Black Belt Certification

Instructor-Led  Online coHort


Next cohort start date:  Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Get the Skills to Lead Your Organization

into a New Innovative Future

This course and certification gives you expertise in 3 areas to lead innovation across an enterprise:


Become an expert innovator.

Ideas for anything from new products/services to businesses, brands, offerings and new markets.

Become an expert at innovation systems.

Have the means and methods to radically accelerate development of novel, disruptive innovations.

Become a persuasive strategic leader.

Create a complete concept, business model and persuasive justification for your innovations


This course isn’t theoretical.  Every step of the way you’ll apply the skills you’re learning to your organization in real-time.  It not only increases the value you and your organization get, but it also provides active coaching and support as you go.  Through the course you will execute:


A Formal or Informal Ideation Session

A Complete System Map and System Improvements


Multiple Rounds of Concept Testing

A System for Estimating the Value of Ideas


A Trademark or Patent Evaluation

A Customized Innovation Development System

A Structure and Definition of Your Organization’s Innovation Strategy

Innovation Training for Your Organization

What You’ll learn.

At the Mastery Course, you’ll learn the skills that make up the Innovation Engineering “Body of Knowledge” – the complete academic peer-reviewed curriculum taught in Innovation Engineering undergraduate and graduate school programs across the world. In the Mastery Course, the instruction has been condensed for corporate education so that anyone can participate.


Topics covered include:

  • Innovation Fundamentals
  • Systems Thinking
  • Driving Strategic Alignment
  • Building the Innovation Mindset
  • Collaboration and Ideation
  • Innovation Pipeline and Development Systems
  • Rapid Research & Data-Driven Decision Making
  • Forecasting Innovation ROI
  • Personal Leadership Development


Unlike other courses, this training was built from the ground up to take advantage of the benefits provided by an online cohort instead of simply moving an in-person course to a digital format.  

In fact, in this course you get the best of both worlds –  you will be able to take advantage of the immediacy of an online course while still having the support and collaboration of an in-person course.



  • If you have not taken the Innovation Engineering Fundamentals course, you will complete about 1/2 day of lessons with videos and quizzes that cover the Fundamentals before the first meetup. If you have taken fundamentals there is a 60 minute refresher.
  • Before each weekly meetup, you’ll complete about 60 minutes of video lessons. Each video covers a skill within the topic area that you will experience during your next meetup. The videos provide a foundation of understanding, and a very easy way to revisit key concepts when you are working on applying Innovation Engineering with teams in your organization.



Every week you’ll meet with your instructor(s) and a group of peers for 2.5 hours. We’ll use this time to…

  • Leverage the diversity of the group during hands-on activities where you see, feel, and experience the skills you learned through the Video Lessons. It’s through this first-person experience that you’ll gain confidence in the tools and techniques to take what you learn and apply it to your organization.
  • Plan for your Practical Application, where you’ll apply the topic area of the week to your organization. Create an outline that will provide guidance for your implementation.    
  • Discuss previous or ongoing Practical Applications so we can share useful learnings and experiences, plus ask questions amongst peers and instructors offering real-time support and problem-solving. 



  • Experience real time ROI when you apply what you are learning in class to your work. Guided by your instructors, you will be driving your strategic missions forward leading to tangible results.
  • During the time between meetups you will be applying what you learn, to do things such as: investigating IP protection for ideas, developing systems for estimating the internal or external value of ideas, building or enhancing your idea development system, and more.
The Eureka! Ranch team that teaches the course has been named among America’s top innovators by CNN, CBC, Inc Magazine and others. The average American home uses over 18 products or services that the Eureka! Ranch has helped invent or reinvent

Why THIS COURSE IS different

Unlike other business courses that are based on a few personal experiences or third-person research – this course is grounded in front-lines innovation work and hard data from the world’s largest database (25,000+) on what drives success and failure. The data is so reliable that the curriculum, called Innovation Engineering, is recognized as a new field of academic study with undergraduate and graduate degrees offered at colleges and universities.

World leaders in business and innovation who’ve used these methods include: Walt Disney, Nike, Pepsi-Cola, American Express, Procter & Gamble, US Department of Commerce and thousands of others.

It Includes the fundamental elements of popular innovation techniques like empathy and journey mapping, Lateral Thinking, PDSA, Lean, Six Sigma and many more.  But perhaps the most powerful thing it does is put everything together into a cohesive system.

This course is brought to you by the Innovation Engineering Institute – a partnership between the Eureka! Ranch and the University of Maine.


It’s a true mastery program –

5 college worth courses of content

plus 12 months of application to your work

with the guidance of an experienced IE Black Belt.

What Others are Saying About This Course
At the end of the course, each person submits a final reflection – a mindful review of the experience and what they really took away.  Here are but a handful of the most recent. 
I cannot succinctly describe what IE has done for me this year, but in a nutshell…

it has fast-tracked me to having high visibility with our board,

it has offered me perspective I may have paid thousands of dollars to a counselor to receive,

it has helped me find a meaningfully unique way to delight our customers,

and it has given me firsthand a swift kick in the pants that reignited my passion for life, exploration, and embracing the unknown to learn from it, not to be scared of it.

It has reminded me of who I am.

Working towards mastery of IE through attaining the Innovation Blackbelt Certification has been quite a journey, and it has fundamentally changed how I approach solving problems and the interactions I have with people along the way.

When I encounter day-to-day problems in my professional or personal life, I tend to think immediately of what IE exercises or sessions I could do to solve them.

Ultimately, I’ve come to realize that I could apply the principles of IE in any facet of my life, perhaps by habit, and believe that to be true to the core spirit.

This training process has changed my life, anyone that knows me I am not a people person, when I told them that I was teaching this IE course at work they can not believe it. I am also surprised myself.

Many of the IE mythologies have become deeply ingrained into my subconscious brain. I look at things/ideas differently now and use the IE tools with out thought.

Before this process I would typically want to be 100% sure of a project before digging into in, I did not want to fail. Now using the fail fast fail cheap or plan do study act mythology gives me confidence to try new things in uncharted territory and even if it fails you have not failed. Rather learn from your mistakes and move on to the next learning cycle.

I believe the skills I have been exposed to through the IE black-belt certification are live skills that I can use thought my future, in industry and my personal dealings.

I feel the need to start my reflection with the caveat that I do not “drink the Kool Aid”. I have been on the receiving end of statements like, “you are one of the most critical people I have worked with” and “why do you always have to play devil’s advocate!?”. In the Myers Briggs world, I am a “bristly” INTJ. My spirit animal is a cactus. If unfamiliar, an INTJ someone who enjoys living in their head space, has a natural feel for strategy, a logical approach to creativity, is infamous for having a hard time expressing himself succinctly and with clarity, and generally rubs people the wrong way without meaning to. For these reasons, INTJ’s aren’t usually the most popular person at the party.

I preface my reflection with the above for the reason that I don’t want this to come off as insincere. I don’t drink the Kool aid. I quietly criticize people who drink the Kool aid and mentally break down why they shouldn’t be so happy about their newfound shiny object. However, I have not been able to stop talking about Innovation Engineering and my time at Eureka Ranch since returning. I regularly have found ways to utilize one of its tools, help out a colleague struggling with an issue by helping frame their problem in terms of the bigger system so that they could approach it differently, and at least weekly, I remind my senior leadership of the phrase “fail fast, fail cheap”. One might say I drank the Kool Aid…however I see a set of tools that came to our organization with the most perfect timing in our history.

My time at the Eureka Ranch was better than good. I haven’t had a day pass where I didn’t think about it. It was exhausting, inspiring, challenging, and full of fresh perspective. The phrase “taking a sip of water from a fire hydrant” was relevant, but it was like every gulp was so refreshing that I didn’t want to stop. There are 3 VP’s and a CEO in my company with a combined experience of well over 100 years. While they recognize the need for change, implementing it is challenging – I’ve noticed it’s like most don’t know where to start, and we find ourselves doing things like brain dumps and making lists of projects that might be a good idea, with no sense of meaningfully uniqueness, death threats, or how to collect feedback and feed the idea through PDSA cycles.”

I have so much more to learn, but my main takeaway is this: from the CEO to the night shift staff, people are thirsty to learn the techniques and systems of Innovation Engineering. After doing a 3 minute mind mapping activity with my VP in a 1 on 1 setting, she was giggling with delight at how creative she felt, and couldn’t wait to have me show the rest of the team. I showed her how that translates into clearly communicating ideas on a yellow card, and then running these ideas through the gauntlet of PDSA. We saw that there was an idea we killed after a year of work and well over $250k in expenses, that we would have killed MUCH sooner had we had a more organized process and a better grasp of estimating first year sales combined with the need for quick revision of our inherent assumptions through cycles PDSA.

We are building a new culture together, and the entire organization is incredibly receptive.


The cost for the course and certification is $12,000 USD.

Helpful Assets

In many cases, Black Belt candidates must convince others – managers, leadership, colleagues – that the investment of time, energy and money is worth it.  These 3 assets may help you tell the story of the value and what you’ll get from the course and certification.


Letter to your Manager

Need to convince your manager or leadership to invest in you and this program.  Use this letter to help make the case.



Need to convince your manager or leadership to invest in you and this program.  Use this letter to help make the case.

3 – VIDEO :

10 Reasons why you’ll get 10x ROI (10 min)


Check out the Q&A below to get the answers to your top of mind questions.

Who is this course for?

This course is great for:

  • existing leaders
  • developing leaders
  • anyone with innovation in their title or responsibility set
  • entrepreneurs
  • intrapreneurs
  • current and aspiring innovators

How long will this course take to complete?

Your coursework and certification work is broken out into the following activities.

Prework BEFORE each Virtual Meetup: To prepare for the interactive group meeting, you’ll be asked to watch Video Lessons related to the month’s focus area. Time to view these lessons ranges from 30 minutes to 90 minutes.

Virtual Monthly Meetups:  We’ll meet once per month with your cohort for 90-120 Minutes.

Coursework:Â Practice a new set of skills each month related to the month’s theme. Plan on spending 2-4 hours on these mini homework assignments for which you will get one on one feedback from your instructor. 

Certification Project Work:  Time on task for your certification work is variable. Depending on the size and scope of the project you choose. You’ll have a coach to help you choose and guide your work throughout the entire 9 month experience. The good news is – the certification work is about you applying your new skills to your EXISTING WORK.  So it’s not a new “to-do” list for you.  Instead it’s a more inventive way to get done what you need to get done anyway.




If I decided to take just the course and later want to get certified can I?

In this course, there is no option for taking the course without the certification.  While we’re all about flexibility, some of the work of the course impacts certification.

What topics will I work on in the application assignments?

You can work on anything that’s meaningful to you. Some topics that have been tackled by previous students are: new innovation systems for their team or company, a plan and execution of an upgrade to culture, a complete new pipeline of products for the next 3 years, a new department, process and flow for innovation, taking a business into a new market.

What are the dates and times for the next cohort?

  • Start Date: January 18th, 2022
  • End Date: April 26th, 2022
  • Meetups: 8 Required Bi-Weekly Digital Meetings
  • Times: 12:30 pm – 5:00 pm (ET) 

If you are unable to attend 2 or more of the meetups we suggest you enroll in the asynchronous course.

What are Real-World Challenges tackled by previous Innovation Engineering Black Belts through their certification:

  • Improving an existing Stage-and-Gate Development System to include a more robust front-end
  • Inventing and Delivering a patented new “leap” innovation
  • Creating a new Growth Category for the Organization (that accounts for 21% of our domestic revenue just 6 months after launch)
  • Creating an “Internal Innovation Coaching Agency” inside a large non-profit
  • Reinventing strategic planning to increase alignment, buy-in and actionabilty
  • Improving an existing Stage-and-Gate Development System to include a more robust front-end
  • Inventing and Delivering a patented new “leap” innovation
  • Creating a new Growth Category for the Organization (that accounts for 21% of our domestic revenue just 6 months after launch)
  • Creating an “Internal Innovation Coaching Agency” inside a large non-profit
  • Reinventing strategic planning to increase alignment, buy-in and actionabilty


Enrollment is now open.
Use the button below to start the enrollment process.