New Master’s Degree Targets Rising Tech Execs and Startup Entrepreneurs

University of San Diego Launches One-of-a-Kind, Online Master of Science in Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — How do great ideas become great companies? What are the most essential skills that a startup entrepreneur needs to achieve success? What types of cross-functional training become necessary when technology achievers are promoted into leadership roles?

These are among the questions that have inspired a team of tech and business wizards at the University of San Diego to create a game-changing new master’s degree program for startup entrepreneurs and rising technology executives. They embraced this task with one other key question front of mind.

“What is the master’s degree program that past generations of technology entrepreneurs and CEOs wish they had under their belt? That’s what we’re building here at the University of San Diego,” said Jeff Teza, academic director of USD’s one-of-a-kind, online degree program — the Master of Science in Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship.

A longtime software and semiconductor executive with deep background in the world of tech startups, Teza leads a world-class faculty team that includes fellow startup entrepreneurs, technology CEOs, patent holders, investment experts and award-winning Ph.D. academics. “We’re talking about people who have made payrolls, hired and fired, raised capital, brought innovation to the market and learned from many, many mistakes,” said Teza.

The faculty lineup — with experts in market research, product development, market validation, venture capital and angel investing, IPOs, C-Suite leadership and more — engages each student in a thoughtfully crafted, cross-functional professional growth experience focused on gaining key skills and insights while engaging in project-based work that aligns with their specific career goals.

The program’s core focus is on the seemingly limitless possibilities of technology “connectivity.” The fast-moving connectivity landscape is fertile ground for innovation, as advancing technologies create unprecedented opportunities for business enterprises and for society as a whole.

Business and Engineering: Speaking Both Languages

Clues that this is a wholly original and highly aspirational advanced degree program are not hard to find. For one, it is perhaps the only U.S. master’s program of its kind that has been developed by the university’s schools of Business and Engineering, with the degree being awarded jointly as well.

“We are very excited to unveil this extraordinary new degree program. The MITE program is ingeniously designed to be the right degree at the right time for technology entrepreneurs and rising tech executives, as well as business leaders focused on the technology innovation landscape,” said Chell Roberts, dean of USD’s Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering.

In the MITE (pronounced “mighty”) program curriculum, 15 course units cover the technical aspects of technology innovations driving connectivity between people, machines and information; and 15 units involve coaching on business, entrepreneurship and leadership. It is built with the flexibility for working professionals to earn their master’s degree in just 20 months while working 100% online.

“Seamlessly integrating advanced training in both business and engineering with a powerful emphasis on entrepreneurship is what really sets this technology innovation degree program apart,” said Tim Keane, dean of the USD School of Business.

Some students may come to the program with a brilliant idea they are aiming to develop and bring to market; others will have related technology innovation career trajectories, goals and journeys. But all will benefit from the program’s uniquely tailored “just in time learning,” featuring team projects and close interaction not just with the faculty but with their fellow students.

The Art and Science of Startup

Of critical importance, the program features a built-in Capstone experience in which students are strategically placed on project teams for in-depth work on developing a specific idea or product. Capstone work rolls out over multiple semesters, with each semester targeting a key phase of starting and running a business or business unit. Broadly speaking, the Capstone courses focus on:

    • Customer and Market Discovery
    • Customer Validation and Product Discovery
    • Business Modeling and Venture Launch

Common criteria for successful MITE program applicants: Your career is poised for growth, but you’re savvy enough to understand that focused, high-level training may be needed to help you turn your vision of the future into reality.

Built from the ground up to meet the unique needs of rising tech executives and startup entrepreneurs, the MS in Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship program is ideal for degree candidates who are motivated to scale innovative ideas and fuel the growth of technology enterprises.

About University of San Diego Online Graduate Degrees

The University of San Diego’s online graduate degree programs for working professionals adhere to the same high level of academic excellence, educational rigor, content delivery and learning outcomes as its on-campus programs. Each degree program has been created in collaboration with key stakeholders and industry experts to offer innovative curriculum aligned with the immediate needs of career-focused students and potential employers. Each student is supported by a talented and passionate team of educators, advisors and staff members that is invested in their success.

Take the next step in your technology innovation career

Discover what every aspiring startup entrepreneur and tech exec needs to know about connectivity in this free eBook.

Portrait of Jeff Teza