Entrepreneurship Center Management (ECM) Certificate Program
An Entrepreneurship Center Management Certificate (ECM) is the premier industry credential for the staff of incubators, accelerators, coworking spaces, small business development centers, and other entrepreneurship programs.
The only certificate of its kind
InBIA’s Certificate Program has been providing practitioners with the foundational knowledge and resources they need to run successful programs for more than a decade. The content has gone through many iterations as the industry has shifted to include new concepts and approaches, and will continue to keep up with the latest trends and best practices.
Over the years, more than 2,500 people have completed the requirements of the Certificate Program, earning the premier industry credentials to enhance their professional credibility. They have put their knowledge and skills to use supporting thousands of entrepreneurs whose startups have created countless jobs.
The ECM Certificate is recognized across the globe, so hundreds of people from international countries have completed the program by bringing the training to their local regions, participating in U.S.-based InBIA events or doing the training online. Become part of the global ECM community when you complete your certificate.
“The Scott County Center for Entrepreneurship just received a $105,075 state grant. The information I learned in the InBIA courses was helpful in completing the grant application. Thank you!”
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The Entrepreneurship Center Management Certificate Program includes four courses, each of which covers major topics imperative to entrepreneurship center development and sustained operational guidance such as (but not limited to):
- Basics of entrepreneurial ecosystem development and how to properly position your center
- Marketing to potential clients
- Ideal executive management and/or coaching staff
- Initial and follow-on fundraising
- Building targeted programming/services for clients
- Identifying, and then acquiring facility and other tangible assets for clients
- Developing pricing models for clients
- Setting graduation policies
The content also includes access to the courses’ complementary resource library, available on InBIA’s I-Connect community, which is exclusive to members and course participants. In this library, attendees will gain unprecedented access to a wide array of case studies, templates, samples of agreements and models, resource handouts or guides for entrepreneurs, financial plan templates, and much more.
Course One: Fostering Your Entrepreneurship Center’s Role in Your Community
|Tuesday, February 6, 2024 @ 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. EST
|Tuesday, February 13, 2024 @ 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. EST
|Tuesday, February 20, 2024 @ 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. EST
The first course in the program discusses the role entrepreneurship centers play in their local/regional ecosystems. The content focuses on interconnected networks and factors that support and drive entrepreneurial success, including:
- The roles of stakeholders
- Funding mechanisms
- Policy impact
- Global perspectives
- Learn how to navigate this complex landscape to thrive as an ECM and contribute to fostering innovation and economic growth.
Course One also explores how entrepreneurship center managers and staff can take advantage of a wide variety of programs and tools in their efforts to support successful entrepreneurial ventures. From hackathons to seed accelerators, attendees will discover how to best leverage these programmes to the benefit of the entrepreneurs they support.
Course Two: Building Profitable Programs That Serve Entrepreneurs
|Tuesday, February 27, 2024 @ 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. EST
|Tuesday, March 5, 2024 @ 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. EST
|Tuesday, March 12, 2024 @ 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. EST
In the second course of the program, attendees will learn successful strategies for supporting entrepreneurs in their startup journeys. Instructors will explain the different stages of development and growth and help attendees understand how they can align their services and support across the entrepreneurial journey.
This course also introduces participants to value-added services and the key activities with which managers can create dynamic programs via training, events, mentoring, advisory services and more.
Course Three: Finance and Operations for Sustainable Entrepreneurship Centers
|Tuesday, March 19, 2024 @ 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. EST
|Tuesday, March 26, 2024 @ 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. EST
|Tuesday, April 2, 2024 @ 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. EST
Entrepreneurship centers demonstrate a wide range of business models. Some are able to generate revenue through community services, whereas others are more limited. In this section, we examine the range of revenue-generating options for ECM professionals, including:
- Rents and fees
- and more
Attracting and retaining quality leadership and support staff is a key part of an entrepreneurship center’s success. The second half of course three examines the key staffing decisions EC managers and organizers must make. Attendees will also discuss how to implement an effective succession strategy.
Course 4: Space Design, Software, and Other Ways to Streamline Operations
|Tuesday, April 23, 2024 @ 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. EST
|Tuesday, April 30, 2024 @ 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. EST
|Tuesday, May 7, 2024 @ 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. EST
Entrepreneurship centers are most effective when they have clearly defined policies on who they serve and how they provide those services. This course examines several of these key policy areas, including:
- Board structure
- Intake policies
The ECM program concludes with a look at how entrepreneurship centers can track and evaluate their impact. This session looks at the key metrics that define a program’s success, and considers how a manager can create and track a meaningful set of key performance indicators, or KPIs.
Complete your certificate online or in person
At the beginning of 2015, InBIA piloted the first online version of the certificate program. Since then, hundreds of people have earned their certificates from the comforts of their own homes and offices. Participants can go through the materials at their own pace within the timeframe of the course.
Registration for online courses are now open!
Since the program’s inception, the certificate courses have been offered in conjunction with InBIA events, giving participants at least two opportunities per year to complete requirements. In-person classes create an atmosphere of collaboration, for robust discussions and group activities.
ECM courses are also offered regionally or internationally upon request.
Online Course Format
Online certificate courses take two weeks to complete – ten days for instruction and learning, with three outlined live webinar sessions. Each course is equivalent to seven hours of in-class training and contains the same content as the classroom-based courses, but has been specially designed for the online format. The courses are self-guided, though they include three outlined webinar sessions led by an industry expert who will answer questions and enhance the online content with practical examples and personal knowledge. If you cannot attend the webinar live, the sessions are recorded and posted online in InBIA’s online community forum, the Exchange. It is in the Exchange platform that you will network with classmates, course instructors and past ECM grads, as well as submit mandatory certificate assignments that must be completed in order to obtain credit for the course.
InBIA Members: $550/course
InBIA Non-Members: $650/course
PLEASE NOTE: All course prices are in $ USD
ECM Certificate Bundle:
Participants who enroll in all four courses automatically save $200 on the ECM Certificate Bundle Package