So landed another proverbial feather in the cap of UCSB’s Technology Management Program (TMP). The Birdeez group — at the time still students — won TMP’s New Venture Competition mere months earlier, earning acclaim and cash to go with their potentially viable business. Future TMP-bred winners of the popular campus start-up contest may walk away with another prize still: a master’s degree.

After a years-long push, the 1998-launched TMP has been granted academic-unit status, and will begin offering graduate degrees as soon as 2014. The one-year master’s track — UCSB’s first such professional program — is described as “akin to an MBA for engineers.”

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