Mastering Corporate Entrepreneurship (Online)

To Be Announced  
Questions? Contact Us:
Kimberly Rapp
Associate Director of Business Development and Learning Solutions
+1 212-854-1445
[email protected]

Duration: 12 Weeks
Time Commitment: 3–5 hours/week

Learn more about our online programs on our online programs FAQs page.

"In many companies today, ideas often fade when the champion goes away or the business changes. In this program, you’ll learn how to develop a pipeline of competitive advantages so that as one fades you’ve got the next one ready to launch."
–  Rita McGrath, the program’s Faculty Director

Hear from Faculty Director Rita McGrath with an introduction on the program.

According to a McKinsey survey, 86 percent of senior executives believe that innovation is critical, and 80 percent think that their business models are going to undergo significant threats in the near term. Yet only 6 percent 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.

Please Contact Us

Please contact our Learning Solutions Specialists at [email protected] for a personal conversation.


The program is designed to allow you to achieve concrete outcomes. You can either work through an entrepreneurial venture of your own, or you can use the program to better understand what large firms need successfully grow new ventures from within.

While much of the program content will be delivered through video lectures and a learning journal, it will also provide "back at the office" activities intended to apply learnings from the program immediately with your team.

By the end of module 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 whether or not your idea is ready for further investment

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

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

Upon completion of the program, you will earn one day towards a Certificate with select alumni and tuition benefits. Learn more.


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

For a complete program schedule for part one, please download the agenda.


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

This program is ideal for individuals who have a role to play in an innovation effort. They will be asked to work on a project that they are currently involved in. They will be grouped with other participants with individual cases. The work that will be done in the program is intended to be extremely practical and hands-on, with the result that as participants move through the segments they will be generating real value, with concrete business outcomes to be able to demonstrate at the conclusion of each module.

The program is also designed for participants who might not be part of an organizational innovation team but would still like to gain the skills and capabilities taught in this program. This might be because they are jumping into a project mid-stream and have to come up to speed. In these cases, the participants will be working with case studies intended to help them master various program elements.

Alumni and up to four of their colleagues are eligible for a 25 percent tuition benefit for full-price Executive Education in-person programs lasting up to seven days and all full-price online programs. More on the Alumni Tuition Benefit.

Typical Participant Mix

Geographic Spread

Years of Management Experience

Job Function



Hear from Past Participants:



Rita McGrath, Faculty Director
Faculty, Columbia Business School Executive Education

Rita McGrath is a globally recognized expert on strategy, innovation, and growth. Her work and ideas help CEO's and senior executives succeed in rapidly changing and volatile environments, and she is valued for her rare ability to connect research to business problems. Recognized as one of the top 10 management thinkers by global management award Thinkers50 in 2017 and winning the award for outstanding achievement in the strategy category, McGrath speaks regularly at corporate events, such as the Microsoft CEO Summit and the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos. She appears regularly on television and radio and is often cited in the press, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Financial Times, and Businessweek and has published several articles in the Harvard Business Review. McGrath is the co-author of three books in addition to her latest book, The End of Competitive Advantage: How to Keep Your Strategy Moving as Fast As Your Business (Harvard Business Review Press).

She has also been named one of the top ten business school professors to follow on Twitter, and was named one of the 25 smartest women to follow on Twitter by Fast Company magazine. In 2009, she was inducted as a fellow of the Strategic Management Society, an honor given to those who have had a significant impact on the field.

Prior to life in academia, McGrath was an IT director, worked in the political arena and founded two startups.

Hear from Rita is this recent "Discovery Driven Growth: An Idea Whose Time Has Come" webinar: