Executive Certificate in Entrepreneurship & Venture Challenge

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The Program

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A Unique eight-week Certificate program delivered in a hybrid format developed by the Center for Entrepreneurship at Eastern Michigan University.  The program will feature a unique mix of exposures to academics, industry experts, mentors, professional coaches and startup investors. The topics covered in this program are:

  • Evaluating startup ideas and business concepts                                Apply Now
  • Discovery and acquisition of customers
  • Forming a company and legal issues
  • Financial planning
  • Business Valuation and Pitching for Fundraising 

The Venture Challenge for $30,000 business expense funds

The program will include a venture challenge for the participants. Participants will work with professional coaches to polish their elevator pitch. After multiple coaching sessions, participants will pitch their startups to investors for cash awards to fund their initial business expenses.

After two rounds of pitching and feedback, one idea will be selected for funding. Two winners will receive $25,000 and $5,000 funds respectively for their startup expenses.

Who Should Attend

Aspiring Entrepreneurs (Michigan Resident) with a Scalable Growth Oriented Business Idea.

  • Importance will be given to aspiring entrepreneurs who:
    • have startup ideas (not commercialized yet) that are scalable and have high growth potential
    • are motivated and actively Involved in their idea development
  • Startups that are not yet completed commercialization (still in the testing phase) 
  • May have started test marketing (Annual sales limit $200,000)
  • Have not received private investments (angel or venture capital)

Executives looking to grow their entrepreneurial mindset or implement new products within the current organization.

Note: Venture Challenge Funding is limited only to entrepreneurs.


There are multiple stakeholders to make this program unique.

  • EMU Entrepreneurship Faculty: Faculty experts in the relevant topic areas are content developers who also will offer live interactive sessions (In-person & Online)
  • Industry Experts: Each module will include at least one live interactive session with an industry expert.
  • Entrepreneurship professionals: Experienced Entrepreneurs and Professionals from Southeast Michigan will coach participants and will be involved as mentors to specific participants for one on one sessions.
  • Judges: Investors and lenders will participate at the pitching for funding events.

Program Duration and Time Commitment

The program will use a hybrid course delivery format. This comprised of online contents, assignments and file transfers, one half-day live interactive session per week (Saturdays). Pitching to investors will also be in-person.

  • Total duration of the program is 8 weeks with a total of 3 half-day meetings in-person that would include the pitching (semi-final round and final rounds) and 5 online sessions.
  • Total time commitment for this program including the in-person sessions 6-7 hours/week (estimate)

Program Fees and Scholarships

  • Regular Fees: $1500 of which a deposit of $500 will be due at the time of enrollment.
  • Several Full and partial ($1000) scholarships available.
  • The $500 deposit will be refunded to all full scholarship recipients after they complete the program.

Enrollment Capacity

A Maximum of 20 Participants will be Admitted for each cohort

Application Process & Deadlines

Step 1. Apply - Application Deadline: 9-9-2024
Apply today for a chance to secure one of the 20 available spaces and for chance to receive one of the available full or $1000 scholarships.

Step 2. Acceptance & Enrollment

Acceptance announcement date 9-16-2024

Enrollment Deadline: 9-23-2024
Applicants will be notified of the status of their applications for enrollment and scholarship. Applicants, who are accepted for enrollment, will receive a link for enrollment via email. All enrollee will pay $500 at the time of enrollment.  This amount will be refunded to all full scholarship recipients after completing the program (attending all in-person meetings and completing assignments). 

Step 3. Completion

Upon successful completion of the program (attending all in-person meetings and completing all the assignments), EMU Certificates and Digital Badges will be awarded. Awards for a total of $25,000 business expense fund will be announced. Program fees of $500 will be refunded to all full scholarship recipients.


October 5 - 9:15 AM - 1:15 PM | In-person

October 12 - 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM | Online zoom session

October 19 - 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM | Online zoom session

October 26 - 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM | Online zoom session

November 2 - 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM | Online zoom session

November 9 - 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM | Online zoom session

November 16 - 9:15 AM - 1:15 PM | In-person Semifinal Venture Challenge

November 23 - 9:15 AM - 1:15 PM | In-person Final Venture Challenge & Graduation

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