Academic and Executive Education Programming

The Francoise O. Lepage Center for Global Innovation focuses on small to medium-sized businesses contributing to the entrepreneurial ecosystem through education, University-wide entrepreneurial activity, and business development through a variety of executive education opportunities. 

The Francoise O. Lepage Center for Global Innovation offers an immersive, innovative, and entrepreneurial environment to degree-seeking students, as well as community clients. 

The Lepage Center's Programming Highlights 

  • For current students interested in expanding their global view, the Lepage Center offers a global innovation minor and hands-on practicum.
  • Lepage Center events, such as our University-wide Lepage Business Idea Competition and 3-Day Startup foster innovative ideas. 
  • Students looking to gain additional entrepreneurial certification can enroll in the Lepage Center's E3 Entrepreneurial Innovation Certificate Program or its Emerging Entrepreneurs and Leaders Development Certificate Program. Lepage scholars explore innovation on a global scale.
  • The Center works within the Bay Area entrepreneurship ecosystem to connect entrepreneurs to resources while leveraging its relationships with the Marin Small Business Development Center, U.S. Commercial Service, and local accelerators and incubators.

Academic Programming

Entrepreneurship involves the process of developing new ideas and bringing together and managing resources, people, and capital to bring innovation successfully to the marketplace. The Lepage Center Academic programming engages students in the study and practice of entrepreneurship through the following programs:

The Global Innovation and Entrepreneurship (GIE) Minor is designed to transform students into innovative leaders and responsible entrepreneurs capable of effecting change in the global marketplace. Housed in the Françoise O. Lepage Center for Global Innovation at the Barowsky School of Business, the GIE Minor will provide opportunities for both business and non-business students to engage in hands-on innovation and entrepreneurship-based education and activities.

Learn more about the GIE Minor

The annual competition, in partnership with the Small Business Development Center, is designed for Dominican University of California students and alumni. Participants pitch their innovative business ideas for products, services, or solutions to social issues to a panel of judges who evaluate their business models and provide constructive feedback. Pitches are judged on the merits of the problem, solution, target market and size, revenue model (including unit economics), competitor analysis, and go-to-market strategy. The competition is an opportunity for participants to be creative and learn about launching a new venture, as well as network with potential mentors and investors.  

The Global Innovation and Entrepreneurship Practicum is a 10-day international immersion trip for graduating GIE students. It allows students to experience innovation first-hand abroad when meeting local businesses, entrepreneurs, and executives.

In a hands-on approach, students appraise models of innovation and entrepreneurship in a global setting. Students are introduced to international businesses from various contexts to experience innovation processes. Through case studies, students analyze how innovation and entrepreneurship evolve from a systemic approach of reinvention and participate in activities to develop creative intelligence. Topics include global business climate assessment, evaluation of global risk-taking models and opportunities, implications of cross-cultural differences for global strategy formulation, and balancing business viability with market desirability and technical feasibility in the global marketplace.

The Lepage 3-Day Startup provides a venue for an intense business idea generation process, by building entrepreneurial teams of Dominican students and alumni who hone their entrepreneurship idea for a business or social enterprise over an intensive and fun weekend. 3-Day Startup is guided by successful entrepreneurs. The program is offered in partnership with the Small Business Development Center and the U.S. Commercial Service. 

Executive Education for Businesses and Organizations

The Lepage Center Executive programming engages businesses and organizations in entrepreneurial training and education through the following opportunities:

Operating a small family business can be isolating at times. Issues of cash flow, investment decisions, governance, work-life balance, and relationship dynamics can weigh heavily on business owners. Knowing how and when to plan for retirement and succession can also be challenging. Resources are often limited and time is always a precious commodity. While online resources can be helpful, nothing replaces the value and benefits of meeting face to face with local business leaders and colleagues facing similar issues.

Marin Sonoma Impact Ventures

Marin Sonoma Impact Ventures' mission is to reshape the North Bay startup ecosystem to strengthen the quality of life of the community.

North Bay Leadership Council

North Bay Leadership Council is an employer-led public policy advocacy organization committed to providing leadership in ways to make the North Bay sustainable, prosperous and innovative. As business and civic leaders, their goal is to ensure economic health by promoting better education, infrastructure, and governance to make the region a better place to live and work.

San Rafael Chamber of Commerce

The San Rafael Chamber of Commerce is a member-based business advocacy organization providing a strong voice in support of the economic vitality of our community.

Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Dominican University of California

The Small Business Development Center provides free one-on-one advising from industry experts in finance and marketing, informative workshops, and funding assistance. Through its partnership with BSB, SBDC strengthens the local business community.

U.S. Commercial Service and Department of Commerce at Dominican University of California

The U.S. Commercial Services and Department of Commerce works in partnership with the Barowsky School of Business’ Lepage Center hosting a yearly networking event, Access Asia, where local businesses connect with Commercial Officers and coordinate exporting of their goods or services. Housed on campus, the partnership builds a bridge between private and government sectors.

In partnership with Dominican’s Institute for Leadership Studies, the Emerging Entrepreneurs and Leaders Development Certificate Program is a comprehensive leadership program preparing and empowering entrepreneurs in providing effective leadership through goal setting, consensus building conflict resolution, and project implementation.