From MIT & Naples, Italy, A New Kind Of Entrepreneurship Master’s

The Master in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management is a collaboration between Parthenope University of Naples and MIT Sloan School of Management

Naples, Italy and Boston, Massachusetts could not be more different in climate or culture, making a collaboration between business schools in those two cities unusual, to say the least. 

But business knowledge is, in many ways, universal. Fresh evidence of this truth comes from this seemingly out-of-the-ordinary partnership with the announcement of a new master’s degree, launching early next year.

The Master in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management is a new study program offered by Parthenope University in collaboration with MIT Sloan School of Management. Students in the one-year program, numbering around 50 in the first cohort, will attend weeks of classes at MIT, ranked No. 6 by Poets&Quants, as part of a program that seeks to “empower your entrepreneurial and managerial aptitude, enhance your competences, and start a successful career in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management.”


MIT Sloan Dean David Schmittlein: “We are thrilled to be expanding our outreach in Europe.” File photo

Applications for the Parthenope/MIT MEIM, which carries a tuition price tag of $36,000, are now open; deadline to apply is October 29.

The program is the first in a five-year partnership signed between the schools in May, says Marco Ferretti, professor in Parthenope’s Department of Management and Quantitative Sciences and MEIM program head. The idea, Ferretti tells P&Q, emerged from Parthenope’s partnership with MIT through the Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program in Campania, of which Naples is the capital.

Campania is home to universities, public research institutes, and technology clusters; it is also a manufacturing, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and construction hub. MIT REAP Team Campania “seeks to leverage sea-land logistics and the maritime industry, due to their significance in the regional economy”; out of this program — heavy on the development of local innovation systems —  came the idea for the new MEIM, Ferretti says.

“We were part of this MIT research program for almost three years,” he says. “We were in touch with them, and so we started to develop this idea one year ago. After one year, we decided to enter this five-year agreement partnership for this program. Two months ago, we signed the agreement, so we just started this new master’s, and indeed the first edition of the master will start January 2022.” He adds that the second cohort will likely begin in September rather than January 2023.

As it did many things in the graduate business education world, coronavirus set planning for the new MEIM back — but it couldn’t kill the idea or the program.

“The problem was in defining the collaboration with MIT, because also MIT was closed and it was very difficult to sign everything,” says Franco Calza, Parthenope’s deputy vice-rector. “We started without any collaboration in creating the master with our colleagues in MIT. Later, we had the problem to decide if the master would be in-person or remote. Finally, we decided to make it in-person starting by January 2022.”

The MEIM program’s primary location in Naples, about 140 miles southeast of Rome, should be an advantage, Calza tells P&Q.

“We trust we will start in person, of course,” he says. “January should be quite safe. This is another point. It is located in Naples, of course, an old and very beautiful site on the hills here near the city. We have a safety program in order to guarantee the safety to everybody. That should ensure us to start on time and no problem. Cross fingers.”


The MEIM program is designed for students with a bachelor’s degree fresh out of undergrad, ages 21-25. In the English-language program, students attend a winter semester in Naples, followed by three weeks in Boston at MIT. At the end of summer, they will have class in Naples until final exams December. With fees, the program will cost an estimated $50,000 altogether.

We are looking to enhance the entrepreneurial aptitude of students,” Marco Ferretti says, “so we are trying to, let’s say, boost this aptitude in terms of ability to innovate, to manage innovation, to make entrepreneurial projects — which does not mean that necessarily you then have to become an entrepreneur or create a startup, but just that you also in your organization are able to bring an entrepreneurial spirit to then approach to managerial tasks.”

One of the degree’s big selling points is that students will get 120 instruction hours with MIT faculty. At a recent event announcing the new program, MIT Sloan Dean David Schmittlein described his school’s interest in the collaboration.

“As a global leader in management education, MIT’s mission is to make high-quality education accessible around the world,” Schmittlein says. “This collaboration is an exciting opportunity for Parthenope’s MEIM students to participate in the educational ecosystem at MIT Sloan. As important, it further strengthens MIT Sloan’s connections with European academic, business, and government communities.”

MIT Sloan Professor Emilio Castilla, faculty director of the collaboration, adds: “We are thrilled to be expanding our outreach in Europe. Like the rest of the world, the EU is in a dynamic time of change, with pressing challenges and emerging opportunities. This collaboration with Parthenope opens doors for deeper understanding and the development of the organization skills needed to successfully manage this change in a way that benefits everyone socially and economically.”

And a final plus: Students joining MEIM will have the opportunity to be selected to attend MIT Sloan’s Master of Science in Management Studies, a customizable degree that complements an MBA or equivalent program from an affiliate school. Those students will receive a master of science degree from MIT in nine months.

See the next page for more details on the MEIM program.

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