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Entrepreneurship & Innovation

MIT was founded with the aim of providing students with an education that combines rigorous academic study with practical, hands-on learning. This emphasis on practice is infused into the Institute’s entrepreneurship curriculum and programming. MIT currently offers more than 75 entrepreneurship courses, as well as not-for-credit boot camps during the Independent Activities Period and the MIT delta v accelerator program in the summer.

MIT’s new space for innovation and entrepreneurship, InnovationHQ (iHQ), opened in 2020. Offering over 40,000 ft2 of enhanced workspaces for students, along with offices for key program staff and researchers, conference rooms, training spaces, and meeting rooms, iHQ encourages the cross-pollination of ideas among MIT students, faculty, and staff, and the broader innovation community of Kendall Square.

There are more than 125 resources dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship and innovation at MIT.

  • The MIT Innovation Initiative develops and strengthens the entrepreneurial community throughout the Institute by helping to steward the innovation process from idea to impact. It provides an infrastructure that inspires, supports, and connects MIT’s most innovative people, programs, and partnerships.

  • The MIT Sandbox Innovation Fund Program provides seed funding for student-initiated entrepreneurial ideas, mentoring from within MIT and a broad network of committed partners, and tailored educational experiences.

  • The Bernard M. Gordon–MIT Engineering Leadership Program provides a blend of education and practice opportunities to MIT engineering students, and develops their leadership capabilities and character, so that they can effectively contribute to real-world engineering projects.

  • The Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation empowers some of MIT’s most talented researchers to develop innovative technologies in the lab and bring them to market in the form of breakthrough products and new companies, with the goal of making a difference in the world.

  • MITdesignX empowers students, faculty, and researchers to build new business ventures and forward-thinking solutions to address critical challenges facing the future of cities and the human environment.

  • The Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship offers programs that support students at every stage of the entrepreneurial journey, from discovering their path to exploring specific market opportunities to executing a plan that transforms opportunity into an innovative venture.

  • The Lemelson-MIT Program promotes invention and the early stages of entrepreneurship across the United States through its prize program for collegiate inventors and its invention education initiatives.

  • The Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship advances knowledge and educates students in innovation-driven entrepreneurship in a manner that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century.

  • MIT D-Lab works with people around the world to develop and advance collaborative approaches and practical solutions to global poverty challenges.

  • MIT IDEAS Global Challenge taps and expands MIT students’ unique skills and interests to prepare them to explore and address complex social and environmental challenges.

  • The MIT Startup Exchange actively promotes collaboration and partnerships between MIT-connected startups and industry, principally members of MIT’s Industrial Liaison Program.

  • The Venture Mentoring Service connects entrepreneurs with teams of carefully selected mentors and other services to help turn their ideas into for-profit or non-profit ventures.

  • The Technology Licensing Office cultivates an inclusive environment of scientific and entrepreneurial excellence and bridges connections from MIT’s research community to industry and startups by strategically evaluating, protecting, and licensing technology.

MIT also has a wealth of student clubs and initiatives involved in entrepreneurship or innovation, among them the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition, the MIT Clean Energy Prize, and conferences such as Hacking Arts and Hacking Medicine.

MIT’s educational efforts in entrepreneurship and innovation have an impressive impact at local, regional, and global levels. As of 2014, there were 30,000 active companies founded by MIT alumni, 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% of MIT founders are serial entrepreneurs, starting multiple companies. Twenty-three percent of MIT alumni’s new firms are founded outside the United States.