For the second consecutive year, EIA welcomed fifteen master’s students in Product Innovation from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). We interviewed Allison Schumacher, Director of Academic Alchemy at VCU’s Da Vinci Center, about EIA’s value to students and faculty. Allison’s main point: “EIA is the catalyst for international, cross-disciplinary entrepreneurship education.”

The Power of Experience

EIA serves as a debut to the world of product development that also triggers a personal and professional awakening. Allison notes, “To learn entrepreneurship, to learn product development, you can’t learn it unless you do it.” As a result, students cultivate skills crucial to professional life. They develop their self-awareness, decision-making, communication skills, project management abilities, and capacity for collaboration. In addition, the international aspect lends an atmosphere crucial for a 21st century start-up. Uniquely, students from 75 nationalities gather in a foreign country. In the end, students broaden their horizons and their business acumen.

Challenging Future Product Developers and the Status Quo of Entrepreneurship Education

After the program, VCU students stride into their fall semester courses more confident about the rigors of their MA program. Allison considers this experience vital to VCU, “Education is changing in the way that we need more experiential learning. We need more applied knowledge.” Students face problems they might consider until faced in real-life situations. The need to iterate and pivot when problems arise show that no idea is perfect. In this way, EIA challenges traditional entrepreneurship education through forcing students to take on the unknown and finish intact.

Networking and Secrets of the Trade

Across the EIA programs in Qatar, China, Portugal, and Italy, faculty interact with entrepreneurial thinkers from around the world. According to Allison, “It gives us a space to talk about what each other are doing, what worked and hasn’t worked.” This open and relaxed environment for educators, mentors, and the next generation of entrepreneurs stimulates the flow of ideas and tools that give professors inspiration for in-class instruction.

How to apply to EIA 2019?

EIA 2019 application process in 3 steps:

I – Apply – fill in the form, provide your background and reason for joining

II – Explain your motivation – after receiving your application we will ask you to submit a short video so we can get to know you a little better

III – Get notified – you will receive an decision on your admission within 7 days of sending us your video.


Apply to EIA 2019 here