Stanford Ignite Polytechnique Returns to Paris in September 2014

Applications accepted until June 10, 2014, for part time program in innovation and entrepreneurship aimed at technical professionals and scientists.

April 24, 2014



Stanford GSB is seeking innovators and entrepreneurial scientists and engineers throughout Europe to apply for the 2014 Stanford Ignite–Polytechnique program in Paris, France. | Shutterstock

Stanford Graduate School of Business seeks innovators and entrepreneurial scientists and engineers throughout Europe to apply for 2014 Stanford Ignite—Polytechnique. Offered in partnership with École Polytechnique, one of Europe’s finest schools of engineering and science, and one of the leading grandes Écoles in France, the part-time program will meet in Paris. The deadline for applications is June 10, 2014.

Meeting throughout extended weekends beginning on September 25, 2014, the Stanford Ignite—Polytechnique program will provide exposure to both the fundamentals of business and the practical aspects of identifying, evaluating, and moving business ideas forward. It is designed to deliver the same kind of immersive, innovative, and hands-on instruction that working professionals and graduate students at Stanford experience — in a European dimension. The course content will teach innovators how to formulate, develop, and commercialize their ideas.

Those interested in learning more can join an online information session on Monday, May 5, at 7pm CEST (10am PDT). Stanford Ignite faculty director Yossi Feinberg will touch on core elements of entrepreneurship and provide a taste of what to expect from the program. Registration for this free webinar is available online.

Participants in last year’s inaugural program in Paris describe the experience as transformational.

“Three exceptional months of hard work on my project in the framework of the Stanford Ignite—Polytechnique program propelled it to become one of the winners of the World Innovation Challenge,” said Franz Bozsak, a PhD alum of École Polytechnique in biomedical engineering and a ‘Stanford Igniter’ from last year’s inaugural Paris program. His project, “Instent,” is developing a novel cardiac stent that will enable physicians to remotely monitor patients and tailor post-operative treatment to the needs of the patient. “It was the interaction with the people in the Stanford Ignite—Polytechnique program — my team members, the other participants, the professors, and my mentors — that had the most significant transformational impact on my project.”

Noam Ben Haim, a senior product manager at Google-Zurich, similarly credits the work in his team for a breakthrough experience. “Within a very short time, our small group had to learn how to work with each other, understand the real problem we are trying to solve, research it, and build a business plan worthy of VC attention,” he said. The computer science and cognitive sciences graduate of Hebrew University was a team member on a project aimed at solving the financing gap among African entrepreneurs, giving small-scale investors access to growth opportunities in Africa. “I am already applying the business concepts and skills I learned from Stanford Ignite—Polytechnique to my current job,” he said.

Stanford Ignite draws on the same world-class Stanford Graduate School of Business faculty who teach in the MBA program. “This program is appropriate for individuals who wish to bring innovation and entrepreneurial thinking to their current role, and for those who are planning to start a new venture,” said Yossi Feinberg, a professor of economics at Stanford Graduate School of Business, who directs the Stanford Ignite program. “It provides graduate students, innovators, scientists, and engineers from leading companies the essential toolset for creating impactful ventures.”

“Stanford Ignite—Polytechnique offers the best of both worlds,” said Bruno Martinaud, director of the Technology Venture, and Polytechnique academic lead for the Stanford Ignite—Polytechnique program. “Combining one of the top programs offered by Stanford Graduate School of Business with key aspects of the European entrepreneurial environment, through lectures, coaching, guest speakers, and exposure, this unique, condensed program is designed to bring a life-changing experience to the participants.”

Intended for individuals who do not have graduate business training, Stanford Ignite—Polytechnique applicants must be currently enrolled students in a master’s, PhD, MD, or post-doctoral program studying non-business fields; or must be professionals with a minimum of a bachelor’s (BA or BS) degree from a regionally accredited institution. Advanced degrees preferred. Classes meet Thursday evenings, Fridays, and Saturdays, and additional meetings, as needed, for project work.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit all materials as soon as possible. A complete application will contain: the finished online application, a resume, a series of short essays, and two letters of recommendation. Tuition is USD$10,000 and includes course materials, some meals, and program events.

“Stanford Ignite participants have started over 100 successful companies since the program was introduced at Stanford in 2006,” said Bethany Coates, assistant dean, Stanford Global Innovation Programs. “The Paris Stanford Igniters will join a global network of high-impact innovators and entrepreneurs.”

Jacques Biot, president of École Polytechnique, said, “Building on the success of last year’s program, I’m delighted by this wonderful, exclusive cooperation, which brings the best of both our institutions to the benefit of participants. This new edition will again enable entrepreneurs to refine their business plans, boost innovation, and foster brilliant startups.”

By Helen Chang

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