The University of Arkansas has launched a Master of Science in product innovation through its Department of Strategy, Entrepreneurship and Venture Innovation (SEVI) through the Sam M. Walton College of Business.
The curriculum will be overseen by Taryn Mead, a teaching assistant professor in the SEVI department. The program will highlight needs-based product design, prototype development and testing, business model development and validation and project and product management.
“Taking a new product from the spark of an idea through to the details of production and launch is an exciting path for both entrepreneurs and innovators within existing companies,” Mead said. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to support a diverse group of professionals through this process and to expand inclusivity, equity and sustainability as influences in the product development process.”
The degree targets recent graduates and mid-career professionals. The program will train them to create, launch and manage products in startup spaces or innovative industry environments.
In addition to coursework, students will participate in one of two experiential tracks overseen by the U of A’s Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation. In the new venture development track, students work alongside graduate students from other degree programs to advance product ideas in the context of a startup company. The practicum track will see students take part in a business incubation program such as the Greenhouse Outdoor Recreation Program.
According to the U of A, the program aims to provide participants with an in-demand business skill set and to address a training and talent gap felt by companies of all sizes across the Northwest Arkansas region.
The one-year, full-time graduate program begins in the summer of 2023. Applications are open now, with a deadline of Feb. 15.
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