College of Engineering & Informatics and College of Business, Public Policy & Law
Business and Entrepreneurship
Dr. John BreslinEmail Phone
+353 (0)91 492622
Dr. John Breslin
BLE-1001, Block E
National University of Ireland Galway
Phone: +353 (0)91 492622
This Postgraduate Diploma in TechInnovation course is a one-year part-time entrepreneurship development programme that aims to fill the gap in terms of entrepreneurship/intrapreneurship skills in both small and large companies. The aim of this course is to teach people how to create a company or how to create a new business unit within an existing company, with a particular focus on innovation-driven enterprises that can scale up. We have chosen the successful "Disciplined Entrepreneurship" 24-step process from MIT as the basis for our approach. The course will include working through issues of market analysis, technology viability assessment, competitive positioning, team building, product lifecycle planning, marketing strategy, sales channel analysis, and with a strong emphasis on the entrepreneur/intrapreneur as a salesperson. Business plans will be developed based on the 24 steps, and will include an executive summary, vision and values, market analysis/segmentation and competition, a product and manufacturing plan, a sales plan, a financial plan, and a marketing plan.
The following topics and will be covered in our taught modules and expanded with regard to a selected idea/innovation/need:
- Introduction to innovation/needs finding
- Problem areas and existing solutions
- Area analysis and stakeholders
- Weighing factors and filtering needs
- Needs presentation by individual students and associated poster
- Team formation on selected need
- Needs brainstorming and introduction to product design
- Organising and selecting concepts
- Go-to-market basics
- Legal affairs basics
- Business models
- Presentation on concept development overview
- Research and development strategy
- Exploration of prototyping facilities
- Exploration of technology development
- Intellectual property strategy
- Financial modelling
- Prototype evaluation design
- Go-to-market strategy
- Funding sources; venture capital and angel funding
- Quality systems and assurance
- Licensing and alternate pathways
In an Innovation Project, students will work in teams on identifying a real-world problem in a particular domain that requires an insightful technological solution, inventing and implementing the solution, demonstrating its validity and commercial viability (and iteratively improving the solution if necessary), and developing pitches for angel and venture capital funding to allow commercialisation (post-programme). Therefore, work should focus on the startup businesses themselves, the potential for licenses, Enterprise Ireland funding proposals, and business models ready for first-stage investment. Domain areas may include tourism, agriculture, marine, fintech, defence, manufacturing, environment, transport, logistics and retail.
Applicants should hold an undergraduate degree, 1st or 2nd class honours in any discipline, along with three years of relevant industrial experience; or an Ordinary or 3rd class honours undergraduate degree, along with five years of relevant industrial experience; or a recognised professional qualification and five years of relevant industrial experience. Candidates who do not meet the minimum entry criteria may be interviewed to ascertain their suitability for the programme.
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) can be considered for entry purposes.
This Postgraduate Diploma in TechInnovation course is a one-year part-time entrepreneurship development programme that aims to fill the gap in terms of entrepreneurship/intrapreneurship skills in both small and large companies. The aim of this course is to teach people how to create a company or how to create a new business unit within an existing company, with a particular focus on innovation-driven enterprises that can scale up, including considerations around:
- Various challenges around commercialising innovations (ideas and technologies);
- Business constraints and guidelines (margins, CAGR, lifetime value, COCA, etc.);
- Other difficulties related to getting new products to sizeable markets ("crossing the chasm").
We have chosen the successful "Disciplined Entrepreneurship" 24-step process from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as the basis for our approach. The six main themes are as follows: Who is your customer? What can you do for them? How do they acquire your product? How do you make money off your product? How do you design and build your product? How do you scale?
The course will include working through issues of market analysis, technology viability assessment, competitive positioning, team building, product lifecycle planning, marketing strategy, sales channel analysis, and with a strong emphasis on the entrepreneur/intrapreneur as a salesperson. Business plans will be developed based on the 24 steps, and will include an executive summary, vision and values, market analysis/segmentation and competition, a product and manufacturing plan, a sales plan, a financial plan, and a marketing plan.
To strengthen entrepreneurship skills in the West of Ireland, this theoretical and practical training course will be offered to a range of participants in order to allow cross-fertilisation of ideas and experiences. Through a customer-focused approach, one strong advantage of this programme is that students with a better knowledge of the real business world and customer concerns will design products which are more adapted to the market and ready for scalable growth. With the help and advice of professionals, in close contact with experts in different fields (finance, IPR, etc.), students will receive support for developing an innovative project from concept definition to the elaboration of proper and convincing business plans.
We focus on educating students on the processes for entrepreneurship development, documenting "best in class" examples along the way. Through our project-oriented approach, teams form around ideas or technologies, developing a business plan to commercialise same, thus fostering entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial skills for future innovations.
The programme is delivered via blended learning which provides the learner with flexibility in choosing when and where they wish to study, and allowing them to take up work while continuing to pursue the course.
We have an experienced team who will help participants to meet their goals in terms of entrepreneurial skills acquisition. The Course Director is NUI Galway Senior Lecturer Dr John Breslin, an entrepreneur himself who was one of the founders behind the online brands Boards.ie and Adverts.ie. Dr Breslin has a strong history in the area of identifying opportunities in the tech arena. In 1998, while still a postgraduate student, he launched the internet forum that eventually became Boards.ie, one of Ireland's most popular online discussion sites with over 2 million visitors per month. He also co-founded the successful Adverts.ie classified website, and recently co-founded the Galway City Innovation District. He is also a Co-PI at Insight, where he developed the SIOC metadata format used on thousands of government, academic and industry websites. Dr Breslin was selected for MIT’s prestigious Entrepreneurship Development Program in early 2017, an intensive executive education program designed for CEOs, academics and government leaders who want to develop entrepreneurial skills within their organisations or regions. At MIT, Dr Breslin learned from Bill Aulet, the director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, and creator of the Disciplined Entrepreneurship process that is at the core of this entrepreneurship development programme.
This course will help to better guide students and increase their skills, to share best practices in entrepreneurship and to accelerate innovation maturation and transfer into business. It will ideally place students to fill the entrepreneurial need in the West of Ireland. The three main areas it will deliver skills in are with regards to:
1. better comprehension of all business constraints with respect to teaching students how to create companies;
2. stimulation of entrepreneurial spirit, foster innovation and improve entrepreneurial skills;
3. understanding the challenges and gaps behind innovation leading to markets.
There is a missed opportunity in thinking of those out of work as just that - unemployed - when in reality they can be skilled, creative and innovative entrepreneurs (or intrapreneurs within existing businesses), generating jobs for themselves and for others. They often have great ideas, and if they can develop a better of understanding of business and its rules, along with detailed insights into a customer’s needs, these people can bring their tech innovations through to successful commercialisation. Within existing businesses, skilled and engaged employees can pursue new ideas that support the mission and vision of the business, thereby supporting it to launch new products and services or pursue new markets. For existing businesses, delivering these skills to future intrapreneurs is also addressing the fact that many businesses are now in an increasingly challenging, noisy and competitive marketplace, with millennial job hopping becoming more common. According to a recent article in Forbes that highlights the need for more intrapreneurship (entrepreneurship within businesses), it was found that 71% of millennials were disengaged at work - which is the lowest percentage among any generation - with many pursuing “side hustles”. This has an impact on revenues. By thinking of employees as intrapreneurs instead, this becomes not only a “nice to do”, but essential to the bottom line. An environment of intrapreneurship give employees in general, and millennials in particular, the freedom to pursue their ideas or technologies and productise them through new business units.
There will be just over 7 class/contact hours in total, with sessions on Thursday and Friday mornings.
Additional material will be provided for independent and directed learning via our learning management system.
Classes will be delivered on the campus of NUI Galway for those who are geographically close to the University.
It will also be possible for those elsewhere to participate remotely in these classes via web conference, through our learning management system. Live sessions will be recorded and archived for review.
The programme is delivered via blended learning which provides the learner with flexibility in choosing when and where
they wish to study.
Assessment is through continuous assessment (project-based teamwork), with no examinations.
Dr. John BreslinAddress
Dr. John Breslin
BLE-1001, Block E
National University of Ireland Galway
Phone: +353 (0)91 492622
+353 (0)91 492622Email
You may apply for this course through the Springboard+ website: https://springboardcourses.ie/details/5225
Update: We have reopened the application (as a waiting list) in case more places become available.