Innovation for Entrepreneurs: From Idea to Marketplace


Are you interested in developing insights on navigating the innovation process from idea generation to commercialization? Start building knowledge on how to create strategies to bring innovations to market. Create an innovation portfolio and business model canvas for your venture.

Through this course, students will experience a sampling of both the ideas and techniques explored in the University of Maryland’s Online Master of Technology Entrepreneurship.

Instructors: Dr. Thomas J. Mierzwa, University of Maryland, College Park

Session: August 3, 2015 – September 13, 2015

Information about the course

Coursera aims to establish a framework for examining the innovation process, and quickly transition into exploring how to successfully bring innovations to market.

Some of the most important questions for which an answer will be provided within the course include as follows:

What are the key indicators of innovation opportunities?

What steps are critical for entrepreneurs to bring innovations to the marketplace?

What innovation strategies are valuable for new ventures to establish and maintain a competitive advantage?

Recommended Background

To be able to participate in this course you will not need a background in business. The introductory course is designed for those interested in learning how innovation works.

The Format of the Course

The class will consist of a series of video lectures each week. Assignments are provided each week to apply and reinforce learning.

Suggested Readings

Suggested readings are detailed within the course syllabus.

Course Syllabus

Week One:

  • The Innovation Landscape
  • Defining Innovation for Business Strategy
  • Creative Destruction as Innovation’s Outcome
  • Innovation’s Value Proposition for Entrepreneurs
  • New Models of Innovation for Entrepreneurs
  • How the Life Span of an Innovation Follows Product Life Cycles
  • How Innovations Diffuse into the Commercial Marketplace

Week Two:

  • Indicators of Innovation Opportunity & Steps in the Process of Innovation
  • Drucker’s Seven Sources of Innovation Opportunity
  • How Technology “S” Curves Reveal Innovation Opportunity
  • Understanding How Innovations Disrupt the Marketplace
  • How Lead Users Foster Innovation
  • Where Innovation is Hiding in the Value Chain
  • How to Recognize a Winning Innovation Idea
  • Ways Technology Can Be a Source of Innovation
  • Three Framed Views of the Innovation Process
  • How Individual Steps Form the Overall Innovation Process
  • An Innovation Process Applied: New Product Development
  • How Creative Roles Contribute to Innovation
  • How Implementer Roles Contribute to Innovation

Week Three

  • Innovation Strategies for Competitive Advantage
  • How Strategic Alliances Enable Open Innovation
  • How a Blue Ocean Strategy Leads to New Market Niches
  • How to Cross the Adoption Chasm and Get an Innovation to Market
  • How Benchmarking Can Be an Innovation Strategy
  • How Technology Influences an Innovation Strategy
  • How Lead User Research Becomes an Innovation Strategy
  • How to Compose the Elements of an Innovation Portfolio
  • How Technology Transfer Fits into an Innovation Portfolio

Week Four

  • Creating Winning Business Models
  • Developing Products and Services to Fit the Market
  • Keys to Developing Winning Business Models
  • Beginning the Business Model Canvas
  • Completing the Business Model Canvas


What is the coolest thing I’ll learn if I take this class?

You’ll sharpen your ability to recognize innovation opportunities in everyday activities and form potential ideas for carrying out innovative ideas in a business venture or in your current activities.

Can I really do this course if I don’t know anything about business?

Yes! We expect that people completely new to this topic can understand the material and have designed the course content in a way that associates course learning with everyday activities.

What about timing? Can I take this self-paced?

Yes, to an extent. Within any week of the course, you can view the recorded video lectures and online material whenever you have time available, whatever your time zone. We will, however, organize the class on a common weekly schedule with regular due dates for all assessments. In our experience, this approach has helped students manage their overall workload and successfully complete the course without cramming at the end of the course. We expect you to be as motivated and exploratory in this course as you would for any other college-level class.

What can I earn by completing this class?

You can earn a Verified Certificate with a risk-free, no obligation Signature Track trial. Payment for Signature Track can be delayed until the week before the course ends, so you’ll be more certain that you’ll qualify for your Verified Certificate. If you choose not to verify your work, you can still participate in the complete course. This course will not offer a Statement of Accomplishment.

For more details about the course and other courses, go ahead and check Coursera.

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