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Stanford Ignite is a certificate program that provides the business fundamentals necessary to succeed at any entrepreneurial or intrapreneurial venture.

The curriculum consists of classes in both core business skills and functional skills.

Project-Based Learning

Business concepts learned in the classroom will be reinforced through practical application to the team venture projects. As part of Stanford Ignite, participants will work in teams of five or six to develop a new product or service for an existing organization or a new venture.


Venture project ideas are proposed by Stanford Ignite participants. Participants can propose new or existing ideas in any stage of development.

The venture idea submission process begins prior to the official program start, allowing time to submit and narrow the list of ideas that will eventually become the team venture projects.

  • Participants submit ideas via an online educational platform
  • Participants review ideas and vote for their favorites to create a short list
  • Idea generators for short-listed ideas create brief video presentations
  • Idea generators give short presentations to the group on the first day of the program
  • Participants rank which ideas they would most like to work on
  • Teams are assigned by the faculty director, based largely on participant rankings

Idea generators own their ideas coming into the program and also have the first right of refusal to carry ideas forward beyond the program. Idea generators do not automatically become team leaders. The leadership role is rotated among team members for each project assignment.


Participants’ progress will be tracked through weekly individual and team assignments related to the venture projects. In addition to team advising sessions with the faculty director, teams will receive guidance from mentors, investors, and industry experts.


Participants will learn how to successfully present their ideas during a daylong communications bootcamp. Midway through the program, teams will give an elevator pitch to a small panel and get feedback on their venture idea.

At the culmination of the program, each team will give a fully developed presentation to a panel of venture capitalists, angel investors, industry experts, or experienced entrepreneurs. The goal of these presentations is to receive feedback from panelists, such as the viability of the venture idea business plan, for educational purposes.

Time Commitment

Stanford Ignite provides approximately 100 hours of instruction, including class lectures, coaching sessions, advising sessions with the faculty director, and panels. In addition, the program requires approximately 100 to 150 additional hours of preparation for class sessions and teamwork on the venture projects.


Stanford Ignite is an academic program in which participants can learn business skills as they gain experience commercializing a new venture in an educational environment. Venture projects are not expected to be developed to the point of securing funding at the conclusion of the program.

Upon completion of the program, participants will receive a certificate from Stanford GSB.