of Engineering. The multidisciplinary nature of the certificate allows students from diverse academic backgrounds to benefit from their peers’ various areas of expertise.

“This exposes students to entrepreneurial action in a variety of settings, including arts and entertainment, communication and information, manufacturing, engineering, science and technology, health care, community development and more,” Stoltman said.

A three-credit capstone course tops off the certificate program.

“The capstone is a project-intensive learning experience in the Detroit entrepreneurial ecosystem designed to deepen students’ understanding of and appreciation for what it takes to translate ideas into reality,” Stoltman said. “We anticipate that through the capstones, our students will be embedded in local startups, providing the opportunity to both learn from and make a positive impact on the small businesses that are so vital to the city’s economy.”

The undergraduate certificate in entrepreneurship and innovation is open to currently enrolled WSU undergraduate students who have completed at least 60 credit hours and have a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or above; and students who have previously earned a bachelor’s degree at Wayne State or another accredited institution.

Those interested in the undergraduate certificate in entrepreneurship and innovation should plan to enroll in EI 5000 and meet with an academic advisor in the Mike Ilitch School of Business to create a plan of work. Priority registration for the winter 2017 semester begins Oct. 31.

To learn more, visit or contact Jeff Stoltman at 313-577-6559.


Steven Townsend
Phone: 313-577-0202

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