Entrepreneurial Design Thinking

The Entrepreneurial Design Thinking program provides participants with an intensive, “hands-on” course focusing on the contemporary design thinking concepts and tools applied to generate innovative solutions to important marketplace and/or community problems.

During the program, participants will learn how to:

  • Identify and define a major problem to be solved
  • Engage real customers to better understand the problem from their perspective
  • Generate multiple solutions, then choose a solution to test with real customers
  • Create an action plan based on customer feedback
  • Present their solution idea to the relevant stakeholders



All participants who complete the course will receive a certificate of completion. In addition, participants can work in teams or individually to apply for a $10,000 or $5,000 Workforce Development Grant. Up to two grants will be awarded. Past winners have developed programs that address food justice, recidivism, and STEM education in their local communities. Learn about how others have succeeded in the program:

Program Length

The program is eight weeks long, consisting of one 2-hour virtual sessions per week.


This course is open to NYC residents 18 years of age and older. If you identify as a returning citizen and/or are justice system-involved, we highly encourage you to apply. You will not be required to disclose your status in order to enroll in the course.

Priority enrollment is given to residents of the following zip codes:

  • Manhattan: 10025, 10026, 10027, 10029, 10030, 10031, 10032, 10033, 10034, 10035, 10037, 10039, 10040,
  • Bronx: 10451, 10454, 10455, 10474

Students will need access to an internet accessible device to participate in weekly class sessions and engage with instructor and classmates.

How to Apply

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Program Director

Stef Alicia McCalmon

Stef Alicia McCalmon is an award-winning entrepreneur, consultant and marketer working at the intersections of entrepreneurship, media and advocacy. She’s the founder and CEO of Stef Alicia Made, a consultancy and content company that uses design thinking and storytelling to advocate for and advance equity initiatives led by or supporting people of intersectional identities, including Black women, people of color, LGBTQIA+, and low-income populations. With over 10+ years marketing, diversity, equity and inclusion and start-up consulting experience, Stef now leads program design, implementation, and communications on behalf of her clients, and teaches the next generation of Black & Brown entrepreneurs. She holds a BA in Sociology with a minor in African & African-American Studies from Duke University and an MBA from Columbia Business School where she studied in the Entrepreneurship and Media & Technology programs.