06 October 2008
Developmental Entrepreneurship @ MIT ~ Update!
I'm pleased to have founded the formal Developmental Entrepreneurship (DE) activities at MIT back in 2001 together with MIT Professor Sandy Pentland. And, of course, I have been involved in Entrepreneurship @ MIT since the late 1980s -- entering in and ultimately serving as Lead Organizer of the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition, conceiving of and running the MIT Founders Project, and even naming (and building the first website for) the MIT Entrepreneurship Center. Continuing in that vein, I helped start the Metcalfe Salons, the Tech Breakfast Series, the Venturefests, the IAP JazzLinks, multiple classes, including the first credit-bearing offerings over IAP including the Nuts & Bolts of Business Plans, and much more. The center of my efforts in International Development and Entrepreneurship at MIT has been a combination of starting and running our MIT Development Ventures classes, supporting and engaging with over a dozen DE alum ventures, co-founding the MIT International Development Network (IDN) which just ran the latest MIT-wide International Development Fair, serving as Board Member on the MIT Enterprise Forum Global organization (as well as here in Cambridge), collaborating with the ever-growing International Development Initiative (IDI) at MIT, co-creating the Development Track by expanding the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition, and starting-running the DE-IDRC Seed Grant program. As ardent readers of Maximizing Progress know, this Developmental Entrepreneurship theme is something I've commented on frequently. A lot is happening, including tonight we hosted AfricaNight at the MIT Muddy Charles Pub in partnership with the MIT Sloan African Business Club, a newly founded club I'm honored to help by serving as an Advisor. And it's good to see MIT's Energy Initiative hosting a real developmental entrepreneur, SELCO founder Harish Hande, this Tues October 7th 4:15p-5:45p in 66-110 to speak about providing Energy Services for the Poor. This is an area where actual practice counts most -- which is usually not something people win Nobel Prizes for, alas, certainly not in Economics! And it's also a domain where one must look at who really did the work, since there are, unfortunately, at least one too many "famous" people who are most well known for "founding" companies which became successful after they left and whose legacy is neither legitimate nor worth emulating!