INDENG 290: MTI Master Class for New Ventures & Research Impact

A program for graduate students at UC Berkeley offered in collaboration with the following departments:

  • College of Engineering
  • Haas School of Business
  • Center for Information Technology in the Interest of Society (CITRIS)
  • NSF I-Corps Program

Program Objective:  To prepare graduate students and post-doctoral students across all disciplines to be able to translate technical work into value as a new venture or in industry settings.

$20K Prizes in Prizes awarded on Demo Day at end of Master Course
Prize offerings of $20K or greater will be offered to teams who made most progress from a new venture point of view.   Leading Venture Capital, Investors, and others mentors will provide guidance and will be listed as part of the resource directory.

Spring 2017 Instructors: Naeem Zafar, Ikhlaq Sidhu
Spring 2017 Lead Mentors: Rick Rasmussen, Errol Arkilic, Bulent Erbilgin, Aleks Gollu

(Mentors interested to participate should contact Naeem Zafar at )

This primary course is Master Course offered for 2 simultaneous tracks:

Track I: For Existing New Venture Teams: (Apply now for awards, see below)

  • Student teams will be able to understand the basics of the startup process and move their innovations forward
  • Learn via The Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship and Lean LaunchPad method of customer discovery taught at NSF I-Corps
  • Mentoring and coaching from entrepreneurs and Silicon Valley investors
  • Meet and draw on skills of other students in the course
  • Awards for most progress by the end of the semester
  • Winners earn marker as the top talent from UC Berkeley
  • Increase valuations over the semester
  • Targeted awards available for CITRIS Foundry teams

Track II: For Individuals (Graduate students looking to understand the basics of business)

Research Impact in Industry Focus: (Sign up now with CCN 33978, limit 30 seats)

  • Understand the process of starting a venture in future and/or work in the emerging economy of new ventures
  • How industry trends may affect a researcher's career
  • Learn basic of business and terminology through The Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship
  • Mentoring and coaching from entrepreneurs and business savvy folks
  • Meet and interact with Track I students (the existing Venture Teams in the cohort)
  • Accessing the Center's powerful network investors, leaders, & entrepreneurs
  • Become more effective scientist as you enter the industry with a better sense of how research impacts a company and an industry

Spring Timeline:

  • Semester Begins January 20
  • 3 Weeks of Program Sign Up Opportunity
  • Weekend Bootcamp #1: Date Feb 4 & 5
  • Two Options for validation and venture development:
    • A) NSF I Corps 1 Week Training during semester Dates: Choose one of 3/13, 3/15 & 3/20
    • B) or Weekly mentoring and advising sessions with case study: 11:00-12:00 case/lecture, and 12:00-1:00 Mentoring on Fridays
  • Weekend Bootcamp #2: Date April 22 & 23
  • Demo Day Pitches and Prize Awards April 28

All participants have the option to attend a weekly class with relevant business cases.


Program Requirements:

  • Track I Teams must attend both Feb and April bootcamps, attend weekly mentoring sessions, and present in the demo day to be eligible for $2000 min prize, compete for larger prize, and receive MTI certificate.
  • Tack II Teams must attend both Feb and April bootcamps, attend weekly case/lectures, attend weekly mentoring sessions, and present in the demo day to be eligible to compete for larger prize and receive MTI certificate.
  • Tack II Individuals are required to attend both bootcamps and case lectures for course credit.  In order to receive the MTI certificate, individuals must join a team and follow Track II Team requirements (above). 
  • NSF Program teams interested in receiving the MTI Certificate and competing for the larger prize must attend both bootcamps, the NSF I-Corps 1 week program, and Demo Day.  Optionally, these teams may attend the cases, lectures, and weekly mentoring.


How to Apply/ Enroll:

Track I: (Pre-formed Teams)

  • Apply by sending a statement of interest to Naeem Zafar ( before the program begins.  The letters should be no longer than one page and include:
    • A company summary.
    • The firm's next objective or milestone.
    • One paragraph bios of each team member (can be an additional attachment).
  • A target of 5 teams will receive a guaranteed $2K/team for completing the program.  Minimum of 2 team members must participate.

Track II: (Individuals - limited to 30 students)

  • Enroll in the MTI course for Spring 2017 (INDENG 290-006; course number #33978). Postdoctoral Students students should send an email to for enrollment instructions.


Core: Courses Required to Complete the MTI Program (Updated)

  • (Start Here) IEOR 290: MTI Master Class (3 units; Course #33978)
  • (often with this course in parallel) IEOR 295: The A. Richard Newton Lecture Series (1 unit; class number 27406 Tues. 5-6:30).

How to complete the program:

  • In order for students to complete the program and receive the certificate, they must take the MTI Master Class (IEOR 290), the Newton Lecture Series (IEOR 295).
  • All final projects/ reports should be submitted using the SCET template in word and PDF formats, and will be posted under the archive section on our website. Once students have fulfilled all of the requirements, they should send an email to to receive the certificate.


About MTI

The MTI Master Class for New Venture Teams and Research Impact is the foundational course for graduate students interested in the Management of Technology Innovation program.  The course is based on a variation of the Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship adjusted for deeper technology venture teams and for maximizing research impact in an industry context.  The course prepares students for technology-based innovation and entrepreneurship. Students develop judgment though rigorous case study of innovation and business situations. Topics include opportunity recognition, ecosystem development, strategies for effective R&D, product management, market selection, direct and indirect sales, and funding models. The course also covers entrepreneurial and innovation mindset, risk, and leadership styles. Within the course, students will develop a proposal for the Collider Project, which is a requirement of the MTI program.