MBA in Creative Enterprise + Uptima Business Accelerator
Accelerate Your Impact!
In January 2015, Meridian University and Uptima Business Bootcamp launched a joint program. This cutting-edge offering in business education combines a unique MBA designed to develop the 21st century competencies required for Creative Enterprise in the emerging economy plus a member‐owned business accelerator providing entrepreneurs with access to hands‐on education, resources, and community to launch, fund and scale businesses.
The purpose of this joint program is to prepare students to not only imagine and grow a successful enterprise while achieving their MBA but also to participate in the collective reshaping of our economy, organizations and ourselves as 21st century entrepreneurs.
The Meridian MBA curriculum emphasizes Transformative Innovation, Generative Entrepreneurship and Regenerating the Commons. Meridian views the essentials of business competency as requiring imagination, courage, compassion, clarity, and conscience plus mastery of core business functions. Students learn how to be catalysts for transformative innovation within a wide spectrum of sustainable business.
Uptima has developed a Small Business & Enterprise business accelerator program that includes three quarterly modules designed to encourage entrepreneurs to think holistically about decisions they make in launching, funding, and scaling businesses. Uptima is very different from other business accelerators - as a cooperative, the entrepreneurs in the program are member-owners. This means they are part of a real community that shares in profits and has a say in how the program is run.
Our students are entrepreneurs and professional practitioners who not only want to grow a business but yearn to understand and engage in the collective reshaping of our economic landscape. Some students may have other domains of expertise and are new to business. They arrive in our program with a scalable business idea or business seeking to achieve positive community impact in the technology, health, energy, education, food, consumer, advanced manufacturing, finance and other services sectors. These conscious entrepreneurs know the businesses will only thrive in this emerging economy to the degree they themselves thrive as transformative innovators in business leadership.
Learning Formats, Schedule and Location
The program is two years long and year-round (8 sequential quarters). The MBA + Uptima Business Accelerator includes a) completion of 60 units of coursework at Meridian University to achieve the MBA and b) successful completion of a minimum of 2 modules in the Uptima Business Accelerator.
Meridian accepts applications year round. MBA students enroll in the Business Accelerator program to begin classes in the Summer quarter of their first year or Fall quarter of their second year, depending on which Uptima module they are beginning with.
Meridian’s MBA uses a number of learning frameworks to support your education. We use weeklong face-to-face seminars twice a year, online courses, regular activities at Impact HUB Oakland, internships, and teleseminars. Together these frameworks provide a very rich learning context that supports personal transformation, deep relationships, and professional skills. Uptima Business Accelerator courses are weekly in-person workshops led by experts in each topic, all held at Impact HUB Oakland, with additional online resources and activities related to the weekly workshop content. All Uptima content and activities are focused on developing the business.
Impact HUB Oakland, the campus for our joint program, is equal parts inspiring shared working space, entrepreneurial incubator and a membership-based community of socially engaged people, co-working and co-learning. Oakland, California is recognized as one of the coolest and most diverse cities in the U.S., a place where purpose-driven people are pioneering solutions. Opened in February 2014, Impact HUB has quickly grown membership and recognition as a center for activity focused on imagining and co-creating a sustainable and equitable world. What better place for our students to discover the inspiration, connections and cross-fertilization in which to root their enterprises?
Faculty and Mentors
Our MBA faculty and accelerator mentors have the integral worldview, organizational and academic experience, and current engagement in innovative initiatives, to inspire and guide you as an entrepreneur in the emerging economy.
- Earn an MBA while Growing Your Own Business!
- Mentorship: MBA faculty and Uptima accelerator mentors with the integral worldview, organizational and academic experience, and current engagement in innovative initiatives, will inspire and guide you as an entrepreneur in the emerging economy.
- Experiential Learning Approach: Participate in a highly interactive transformative learning environment that fosters imagination, collective intelligence, deep collaboration skills and communication capacities, as well as provides an environment for reflection on your ability to lead from intuition and heart, as well as from information. Benefit from hands-on learning as you develop the business in the accelerator.
- Learning Integration: using the same business modeling methodology in the MBA and accelerator workshops, you’ll gain practical mastery of these principles, concepts and methods for ongoing business management. Through accelerator coursework, build the foundation content for your MBA Creative Action Practicum (capstone project).
- Flexible Format: Designed with working professionals in mind, combines evening and weekend class sessions with online learning, as well as two week-long MBA sessions per year.
- Affordable Education: Gain a rich combination of academic learning, credential, and practical application in developing an enterprise, at a reasonable cost.
- Co-working: while in the Uptima modules, you will have 10 hours weekly of co-working time at Impact HUB Oakland.
- Power of Community: enjoy the sustained experience of a community and network that wants you to be fully resourced and succeed.
Students enroll in both Meridian University and Uptima Business Accelerator and make financial arrangements with each institution.
Meridian provides Financial Aid in loans, merit scholarships and diversity grants based on financial need. Financial aid requests are submitted as part of the application process.
Membership fees for Uptima Business Accelerator consist of: a) a monthly cash fee for the period of enrollment in Uptima’s programs and b) a contribution of a one-time equity stake in the business. Membership fees are determined using a sliding scale based in the annual revenue of the business at the time of enrollment.
Uptima Business Accelerator Membership Fees
|Annual Revenue||Monthly Cash Fee||One-time Equity Stake|
|Less than $100,000||$200 / month||5.0% equity stake|
|$100,000 - $500,000||$350 / month||3.5% equity stake|
|Greater than $500,000||$500 / month||2.0% equity stake|
Uptima provides payment plan options to finance the monthly cash fees.
Applying to the Program
Submit applications to both Meridian University and Uptima Business Accelerator. Students are enrolled in both institutions in order to participate in the joint program called MBA in Creative Enterprise + Uptima Business Accelerator.
Information Sessions for Prospective Students
If you're interested in an introduction to the MBA at Meridian University, we invite you to participate in an information session where you'll have the opportunity to:
- Meet with Meridian faculty and staff.
- Speak with Admissions staff regarding the application process.
- Schedule individual information meetings for a later date with faculty and admissions staff.
Information includes how Meridian's MBA Program supports our students to be progressive business leaders who practice creative enterprise in a way that deeply honors human relationship and celebrates our role in being stewards of the global commons. Prospective students will have the opportunity to meet with Meridian faculty and staff.
Information session attendance is free of charge, but registration is required.