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Courses

New Venture Development Process

The MEIE program consists of 10 courses including a new venture creation project that focuses on technology commercialization and go-to-market. This program is designed for engineering and science students, and industry professionals interested in advancing their own technology-based startups.  The program is focused, but not limited, to the following tracks: Biomedical Engineering, Emerging Technology or Energy and Sustainable Innovation. You will require a total of eight course credits and two credits for a project. You must complete three (3) core engineering innovation and entrepreneurship (EIE) courses, three (3) core lean startup practicum (LSP) courses, and two (2) engineering tracks (ET) courses. The eight courses provide the tools and knowledge that you need to apply at each phase of development of their project. 

As part of the project component of the MEIE students will develop a technology commercialization and go-to-market plan over an 8-month time period (within semester 3 & 4). The project is the experiential learning platform for the MEIE program which will be student-led team based and will have the potential to become a commercial product or a service. 

Courses & Project Schedule

Academic Terms Fall Term 1 Winter Term 2 Summer Term 3 Fall Term 4
Electives (Engineering Tracks)  EI8001 - Biotechnology Start-Ups EI8003 - Sustainable Entrepreneurship    
EI8002 - Energy Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Core EIE Courses EI8004 - Finding & Validating Business Opportunity for New Venture EI8005 - New Venture Market Development & Financial Planning EI8006 – New Venture Business Strategy & Plan  
Practicum   EI8007 - Lean Start Up Customer Discovery Practicum EI8008 - Lean Start Up Customer Validation Practicum Course EI8009 - Lean Start Up Customer Acquisition Practicum - Course
Project EI8010 - Technology Commercialization Project EI8011 - Go-To Market Project

Fall I: Master's Level Courses Including:

EI8001 – Biotechnology Start-Ups

Elective (Engineering Tracks)

Healthcare is one of the largest global markets and is undergoing rapid transformation due to unrelenting changes in the social, demographic and economic landscape. Global economic pressures are substantially impacting the healthcare market. With these global dynamics at play, opportunities exist for Canadian based companies with innovative technology platforms that enable the formation of disruptive healthcare business and delivery models. This course is designed to provide would-be entrepreneurs with the context and tools to seek venture capital investment in healthcare start-up businesses and to better understand the unique model of this sector and the specific challenges that one might expect. The focus will be on biotechnology and also include information on medical technologies as well as the emerging field of healthcare IT, particularly as they differ from biotech. Guest speakers with real-life experience in the sector will provide insight and guidance. Course participants will conduct detailed analysis of case studies and will be required to present a “pitch deck” on a start-up opportunity.

EI8002 – Energy Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Elective (Engineering Tracks)

Energy is a critical sector for Ontario’s economy, environment, and society: it is central to the climate change debate, fundamental to human welfare and essential to economic prosperity. Driven by innovation, the energy sector in Ontario and throughout the world is at a turning point, moving rapidly toward an electrified, low-carbon future. We will explore drivers for innovation in Ontario’s energy sector, the opportunities for new business, and the challenges of moving from the idea stage to the marketplace. Barriers and bridges to innovation and commercialization technological, financial, and regulatory will be explored through case studies, including lessons learned from guest lectures by business leaders in the Ontario energy sector.

EI8004 – Finding & Validating Business Opportunity for New Venture

Core MEIE Course (Mandatory)

Introduction to entrepreneurial processes and behaviour. Enables the student to distinguish between ideas and business value creation. Facilitates students finding and validating business opportunities for new venture. Teach how to conduct market research and intellectual property assessment for the development of their technology based business idea. Uses the market research data and intellectual property to determine the source of their sustained competitive advantage. End up with a team and a business opportunity to pursue.

Winter I: Advanced Engineering Courses Including:

EI8003 – Sustainable Entrepreneurship

Elective (Engineering Tracks)

Sustainability concepts and fundamental principles. Introduction to entrepreneurial processes and behaviour. Present innovation as a social event, and a multi-dimensional value creation process through the Triple-Bottom Line concept, as well as a holistic, practical and stakeholder-centric process. Introduce the closed-loop economy and the cradle-to-cradle framework of eco-effectiveness. Introduce the unifying governance corporate structure of the Benefit Corporation (B-Corp). Introduce within a unified framework of a sustainable enterprise, the basic tools of new “business” development, e.g. market research, stakeholder analysis, business model, etc. to formulate a concept initiation proposal and solution development plan.

EI8005 – New Venture Market Development & Financial Planning

Core MEIE Course (Mandatory)

Introduction to the 5 steps market development and testing and the 7 market research tools for the student to apply on their business idea. Estimating the price elasticity of demand and market sizing. Understanding the financial dimension of the new venture; understanding the nature of capital investment and role of banks and VC industry; understanding business and managerial accounting; appreciating operational and resource issues; understanding project management and how the innovation process may be managed; understanding how manufacturing units may be set up and managed; and developing financial plan and exit strategy.

EI8007 – Lean Start Up Customer Discovery Practicum

Practicum (Mandatory)

Practicum courses designed to build student capacity to manage projects with critical time demands, regulatory issues and large growth potential.

Facilitates students refining their value proposition for the business idea they want to pursue. Assist in developing customer’s interview script to conduct detailed testing of customer problems and product solution assumptions. Through primary market research the students will validate the product market fit for their new venture. Through market research with real customers the students will iteratively refine their business model canvas. Determine the source of their sustained competitive advantage and end up with repeatable and sustainable business model.

Spring/Summer I

EI8006 – New Venture Business Strategy & Plan

Core MEIE Course (Mandatory)

This course covers the fundamentals of “taking the opportunity to the next level” which depend on the entrepreneur’s ability to communicate the opportunity concisely, in a way that will convince investors that the risk of investment is worth it. The lectures in this course will follow a process-based approach, in which students develop their ideas into business plans. The importance of writing an effective and concise business plan, as a foundation for the start-up cannot be underestimated. The business plan is not the foundation of a business idea. It is the outcome of a process of finding, screening, critically analyzing, recording and effectively presenting a business idea, and it utilizes many skills learned in other areas of this program. Business communication does not end with the business plan. This course will introduce students to the art of the elevator pitch and investor presentation. As in any presentation setting, the substance of the entrepreneur’s message shapes the perception of their audience. Both the elevator pitch and the investor presentation must demonstrate executive vision, by telling a convincing story that leaves an investor with a limited number of messages wanting to dig deeper. Students will prepare a supporting “investor deck” – to be used in conjunction with the investor presentation. Students will deliver their investor presentations to a panel of venture capitalists and technology entrepreneurs, who will provide immediate feedback.

EI8008 – Lean Start Up Customer Validation Practicum Course

Practicum (Mandatory)

Practicum courses designed to build student capacity to manage projects with critical time demands, regulatory issues and large growth potential.

This practicum will enable the students to shape the technology solution to be disruptive or sustainable market innovation. Facilitate the creation of technology proof-of-concept plan and the technology development processes to identify and assemble the key technical components. Facilitate testing of a proof-of-concept with lead customers to validate market product fit.

EI8010 – Technology Commercialization Project

Project (Mandatory)

The 8 months supervised project is a major component of the program and work on the project commences at the start of term 3 of the academic program and continues throughout the remaining duration of the program. It compromises approx. 270 hours of technology/design and development work to complete the proof-of-concept that meet customer’s requirements during the 3rd and 4th terms. The students will commence go-to-market activities in the 4th term. These activities will continue until the students sign up the first client. The student will be assigned a project supervisor (PS), a technical mentor (TM) and a business mentor (BM), if appropriate, the business mentor will enable the students to make contact with the business and commercial community. The students will spend a substantial amount of their time working on their project in the Open Innovation Zone or any other Ryerson Zones and with customers in the market place. As the project has commercial exploitation potential, it is important that the original idea (background Intellectual Property (IP)) is documented clearly at the start of the project. It is also important that all students maintain an up-to-date record of the work they undertake both in the department or company lab and at the Zone. This will ensure that if the project becomes a business it will be possible to allocate a share of ownership to those who have contributed to the original idea. Issues of copyright, confidentiality and non-disclosure will be discussed and suitable arrangements agreed upon for your project. There are two key deliverables from project:

  • A technical proof-of-concept: this represents a working prototype that incorporates all the key technology elements to demonstrate that a solution to the customer problem is available.
  • A go-to-market demonstration: this represents market collaterals, channel development and customer engagement execution plan. It is highly desirable that the students sign up their first paying customer.

 

Fall II

EI8009 – Lean Start Up Customer Acquisition Practicum - Course

Practicum (Mandatory)

This practicum covers the fundamentals of “taking the technology solution” to market which depend on the entrepreneur’s ability to communicate the value proposition concisely, in a way that will convince customers (client) to want to acquire it. The lectures in this course will follow sales process-based approach, in which students develop their client sales proposal. The importance of writing an effective and concise sales plan, as a foundation for the go-to-market cannot be underestimated. The sales plan is the outcome of a process of prospecting, screening, critically analyzing, recording and effectively prioritizing lead customers. It utilizes many skills learned in other areas of this program. This course will introduce students to the art of selling to acquire your first client. Students will deliver a tactical operating plan for their new venture that describe their go-to-market and customer acquisition strategy. The students will make presentations to a panel of lead customers and technology entrepreneurs, who will provide immediate feedback.

EI8011 – Go-To Market Project

Project (Mandatory)

The 8 months supervised project is a major component of the program and work on the project commences at the start of term 3 of the academic program and continues throughout the remaining duration of the program. It compromises approx. 270 hours of technology/design and development work to complete the proof-of-concept that meet customer’s requirements during the 3rd and 4th terms. The students will commence go-to-market activities in the 4th term. These activities will continue until the students sign up the first client.

The student will be assigned a project supervisor (PS), a technical mentor (TM) and a business mentor (BM), if appropriate, the business mentor will enable the students to make contact with the business and commercial community. The students will spend a substantial amount of their time working on their project in the Open Innovation Zone or any other Ryerson Zones and with customers in the market place.

As the project has commercial exploitation potential, it is important that the original idea (background Intellectual Property (IP)) is documented clearly at the start of the project. It is also important that all students maintain an up-to-date record of the work they undertake both in the department or company lab and at the Zone. This will ensure that if the project becomes a business it will be possible to allocate a share of ownership to those who have contributed to the original idea. Issues of copyright, confidentiality and non-disclosure will be discussed and suitable arrangements agreed upon for your project.

There are two key deliverables from project:

  • A technical proof-of-concept: this represents a working prototype that incorporates all the key technology elements to demonstrate that a solution to the customer problem is available.
  • A go-to-market demonstration: this represents market collaterals, channel development and customer engagement execution plan. It is highly desirable that the students sign up their first paying customer.
Student: Aalokita Singla

"Choosing the MEIE program at Ryerson University has proven to be one of the best decisions of my life. The constant guidance and mentorship from the 'industry experienced' Faculty members have always been motivating and led to thought-provoking questions for development of the startup idea."

-- Aalokita Singla, MEIE Candidate, 2019

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