ELITE – Entrepreneurship & Innovation Courses

Summer Course Add/Drop Deadline: Some summer courses do not follow SGS add/drop deadlines since they are scheduled at unique dates. Please note the add/drop deadline in the course schedule below. If you would to add a course that is still within the course add deadline, please fill this form out with your signature. If you are having trouble dropping a course and it falls within the drop deadline, please use the same form. Please pass the form to d.duong@utoronto.ca for processing.

Leadership Courses              Finance & Management Courses              Engineering & Society Courses

Course Description *Click course title for syllabus linkAdmin InfoNext Session DetailsFall 2023Winter 2024Summer 2024
APS511H: Inventions and Patents for Engineersx
APS1012H: Management of Business Innovation and Transformational Change
Summer only:
To add this course after May 13, please use course add/drop form and submit to d.duong@utoronto.ca
Winter 2024: Jan 8 - April 15, 100% online delivery, first class Jan 8, 9-12pm

SUMMER 2024: May 20-June 7, Class on May 27

Week 1 - May 20 -May 24
Week 2 - June 3- June 7
Daily 9am-12pm, in BA2185, Class on May 27th, 1-4pm in MY315

Course add deadline: May 22

Course drop deadline: May 23
APS1013H: Applying Innovation in Engineering and Business Operations FALL 2023: Sept 11 - Dec 13; Monday, 9-12pm, MY380
APS1015H: Social EntrepreneurshipIt is strongly recommended that students who are interested in the course attend the first lecture including waitlist students. FALL 2023: Sept 14 - Dec 7; Thursdays, 6-9pm, B024 (Bahen)

APS1023H: New Product InnovationFALL 2023: Sept 14 - Dec 7; Thursdays, 6-8pm, BA2135

SUMMER 2024: May 7 - July 23, Tuesdays - 6pm to 8pm, BA2135

Course add deadline: May 13
Course drop deadline: June 24
APS1033H: Business Innovation Leading to the Future, Based on
Not offered in year 2022-2023
APS1035H: Taking a New Venture to MarketFALL 2023: Sept 12 - Dec 5; Tuesdays, 6-9pm, WB219

Formative Experiential Entrepreneurial Learning (FEEL™)
WINTER 2024: Jan 9 - April 16
Tuesdays, 12-3pm, MY480, Tutorial: Wednesdays, 11am-1pm, MY370
APS1043H: Writing Your Own Patent ApplicationNot offered in Fall 2023
APS1061H: Business Strategy and IntrapreneurshipCourse will be delivered in-person, and Online Asynchronously and SynchronouslySUMMER 2024: May 6 - May 31
in-person and ONLINE, synchronous, asynchronous.

May 6-10, May 21-24, May 31

Daily Monday-Friday, 6-9pm in room WB219

Course add deadline: May 7
Course drop deadline: May 9
APS1088H: Business Planning and Execution for Canadian EntrepreneursDUAL DELIVERY: In-person and online Synchronous (LEC0101 is both inperson and online)FALL 2023: Sept 11 - Dec 4, Mondays 6-9pm, WB219


APS511H: Inventions and Patents for Engineers

Teaches the process of preparing a patent application for an invention for engineers and scientists. Teaches methods to take an invention from conception to a level that a patent application can be filed on it. Describes how to write an invention disclosure. Describes how to prepare the background section, brief listing of figures, detailed description of the invention, independent and dependent claims, abstract, and artwork. Teaches use of patent search engines.

APS1012H: Managing Business Innovation and Transformational Change

APS1012H Syllabus

Stephen Armstrong

The course will provide students with the core concepts of innovation including; strategic thinking, transformational change management, future state visioning, innovative enterprise design & development, new product development, business process management and sustaining a culture of innovation.  It has been designed for those who desire a career path leading to a role as a corporate change agent such as CEO, COO, Senior VP’s, C-Level Certified Management Consultants, or as entrepreneurs.  This seminar style course will equip students with the knowledge and the skills to manage innovation at strategic and operational levels. The management of innovation is interdisciplinary and multi-functional, requiring the alignment of market forces, technological systems and organizational change to improve the competitiveness and effectiveness of organizations and society. The process of innovation management is essentially generic, although organization, technological and market specific factors will guide strategic choices and actions. This course will incorporate both academic readings to provide the broad theory of innovation but most of the readings and discussions will be based on the instructors many years of hands on practical experience in innovation management in a variety of industry sectors.

APS1013H: Applying Innovation in Engineering

APS1013H Syllabus

Stephen Armstrong

Applying Innovation is delivered in collaboration with external industry partners across many industry sectors.  It has been designed to develop practical management skills that can be applied in the workplace immediately.  Its purpose is to accelerate career advancement.   It has been designed for those who desire a career path leading to a role as a corporate change agent such as CEO, COO, Senior VP’s, C-Level Certified Management Consultants, or as entrepreneurs.  It will teach students the application of the tools and techniques of innovation management including; strategic and systems thinking, business process analysis, creativity and problem solving, solution design & implementation, effective organizational teamwork and project management. This seminar style course aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills to apply the tools of creativity and innovation to solve a real world technological business problem. Applying innovation will enable students in a team approach to actually use the tools in the class and on an industrial project either at their employer or an external enterprise. This course will also incorporate academic scholarly papers that will build on the readings in the Management of Innovation APS1012 course. In addition the instructor will provide coaching based on many years of hands on practical experience solving technological problems in a variety of industry sectors. Though not mandatory it would be ideal if students have completed the course APS1012 – Management of Innovation that provides students with a conceptual understanding of the broad field of strategic innovation.

APS1015H: Social Entrepreneurship

APS1015H Syllabus

Alex Kjorven

This course is designed for students interested in applying their existing knowledge and skills toward addressing pressing social or environmental issues. Using the principles of entrepreneurship, this course provides students with an understanding of the systems within which wicked challenges emerge, sample a variety of different solutions being applied and learn how to leverage market–based tools to respond to these important issues.
For a sneak peak into lecture content from a previous semester, here is a video walk through (note the video references synchronous online delivery, however actual course delivery format may be different. See course details for the format relevant to your term).


APS1023H: New Product Innovation

APS1023H Syllabus

Amir Rahim

This course examines technical and organizational aspects of managing new products and process innovations. Topics include human creativity and problem solving, product design and development, product feasibility assessments, requirements engineering, managing research and development, project management, team communication, technology implementation, and innovation strategy.

APS1033H: Business Innovation Leading to the Future, based on Imagineering

APS1033H Syllabus

Joseph C. Paradi

This course will demonstrate how an entrepreneurial person could get ahead of the curve as the future of technology develops. Instructors and guests will train the students to use their technical skills and problem solving abilities to identify where the world around them will be 10 or more years from now. The future is where the students in this course will have to live and prosper.

However, the skills learned here will be immediately useful when getting a job now – your accomplishments in the course will show how ready you are to tackle problems now and in the future. The core goal is to assess opportunities many years in the future and using “Imagineering” to identify startup possibilities and how to pick the best ones.

Topics covered will all be designed to increase the student's competence in the Canadian business world. Such aspects include the assessment of what future technological challenges will emerge and how to find the business opportunities to solve such problems in both private and public contexts. The students will learn how seek business opportunities for their firms or themselves and communicate such vision to decision makers. Thus, they will improve their marketability when seeking a job.

The delivery is via 12 three hour sessions with a mix of lectures, outside speakers, group work and presentations on topics on emerging/future opportunities. There is an emphasis on technological leadership as the course teaches you how to be out front and be seen as a leader. Topics may include the social problems of wastewater engineering, air/particulate emissions, traffic engineering, project definition and financing and others.

A highly interactive environment will encourage out of the box thinking and innovative approaches to large problems which impresses potential employers and your co-workers. There will be a number of assignments, projects and a term report. Class interaction with grading will be done in 6 of the sessions where both individual and group presentations will be required. Cases will be used for some of the projects. There will be no written final examination.

APS1035H: Taking a New Venture to Market

APS1035H Syllabus

Steve Treiber

At some point in their careers most engineers and scientists they find themselves with the need to convince their boss, their company, their co-workers, or a client to try some new idea. That new idea, product or service might be so novel that there are no easy comparisons to be made to something existing and proven. This is the crux of the innovator's dilemma and the title of a famous book by Clayton Christensen1. Most science and engineering schools teach their students how to organize their data and facts. Through group projects students are exposed to the need to argue their point of view, negotiate compromise, and then present their results and ideas to their professors to get the best marks.

Many schools also give students an opportunity to develop business plans. However, very few schools teach their students how to sell their technological ideas to a complex audience who often have conflicting views and needs, and perhaps limited technical knowledge, but who all have some influence on the decision. In fact, in most cases the decision makers have little or no technical competence in the specific subject in question and the engineer/scientist’s argument often comes down to “trust me”.

The course is all about how to get people to listen and gain enough trust in you to take a chance on your offer. Students will learn the keys to selling a “customer” on an idea, product or service that they passionately believe in. The course is designed to have a variety of learning objectives which are delivered via lectures, exercises, role playing, group presentations and homework assignments. The students will learn how to organize and communicate their thoughts and facts in a way that will increase their probability of succeeding in convincing the decision makers that they should take a chance on a new idea or innovation.

Some students may come with or develop real, viable ideas. In those cases the instructor may introduce them to the Hatchery or one of the many incubators and accelerators on campus and in the GTA, and even commercial companies that might have an interest in their product or service.

APS1036H: Formative Experiential Entrepreneurial Learning (FEELTM)

APS1036H Syllabus

Joseph Orozco

The overall objective of this course is that students increase their confidence in their ability to create a start-up by solving high impact problems and defining its business model. The FEELTM methodology, used in this course, provides students with a hands-on opportunity and a real world application of the entrepreneurship mindset. The course will help students define a start-up that creates value for co-founders while creating a forum for mentorship and knowledge exchange. The course is structured as a process to define the startup’s business model, the creation of a business canvas and an investor pitch deck. Students will be guided on the use of tools to manage team building/dynamics, market fit, scaling, user insight generation, pitching and the FEELTM’s modified business model generation canvas(*). Students will be working in teams.  Team members can be fellow students or outside the classroom partners.

This course will also provide students with an understanding, guidance and access to resources in the University of Toronto’s start-up eco-system, featuring the Entrepreneurship Hatchery at the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering.

*The FEEL Business Model Generation Canvas uses principles originally created by Alexander Osterwalder & Yves Pigneur

APS1043H: Writing Your Own Patent Application

Nasser Ashgriz

This course teaches the students how to write and file their own patent application.

Students can select inventions that already exist or simply start from an idea that they are interested and develop it under the instructor’s guidance.

The final project of the students in this class is preparation and filing of their own invention. Differences between a technical article and a patent are identified, and the method of converting a technical article to a patent application is discussed.

The course evaluation is based on homework and projects on development of the idea and invention, patent search, preparation of drawings, preparation of specifications of the application and drafting claims.  The assessment materials are individual and can be done online or in person. There are minimum issues of plagiarism in this course since each student will have his/her own individual assignment.

This course does not intend to prepare students to become patent agents and pass a patent agency test.

APS1061H: Business Strategy and Intrapreneurship

APS1061H Syllabus

Steven Treiber, steve.treiber@utoronto.ca, 416-725-1774

APS1061H is designed for engineering students interested in discovering if they have the aptitude and appetite to lead a large business. Every business executive and entrepreneur will encounter complex business problems they urgently must solve. The short course format simulates the speed with which such real-world problems can arise and the speed with which they must be solved. Covid19, SARS, and 9/11 are examples of extreme events that can destroy a business suddenly. Leveraging some of the problem-solving skills, you have learned during your engineering education, this course teaches how to define, solve, communicate, and sell the solution to a complex business problem using an engineering approach.  

Students will work in groups of up to 4 and all groups will develop a solution to the challenge business problem.  The groups will be given a package of materials that identifies the problem in the first class and all groups will come up with their own definition and solution during the course. This year the challenge business problem will be:  Elon Musk bought Twitter for $44 Billion and renamed it “X”.  He has told his employees that he wants to turn X into a worldwide equivalent of WeChat.  So far X is bleeding employees, advertisers, is embroiled in numerous law suits and it’s estimated worth has dropped to about $4 Billion. Our objective is to develop a business strategy and plan that will make this business successful. 

The course was developed and is taught by successful Canadian entrepreneurs who imagined, built and later sold their successful businesses. The course materials, lectures, and assignments are based on their personal experiences and published best practices.  The course and materials provides students with a toolkit for defining and solving business problems, and the course project is an exercise in how to do it.  Guest speakers who are subject matter experts in the business domain are invited to class sessions during the course. 

All lectures are pre-recorded and students will have access to the recordings and lecture notes in advance of the scheduled class sessions.  Scheduled classes will about the homework assignments, feedback on the homework, and guest speakers. 


APS1088H: Business Planning and Execution for Canadian Entrepreneurs

APS1088 Syllabus

Steve Treiber 

APS1088 is a course on how to start and run a successful Canadian business that is profitable on day ONE, using a real start-up example. If your ambition is to be your own boss one day this is the course for you. The course was developed and is taught by successful Canadian entrepreneurs who imagined, built and sold at least one of their successful businesses. The course and materials provides students with a toolkit for starting and running a successful business, and through the course project an exercise in how to do that.
If you already have a business idea the course will assist you in making that business idea a success and if you don’t have an idea the course will teach you how to find and develop one of your own.