The programme is delivered through a carefully designed combination of:
- immersive residential learning and networking in Cambridge (three weeks in total)
- working through our online learning content and tools, with an Action Learning Set of fellow innovators and creators (35 weeks)
- coaching and mentoring from experienced entrepreneurs, matched to the individual challenges, who help you review and reflect on the actions you take as you build your skills (10 times per year)
The programme starts with a residential week in Cambridge on 11-15 September 2017. During this immersive residential with Cambridge Judge faculty, you will be exposed to the 10 core themes of the curriculum:
- Working on yourself - as a thinker, decision maker and leader
- Identifying and evaluating opportunities
- Financial literacy and fluency
- Customer development and lean startup
- Networking and sales
- Prototyping and design thinking
- Business models and strategy
- Teams, management and operations
Each theme runs across the 12 months of the programme and gives you core academic knowledge, a toolkit of skills, and, most important of all, the innovator's mindset.
During the residential week, you also will form your Action Learning Set with four to six other innovators. Peer-to-peer learning is a critical part of the journey of the programme. Students are carefully matched to a group designed both to expose you to those facing similar challenges and to give you diverse perspectives from other experienced, driven professionals. You commit, as a member of the Action Learning Set, to help keep your colleagues in the "stretch zone" where learning happens and they will commit to support you in a similar way. In addition, you will meet your first Mentor: an experienced entrepreneur. Both your peers and your Mentor will work with you to ensure your learning of concepts, skills and the innovator's mindset is maximised. This is done by ensuring that theory is converted into practical action.
After the first residential week, your self-driven journey begins and you put the finishing touches to an Enterprise Project: an initial idea for a startup, or an idea for a growth strategy for an existing organisation. Throughout October, November, January, February and March, you will work for about 10 hours per week through dynamic, engaging online content - in our Virtual Learning Environment - around the 10 themes. As a result of consulting your peer group and checking-in with your Mentor regularly, you will reflect on the learning experience and decide how best to put the content into action for the highest impact.
From time to time, we may change your Mentor to give you new opportunities to learn from another experienced entrepreneur.
The second Cambridge residential week takes place on 19-23 March 2018. It provides an opportunity for you to bring together all you have learned, reconnect with your peers and Mentor, and, guided by Cambridge Judge Business School faculty, prepare for the "home stretch" of the PGDE. A major emphasis of the second residential is supporting you to connect your venture or project to key stakeholders - through pitching, networking and selling.
Following the second residential week and until the end of the programme (9-13 July 2018), you will continue to work on online content and to interact with, and be supported by, your Action Learning Set and your Mentor. The emphasis of the programme will shift to concepts, skills and mindsets you may need in the future as your venture or project grows. Students return to Cambridge at the end of the programme in July for a final synthesis of your work and planning. This also offers exposure to further thought leadership and skills-building sessions with Cambridge Judge Business School faculty and the chance to celebrate the ways in which you have stretched yourself and developed an innovator's mindset.