Entrepreneurship and Innovation
MIT’s preeminence in entrepreneurship is rooted in its founding. As one of the first land-grant colleges, the Institute was designed to deliver a practical education rather than to focus on the classical education that was provided by many private universities of that era that were founded to train clergy. Its emphasis on mens et manus, mind and hand, is infused into the entrepreneurship curriculum and programming, which emphasizes learning by doing. Over the course of the 2014–2015 academic year, 60 entrepreneurship courses were offered, as well as not-for-credit boot camps over the Independent Activities Period and the summer MIT Global Founders’ Skills Accelerator program, showing that entrepreneurship is a year-round endeavor at MIT.
MIT’s educational efforts in entrepreneurship and innovation have an impressive impact at local, regional, and global levels. A 2015 report suggested that 30,000 companies founded by MIT alumni were active as of 2014, employing 4.6 million people and producing annual revenues of $1.9 trillion, equivalent to the world’s 10th largest economy. MIT alumni form hundreds of new companies each year, and approximately 40 percent of MIT founders are serial entrepreneurs, starting multiple companies. Twenty-three percent of MIT alumni’s new firms are founded outside the United States.
Several MIT departments, labs, and centers foster entrepreneurship at MIT:
- Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship
- MIT Innovation Initiative
- Technology Licensing Office
- Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation
- Venture Mentoring Service
- Bernard M. Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program
- Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship
- Lemelson-MIT Program
- MIT Enterprise Forum
MIT also has over 20 student clubs and initiatives involved in entrepreneurship or innovation, including the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition and the MIT Clean Energy Prize business plan contests.