Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute

Starting January 28, 2013, the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech) will offer the class "Developing Innovative Ideas for New Companies" for free as part of the University of Maryland's new portfolio of Coursera classes.

The six-week course, slated to take participants 5-7 hours per week, assists aspiring entrepreneurs in developing great ideas into great companies. Using proven content, methods, and models for new venture opportunity assessment and analysis, students will learn two key skills: (1) how to use a business model approach to analyze each part of a company, and (2) a customer development orientation to see if anyone really wants the product. Value propositions, customer segments, strategic alliances, and business modeling are core elements taught in the course. The initial steps to creating a business plan, and raising financial capital to launch the firm, are examined as well. Our goal is to demystify the startup process, and to help you build the skills to identify and act on innovative opportunities now, and in the future.

The instructor, Dr. James V. Green, leads the education activities of Mtech as the Director of Entrepreneurship Education, with responsibilities for designing and teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in entrepreneurship and technology commercialization, leading seed funding programs and select business plan competitions, and managing residential entrepreneurship programs for students. In 2011, he earned first prize in the 3E Learning Innovative Entrepreneurship Education Competition presented at the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) annual conference to recognize college educators who have created new and challenging learning activities that actively involve students in the entrepreneurial experience.

Prior to the University of Maryland, Dr. Green held founder, executive, and operational roles with multiple startups to include WaveCrest Laboratories (an innovator in next-generation electric and hybrid-electric propulsion and drive systems), Cyveillance (a software startup and world leader in cyber intelligence and intelligence-led security), and NetMentors.Org (the first national online career development eMentoring community). Dr. Green earned a Doctor of Management and an MS in Technology Management from the University of Maryland University College, an MBA from the University of Michigan, and a BS in Industrial Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

UMD is joining the six-month old Coursera consortium, which until now has had 16 other American Association of Universities members and world class international institutions. Negotiations with Coursera began last July.

The courses are free, and students who successfully complete the work may request an unofficial certificate from Coursera. They do not earn UMD credit. Maryland pays only to produce the course materials.

The vision behind Coursera is to expand access to higher education, the social entrepreneurship consortium says. It points out that far more than a million people world-wide have sampled its materials in its first six months.

"We must take account of our students' extensive reliance on the Internet and electronics," says UMD President Wallace Loh. "This generation was raised with ear buds and touch screens. They live and communicate online. We can improve our classrooms and pedagogy by using new technologies. That is why partnering with Coursera and conducting experiments in blended learning are so essential."

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