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Saint Mary’s Launches Master Of Technology Entrepreneurship And Innovation (MTEI)

St. Mary’s University’s Masters of Technology Entrepreneurship and Innovation program, which will launch this autumn, has already accepted eight students and is still receiving applications.

The Halifax university hosted its official launch of the program at the Sobey School of Business on Monday, and program head Dawn Jutla said she’s delighted with the eight students in the program so far.

“The quality has far exceeded our expectations,” said Jutla, saying some applicants have already landed patents on products they want to commercialize, while others have already started businesses or have other degrees.

The MTEI program is an accelerated graduate program that teaches people within organizations or those intent on starting their own businesses how to improve productivity through technical innovation. The program, which can admit as many as 50 students, will be the first of its kind in Atlantic Canada and only the third in the country. The others are at University of Waterloo with 50 students and McMaster University with 20. Dhirendra Shukla, the chair of University of New Brunswick’s Technology Management and Entrepreneurship program, is also working on a masters of TME at the Fredericton institution.

In the launch yesterday, St. Mary’s announced partnerships with several members of the startup community to work with the students in learning about entrepreneurship. These include SMU alumni Saeed El-Darahali of SimplyCast and Andy Osburn of Equals6.

The MTEI is designed as a masters business program tailored to the needs of aspiring entrepreneurs. A traditional MBA program takes two years and involves 20 courses, only some of them dealing with entrepreneurship. The MTEI is accelerated, taking only 16 months, and is more focused on meeting the needs of entrepreneurs and innovators.

The St. Mary’s MTEI program is targeting two groups of people – those interested in rounding out their knowledge of entrepreneurship with the goal of forming a company; and employees of existing companies who could use help to develop innovation and improve productivity within their organization.

The students will start by taking eight courses over eight months, and can then choose one of three paths – a project, a thesis or a work term — to complete the course. Jutla has been building bridges with industry, government and other universities, and hopes to involve the broader community as much as possible.

With the project option, the student conceives and implements something that could be turned into a business, taking it through one of the region’s incubators or accelerators. Jutla has already established links to Innovacorp and the Launch36 accelerator in Moncton, which could help to develop these latent businesses.