At a time when Millennials are becoming increasingly known as the entrepreneurial generation, eCornell has launched Redshift, a low-cost, online program, tailored to educating and equipping the next wave of executive leaders with the skills they need to ascend the ranks of their companies.
eCornell, a subsidiary of Cornell University, seeks to combine the beneficial elements of an Ivy League classroom with the flexibility of an online course, and offer that hybrid environment to the professional world. With the launch of Redshift, the prestigious institution now has a product that very much appeals to entrepreneurs who are unable to invest full-time into learning more about nurturing a business.
“I would say, in general, the target audience is really anybody who is trying to grow an organization,” RedShift CTO Rob Kingyens said in a phone interview, “High-achievers, high-performers inside an organization."
Through its online platform, RedShift provides the quality of MBA-level programs, which foster skills that many entrepreneurs might not recognize as valuable, such as achieving competitive advantages and developing marketing strategies.
Kingyens asserts that most of their target demographic would typically face the choice between the two extremes of high-cost, traditional programs at universities like Stanford versus low-cost, online programs from institutions that carry little prestige, and he assures that RedShift provides the perfect balance between both.
"What we try to achieve with this RedShift product is we really ask the question of 'could we provide the best of both worlds in somewhat of a hybrid product?'" said Kingyens, who also serves as CMO of RedShift. "That's actually how we looked at it. We wanted to have something that could compete with these other organizations at a low price point but offer all of the value, or a lot of the value, that you might get out of an executive education program."
At face value, it's hard to deny what seems apparent: eCornell has constructed a program that has the look of a genuinely comprehensive, beneficial experience. As part of its curriculum, RedShift provides access to one-on-one mentoring from industry leaders, real world projects based on relevant subjects, engagement with a community of experts discussing the latest business ideas and solutions, and a slew of other features that Kingyens said are all made possible by the nature of the program's structure.
"By keeping our technology and costs lower," he said, "it really allows us to spend more time on the quality and curriculum of the education that we're providing the student."
RedShift is also tailored to helping entrepreneurs promote from within. With employers often going outside of their own organizations to acquire talent for high-level positions, RedShift provides an avenue to break that trend, allowing companies to enroll team members at a rate that amounts to $35 a month per employee.
Moreover, the program launch is the latest in a series of big moves for Cornell University, one of which is the planned development of its "NYC Tech" campus in Manhattan. The facilities, which will be constructed on Roosevelt Island, will incorporate date-driven companies that develop at an agile pace -- businesses that assume change is inevitable and rely on fast-moving analysis of their industries to help them continually adapt.
Kingyens intimates that such an environment, which is prevalent in many of today's most successful companies, is the type for which RedShift equips its students.
"I'd say for any new entrepreneur, someone new in business who wants to be in a vibrant environment, a lot of this curriculum is really what's challenging everybody in an organization or anybody that's a leader to really be critically thinking about their business," he said. "To be customer driven, be data-driven and be willing to adapt and pivot to where your market audience or your product's going."
To test out their value, eCornell offers free enrollment in two designated courses. To take a test drive of the "Projecting Your Brand Through New Media" course, click here.