Mastering Corporate Entrepreneurship (Online)

Columbia Business School

Columbia Business School


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Who should attend

The program is designed for professionals and executives who need to develop the language, skills, behaviors, and capabilities of mastering corporate entrepreneurship.

About the course

According to a recent McKinsey survey, 86% of senior executives believe that innovation is critical, and 80% think that their business models are going to undergo significant threats in the near term. Yet only 6% report feeling confident about their organization’s ability to innovate.

Mastering Corporate Entrepreneurship is an online program that provides executives with the concepts, tools, and application opportunities to dramatically enhance the effectiveness of their efforts to create new businesses from within their firms.

The 12-week program features three modules covering the central challenges of corporate entrepreneurship:

  • Ideation: How to find great ideas;
  • Incubation: How to develop those ideas into a business;
  • Acceleration: How to launch this new business so that it can merge successfully with the corporate parent.


Ideation focuses on rapidly finding and vetting great ideas. You’ll learn important concepts such as looking at ways your organization can be a disruptive player and ways to challenge existing orthodoxies. This part will also provide you with insights into the ways innovative companies have successfully unleashed inspiration in their own organizations and how they have dealt with risk.


Incubation equips you with the tools for nurturing your corporate entrepreneurship, creating a learning plan, and initiating the prototyping phase. You will learn how Design Thinking can help you solve complex problem, receive best practices for A/B testing, and create an action plan for in-market experiences with your prototype. You'll walk away with valuable insights into failing intelligently and prepared for a successful venture launch back at the office.


Acceleration will provide you with a powerful tool kit for innovation proficiency. You'll start the program by identifying your entry strategy. Next, you'll learn how to make critical decisions on pricing, promotional budget, and relationships with ecosystem partners. Finally, you'll tackle the resource question, evaluate your launch team, and develop a strong set of external assets.


The program is designed to allow you to achieve concrete outcomes. You can either work through a entrepreneurial venture that you’ve already thought of, or you can use the program to develop and hone your thinking about innovation, incubation, and acceleration.

While much of the program content will be delivered through video lectures and other learning methods, it will also lean heavily on what we call “back to the office" activities that are intended to help apply the learning from the program in practical ways.

By the end of part one, Ideation, you will:

  • have an arsenal of tools to enrich and deepen your inventory of potential ideas
  • understand how to challenge existing orthodoxies around entrepreneurship within your organization and brand
  • know how to determine wether or not your idea is ready for further investment

By the end of part two, Incubation, you will:

  • have an in-depth understanding of how to initiate the process of corporate entrepreneurship
  • know how to fail in a smart, intelligent way to get to better outcomes faster
  • be ready to launch your new product or venture

By the end of part three, Acceleration, you will:

  • have practiced and internalized a strong skill set for scaling entrepreneurship
  • understand how to develop the right team for your venture project
  • Know how to overcome the pitfalls that so often get in the way of established organizations executing new projects

Program Structure

Please find key topics for each of the three modules below.


The Ideation part of the program will cover the following topics:

  • Context and Preparation
  • Excitement, Higher Cause and Ventures in Context
  • Customer Insight and Solution Hypothesis
  • Inspiration from Unconventional Places
  • Accelerating Idea Generation, Open Innovation and What Senior Managers Need To Do
  • Digital Assets and Intellectual Property
  • Move to Incubation or Head Elsewhere


The Incubation part of the program will cover the following topics:

  • Discovery Driven Planning
  • Prototyping and Design Thinking
  • Learning from Disappointment and Rough Financials
  • Managing the Politics of Venturing and Anticipating Delay and Resistance
  • Platform and Network Strategies
  • The End of the Very beginning – Fund/No Fund/More Work Needed Decisions


The Acceleration part of the program will cover the following topics:

  • Validate and Simulate
  • The Adolescent Venture and the Mothership
  • Entry Strategy and Assessing Competitive Response
  • Preparing for Launch
  • Making Fund/No Fund and Future Venture Decisions
  • Sustaining Innovation


Rita McGrath

Rita Gunther McGrath, a Professor at Columbia Business School, is regarded as one of the world’s top experts on strategy and innovation with particular emphasis on developing sound strategy in uncertain and volatile environments. Her ideas are widely used by leading organizations throughout the w...

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Mastering Corporate Entrepreneurship (Online) at Columbia Business School

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Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

Because of COVID-19, many providers are cancelling or postponing in-person programs or providing online participation options.

We are happy to help you find a suitable online alternative.