AN INNOVATIVE LEARNING EXPERIENCE
Built from an in depth interaction and observation among top institutions around the world, the Polytechnique Technology Venture Master’s Program ambitions to bringing "a world class" education platform on technology startups, based on the best practices accumulated around the world among leading organizations. It is designed around the following principles:
- A high focus on action;and applied learning through projects and various assignments.
- A team of Faculty members comprising top academic profiles from leading Universities, inspiring entrepreneurs and experienced business people (investors, innovators)
- A strong multicultural environment,;based on attracting students with differents backgrounds, profiles, cultures, and mix them in team work projects.
- An international exposure that goes from Faculty members, through student learning program (exchange, internship), and multicultural student profiles
- A mix of experiences through which students are immerged in a large spectrum of business situation and innovation contexts: internship (startup, VC), hands on activities in fablabs, joined courses with Strate School of Design and HEC, Startup Weekends, tc
Learning about technology startups and breakthrough innovations requires going beyond core concepts, tools and methods. It is first and foremost about acquiring a large background of entrepreneurial culture, based on meeting with others, reading, and sharing experiences.
As an extension of the program’s core curriculum, the Technology Venture Master Program emphasizes a large spectrum of multimedia learning:
- spoc, blended learning: blended learning experimentations are being conducted. Some basic courses are available online in the form of mooc and spocs.All of the class modules are also expanded via an e-learning platform where students can learn, access additional materials, and interact with their teachers.
- learning by "thinking": In order to reinforce the learning dynamic, students are asked to write comprehensive wiki articles covering key topics in entrepreneurship, innovation, funding, etc. These articles are published and shared in the Master Wiki web space, that will grow over time to become a knowledge base and reference for future generations of students.
- Online Media Library: All of the main teaching modules, along with events, such as conferences and master classes are recorded, edited in short segments and published online in a media library, accessible to students in order to build their general entrepreneurial culture.
Startup projects and Hands on activities
In the "Introduction to Technology Ventures" they develop in a real life context, a startup project, from a scientific result or an innovative technology.
During this long term assignment, the student must think, act as a potential startup founder.
At the end of the program, the business plan is submitted to a committee of Venture Capital representatives who will assess the viability and the attractiveness of the startup. Several real startup emerged from this modules.
In the Fablab module, teaming with Master design students from Strate School of Design, each group must conceive, design and prototype a fully functional technology product. Real startup opportunities also came out from this course.
Entrepreneur in Residence
Student during M2 work as entrepreneur in residence for the technology transfer department, or for a startup. They conduct technology assessment or market exploration from a research result or a raw technology. This work requires creativity, analytical skills and scientific expertise, and it contributes to increasing student’s ability to understand the path between science and entrepreneurship.
Master Classes organized in the past included Clayton Christensen (Harvard), Werner Vogels (Amazon CTO), and many entrepreneurs and speakers who shared their experiences and views. This plays a key role in the process of building a strong entrepreneurial culture
The Technology Venture Master’s Program incorporate 2 internship periods:
The first internship takes place at the end of the M1, and consists in an in-depth immersion in an early stage startup. The goal is to expose the student shaky, chaotic, uncertain reality of a starting technology venture : small team, technology barely prototyped, business model not working, plan A is falling apart, etc. so they can derive some applicable observation for their own project . Many students do this internship in Silicon Valley startups.
The second internship is the conclusion of the M2. It can take 2 forms:
- Students devote their internship to developping their own startup project, identified throughout the program. This represents the majority of the cases. They can also join an existing, early stage starting project, in a co-founder role.
- Venture Capital.The student joins a Venture Capital team and will be in charge of screening incoming investment proposals. The goal is to get students to understand the principles of Venture Capital in funding innovative technology startups.
The Technology Venture Master Program also offers many opportunities for students to get a world perspective on entrepreneurship (Internship periods, Short term exchanges, visiting professors, innovation trip).