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HEC Paris 100% online MSc in Innovation and Entrepreneurship 1st cohort set to graduate

Lessons learned lead to innovative new format

The first group of 46 students of the HEC Paris MSc in Innovation and Entrepreneurship (MSIE) have just finished their courses and will attend HEC Paris’ graduation ceremony, online or in person, in June 2019.  This 100 percent online program started in September 2017 and was the first completely online degree for the School.

The unique program equips current and aspiring entrepreneurs, consultants and decision makers in the domain of innovation and new business development with the necessary skills to identify and develop new ventures, with an implicit goal to promote sustainability, gender equality, social innovation and well-being. A practical group project where seasoned entrepreneurs accompany participants, is integrated into the curriculum. This gives students the opportunity to work together across geographical and sociological boundaries and apply the academic content toward a real-life new venture, social innovation or business solution.

Efthymia Lioliou, a participant of the first graduating class, holds a doctorate in Biochemistry and is originally from Thessaloniki, Greece. She appreciated the diversity of professional and academic backgrounds of her fellow MSIE students. “I decided to apply for the MSIE (because) I always wanted to have an impact on the world and play an active role in solving pressing societal, environmental and health-related issues. Our group project aimed at producing protein biotechnologically in order to feed the Earth’s growing population in a sustainable way.”

Following the experiences of the first cohort, HEC Paris is pleased to announce a revised formula launching this month with a new Specialization on Coursera: Innovation Management and Design Thinking. It is HEC Paris’ first completely stackable online format, allowing participants to start with open courses, a specialization and a certificate that can lead toward a complete degree. The new Specialization will help learners think creatively and apply the problem-solving process of design thinking to drive innovation at any stage of business development – from developing an idea to leading a company. 

“The rapid pace of technology and globalization is forcing businesses to quickly adapt. Design thinking gives aspiring entrepreneurs and managers powerful tools to creatively solve business problems in today’s dynamic landscape,” said Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO of Coursera. “This new Specialization not only helps professionals master these skills, but the stackable format gives even more learners across the globe access to this valuable content from one of Europe’s top business schools.” 

The MSIE targets active professionals. While participants appreciated being able to organize their own time, they also indicated that an imposed schedule with regular deadlines keeps them on track. The new formula addresses this need with a fixed schedule for a majority of the courses while still giving flexibility on the remainder. Having this fixed schedule also allows for synchronous activities where participants can interact with the faculty of each of the courses and will include more high-touch engagement with experienced industry professionals. 
Participants who want to take their expertise and skills a step further can take six additional courses in order to obtain the Professional Certificate in Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship. This Certificate counts towards the MSc in Innovation and Entrepreneurship with 10 additional courses along with the team-based project. 

Peter Todd, Dean of HEC Paris explains: “We are extremely proud of this first graduating MSIE class and the HEC professors and staff involved in its success. As we continue to improve and enhance the student experience, the MSIE proves that we can provide an accessible, very high quality, high-engagement degree program online, reaching a wider and more diverse audience than ever. This has been a transformative experience for all of HEC Paris, from the way in which we serve our students and operate programs behind the scenes, to the way we teach. The MSIE has helped to accelerate innovation at HEC Paris on so many different levels not just online, but across the institution.”

For more information, visit the websites of the MSc in Innovation & Entrepreneurship, the new open Specialization in Managing Innovation and Design Thinking or the Certificate in Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship. 


About Coursera: 

Coursera was founded by Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng with a vision of providing life-transforming learning experiences to anyone, anywhere. It is the now world’s largest online learning platform for higher education. 170 of the world’s top universities and industry educators partner with Coursera to offer courses, Specializations, and degrees that empower over 37 million learners around the world to achieve their career goals. Over 1,500 companies trust the company’s enterprise platform, Coursera for Business, to transform their talent. Coursera is backed by leading venture capital firms such as Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, New Enterprise Associates, GSV Capital, and Learn Capital.


Press contacts

HEC Paris: 
Julie Dobiecki 
+33 6 37 39 62 99

Coursera :
Chandni Brunamonti