Singapore's premier engineering institution, MIT students, and MIT Sloan Professor Scott Stern to explore what industries hold the most opportunity and how best to find your audience in SE Asian markets. Register and find out more at: http://mit-ntu.eventbrite.com/
IDEAS Global Challenge Second Generator Dinner Thu, 02/21/2013 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm, W20-208 (Lobdell Dining Room) Working on a project to help underserved communities? Need funding? Want to recruit new members for your IDEAS Global Challenge team? Want to get involved, but don't yet have an idea? Come learn about the MIT IDEAS Global Challenge and hear what other teams are working on. With the final chance to submit a Scope Statement one week away (2/27), here's your chance to share your idea, meet teammates, and form a team. Find more info and RSVP at http://globalchallenge.mit.edu/events/view/274
MIT Sloan BioInnovations Conference: "Overcoming Today's Challenges and Driving Future Innovation" Fri, 02/22/2013 - 7:45am, Boston Marriott, Cambridge, 2 Cambridge Center MIT Sloan BioInnovations 2013 brings together industry, academic and policy leaders to discuss the most pressing issues and exciting innovations in the healthcare sector. We will examine topics with great opportunity and impact, including innovation in therapeutic design and delivery, innovation in healthcare IT, opportunities and challenges facing start-ups and the impact of pricing and reimbursement on innovation. Find out more athttp://web.mit.edu/sloanhcc/bioinnovations/2013/index.html
MIT Sloan Tech Conference: "Democratizing Innovation" Sat, 02/23/2013 - 8:00am - 5:30pm, E14 (MIT Media Lab) The MIT Sloan Technology Conference is the flagship annual technology event of the MIT Sloan School of Management. Last year's conference on Business Innovations in Technology was a huge success with over 300 attendees and 17 technology industry experts as speakers and panelists. The theme of the MIT Sloan Technology Conference 2013, Democratizing Innovation, is about you, the tech users. Find a full list of panels, speakers, and events at http://conference.mitsloantech.com
Digital Media Circle Event: Can the Networks Deliver? Tue, 02/26/2013 - 6:30pm - 8:30pm, E51-335 Join the MIT Enterprise Forum for a discussion of networks and how they must change to meet next generation applications. Find information about the speakers and register for the event at http://www.mitforumcambridge.org
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 African Solutions Business Plan Competition 2013 Deadline Do you have an idea that is original and scalable and that solves an important problem for the continent's inhabitants and stakeholders? We want to hear it! Learn how to apply at: http://bit.ly/V4FFdI
Wed, February 27, 2013 IDEAS Global Challenge - Last Chance to Enter! Working on a new way to deliver social impact? If you're working on an innovative technology, systems or behaviors change, get started! Details online at http://globalchallenge.mit.edu/competition/how-to-enter. Wondering whether your idea fits? Just ask: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, February 28, 2013 Clean Energy Prize Application The MIT Clean Energy Prize works to develop a new generation of energy entrepreneurs and great new companies. The organizers stimulate productive relationships between academic, community, industry, and government organizations with strong interests in meeting the world's energy challenges through innovation and entrepreneurship. Learn more about the competition and how to apply at: http://cep.mit.edu/submit-entry/
p idea, and your team could be awarded up to $20k! The Founders' Skills Accelerator pilot is designed as a hands-on summer active learning experience for MIT students (including 2012 graduates).
The accelerator, a joint project of all five MIT schools, offers:
Up to $20k awards per team (no equity stake) upon completion of pre-determined, customized milestones
Monthly monetary fellowship for qualified students
Dedicated desk space at MIT
Mentoring and all the Institute's resources (including the SkTech MIT Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative, Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation, MIT Venture Mentoring Service, MIT Technology Licensing Office, Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program, MIT Media Lab Entrepreneurship Program, SUTD-MIT International Design Centre, and more!)
The desk space runs from June 4 through August 31. Teams also participate in a Demo Day to be held in conjunction with the t=0 Festival in mid-September.
The application period has now concluded. Please note that due to overwhelming interest, we will not be able to consider late applications.
Q: What kinds of teams are you looking for?
A: You are at an early stage. You might have entered the $100K, worked on your project in a class, or simply are working on the side with fellow students. You don't have funding (not much, anyway), but you have made enough progress that this summer will be an excellent learning and growth opportunity. Quite possible, you have even achieved some traction so that you will start the summer with momentum.
Q: How does the funding work?
A: The selected teams will be eligible to earn up to $20,000 in awards after completing pre-determined milestones (agreed on by the team and its advisory committee) over the course of the accelerator. Eligible team members will also receive a monthly fellowship of $1,000 for the months of June, July and August. There is no equity requirement, since we are focused primarily on building your ability to be a successful entrepreneur.
Q: How do the milestones work?
A: Each team will be working to fulfill milestones in four categories: Customers, Product, Team, and Financial. Teams will have between two and five milestones in each category. Teams will propose milestones in the application process, and each team will be paired with its own committee for oversight (similar to a board of directors) who will work with the team to refine the milestones, and to hold the team accountable as the summer progresses. Milestones will be designed to be rigorous yet achievable in the 3.5-month period leading up to the Demo Day.
Q: What if I don't know what to put for my team's milestones?
A: We're looking for you to take a first stab at defining milestones so we get a better sense of where your team is, and where you think your team is. If you are selected, an advisory committee custom-tailored to your team's needs will help you refine the milestones. For some generic examples of milestones, see below
Q: Who is eligible to receive a fellowship?
A: Team members who are full-time MIT students as of June 8, 2012, or who graduated from an MIT degree program in 2012 (as of June 8), are eligible to receive the $1,000/month fellowship. Please note that team members who are not founder-level for the project may not be eligible to receive a fellowship.
Q: Where is the desk space? What other space amenities are there?
A: Each team will have dedicated desk space in the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship in E40-160. The center also has shared conference spaces with IdeaPaint whiteboard walls, a videoconference system capable of connecting with Skype, Google Talk and IP-based room systems), teleconference capability (free calls, including international), and lots of coffee, tea, and Ramen noodles.
Q: What if I need fabrication space for my idea -- will dry and wet labs be made available?
A: Yes. We love these kinds of projects and want to encourage them. Facilities on campus will be made available to the teams within the standard safety procedures of MIT.
Q: How many people can be on my team?
A: Teams cannot exceed five members, and we will ask you how each team member contributes to the project. Remember that we are primarily focused on building your entrepreneurship skills, so we will favor teams where most or all teammates consider themselves founder-level for the project.
Q: Can I have non-MIT student team members?
A: The pilot is focused on MIT students and is not open to the general public. As such, at least one team member must be a full-time student as of June 8, 2012, or have graduated from an MIT degree program in 2012 (as of June 8). Note this is a minimum requirement, as we are looking for significant involvement from the MIT student/2012 grad team members. Teams whose membership represents multiple MIT schools or disciplines will be at an advantage.
Q: What is required of my team once I am in the accelerator?
A: The main requirement is to make adequate monthly progress toward fulfilling your milestones. Teams will meet on at least a monthly basis with an advisory committee tailored to the team's needs, and will submit a progress report in advance of each meeting. We will also hold a luncheon series that teams are required to attend. Finally, at least one MIT student/2012 grad team member will be required to work full-time at the provided desk space for the duration of the summer.
Q: Who judges the applications and selects the participants?
A: Applicants will be evaluated by a committee made up of MIT and external people. The committee has full discretion to determine the number of teams to interview and to choose the number of teams that will participate in the accelerator. The committee will look to select a set of teams that represent a wide array of industries and MIT courses.
Q: Who is running the accelerator?
A: The accelerator is a joint project across all five of MIT's schools. Numerous campus entities are providing the resources to make this pilot successful; they include the SkTech MIT Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative, Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation, MIT Venture Mentoring Service, MIT Technology Licensing Office, Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program, MIT Media Lab Entrepreneurship Program, SUTD-MIT International Design Centre, to name just a few.
If your question is not answered here, please email email@example.com.
Return to top
As part of the application process, we will ask you to sketch out some milestones -- some accomplishments you think you can achieve in the 3.5-month accelerator period. We will later work to refine them with you, as they will determine how much of the $20,000 award you receive.
The suggestions below are meant to stimulate ideas for examples of milestones in our four categories, Customers, Product, Team and Financial. You do not need to (and should not) include all of the below suggestions in your application, and you can propose milestones not listed here.
Examples of some generic milestones are below, followed by a few sample project milestones. Note that the sample projects' milestones are more specific, have 2-5 milestones in each category, and closely fit the team and project.
Potentially relevant Customers generic milestones may include: Clear definition of target customer, persona, identification and validation of a significant need/opportunity, primary and secondary research to test, validate and refine assumptions, , concrete first customer list, TAM (Total Addressable Market) calculations for initial and overall markets, proof of customer traction, mapping of the customer decision making unit and/or decision making process, etc.
Potentially relevant Product generic milestones may include: Product definition: clear linkage to target customer, quantified value proposition, identification of key assumptions to be tested, tests designed to timely and efficiently validate/invalidate key assumptions, a well documented and validated use case, validation data on key assumptions, Minimum Viable Product, marketing requirements document, product plan to achieve differentiation. Technology base: functional specifications, product development plan, definition of sustainable competitive advantage, building the sustainable competitive advantage, building the product, clarity on resources required to develop product, etc.
Potentially relevant Team generic milestones may include: Clear identification of a balanced core team, clarification of each person’s strengths and weaknesses, definition of each person’s role, proof of alignment among team members, building an appropriate and mutually acceptable equity plan, incentive plan, identification of additional people resources needed and when, recruitment of additional team members or board members, etc.
Potentially relevant Financial generic milestones may include: An analysis of business models to monetize for the project, selection and testing of business model, building the company’s financials – especially cash flow, required investment (if needed), calculation of COCA (Cost of Customer Acquisition) and LTV (Life Time Value of a customer), development of a plan to obtain the needed resources after an evaluation of the options (including customers, equity, debt, government), sensitivity analysis of financials. If outside funding is important – development of a pitch deck, development of a fundraising plan, execution of a thoughtful fundraising plan, commitments for funding, etc.
Return to top
Hypothetical Examples of Milestone Selection
Here are some sample milestones for a few different types of projects. Please note that they are based on a longer timeline than 3.5 months -- we prefer that you aim to be ambitious in the application. Your milestones should be customized for your project, so do not let these examples constrain your thinking, and remember, we will help you refine the milestones prior to the beginning of the program.
Website or App Project
Clear definition of target customer profile & problem/opportunity being addressed in their words, detailed persona, well-documented use case, initial market TAM (total addressable market) -- all validated through extensive primary direct customer research.
50k unique visitors to site with measurement of user engagement, click-through rates and repeat visitors as compared to the industry.
Detailed web site definition in Balsamiq for the complete use case leading to clear definition of MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and assumptions it is designed to prove.
Identifying and building of alpha version of site.
Based on the analytic feedback from alpha, building of beta version.
Definition of the product’s “core” and how the company will leverage and grow this to create sustainable competitive advantage.
Clear definition of team members’ strengths and weaknesses along with role(s) on the team.
Finalizing the founders’ stock/equity splits and vesting schedules.
Identification of gaps on the team and development of plan to fill those gaps, then executing this plan.
Progress of founders to build skills in key capabilities with regard to their role(s).
Build out a credible and committed Board of Advisors.
Decision on business model after testing (a) advertising, (b) freemium/subscription, (c) affiliate, (d) other?.
Financials for three years (cash flow) including sensitivity analysis to determine (a) breakeven analysis, (b) key assumptions, (c) investment needed to get to cash-flow positive.
Develop a high quality short and long pitch deck for investors and pitch to 3 potential angel investors.
Clean Energy Hardware Project
Make a clear definition of landfill market opportunity and decision making process. Do extensive customer interviews (20+) and on site visits (3+) to understand the essence of their business and their DMU (Decision Making Unit). Policy considerations for each location will be considered in this analysis. Build up and justify a TAM for the original market.
Make a list of the top ten potential customers with their total potential size and get letters of intent from at least 3 of them.
Gain commitment to pilot this summer.
Build the well head sensor system at MIT and test it to ensure the full system will work. Build and test a prototype for field test.
Pilot the system in at least one customer and analyze data.
Determine true cost of goods sold at volumes of 10, 20 and 100. Identify and gain commitments from suppliers for all key parts.
Define an IP strategy to protect your business and file at least a provisional patent if appropriate.
Clear definition of team members’ strengths and weaknesses along with role(s) on the team.
Finalizing the founders’ stock/equity splits and vesting schedules.
Identification of gaps on the team and development of plan to fill those gaps… then executing this plan. Most specifically, find a sales person or channel.
Find and recruit a highly credible land fill expert for your team who has strong connections with Waste Management.
Analyze business models (subscription, shared savings, one time sale plus maintenance, consumables, others) and determine the best possible.
Construct financial projections, focused on cash flow as being the most important, for a five year period. Include a sales funnel analysis, COCA, LTV and a sensitivity analysis.
Build a pitch deck for government funding to support the team getting to cash flow positive.
Complete license agreement with Cleveland Clinic by July 1, 2012.
Secure institutional review board approval and begin recruiting subjects by August 15, 2012.
Complete initial beta design and documentation by June 15, 2012. This will include the complete manufacturing plans and bills of materials for the beta version of Product A.
Complete product requirements report by August 15, 2012. This document will be written with extensive input from prospective customers and will provide the basis for writing the testing plan.
Write formal testing plan by August 31, 2012. This document will cover both mechanical reliability and clinical tests and will be used as a guide to determine if our design meets our product requirements.
Build schedule and commitment for initial beta samples in October 2012. This will include contracting manufacturing organizations to build parts to our specifications and fabricating entire samples.
With the founding team, identify a common set of deeply held relevant values for the company that will be the basis for a strong corporate culture going forward for the long journey this company will have to make.
Determine the missing gaps on the team and when we will need to add them.
Make a stock pro forma table for the company that includes the founders and potential future hires as well as funding.
Build a strong Technical Board.
Develop a short and long pitch deck for investors and a plan to raise the seed round of financing.
Execute the plan by giving a number of presentations to individuals, strategic partners and at industry fundraising conferences (e.g., Needham’s Biotech conference in August in Boston).
Close $250,000 of XYZ Tech’s Series A Financing by August 31, 2012.
Again, these are simply examples, and they are based on a longer timeline than 3.5 months. Please be creative to come up with rigorous, measurable yet achievable milestones.
Return to top
In Summer 2011, nineteen student teams participated in the FSA's predecessor, Summer Startup Central, which included desk space and mentoring. Here's what some of the participants had to say about Summer Startup Central:
"The Summer Startup Program at the Martin Trust Center was extremely helpful to Liquid Metal Battery Corporation getting off to a good start. Great program."
-- Prof. Donald Sadoway, Founder, LMBC
"It was a great experience. It was incredibly valuable to share and learn from the experiences of other MIT students who were going through the same stages of forming and launching their companies. As a first-time female CEO, it was beneficial to have access to mentors and advisors as well as the support of the entire Trust Center team."
-- Fatma Yalcin, MBA '11; CEO, Curisma
"It gave us the perfect environment to spend time working through the challenging issues of strategy, team, funding, and market selection. It was incredibly valuable."
-- Miles Barr, PhD '12 Course 10; President, Ubiquitous Energy
"Locu would not at all be where it is today without the program. It allowed us to really develop our plans, solidify our team, and achieve escape velocity. The community and mentorship were invaluable."
-- Rene Reinsberg, MBA '11; CEO, Locu
"The kernel that became Manus Biosynthesis started as a project in i-Teams, but it was really in the summer startup program -- with its network of support, resources and connections -- that it became clear that we had a viable and exciting new venture that could have a significant impact on the world."
-- Prof. Greg Stephanopoulos, Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board, Manus Biosynthesis
"It was everything for us. In so many dimensions, it helped make our new venture idea a reality. To cap off the experience, it ended with us being introduced on Demo Day at the t=0 Festival to the person who has become our cornerstone blue-chip investor."
-- Tyler Spalding, MBA '11; CEO, StyleSeek
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
the Independent Activities Period? Interested in taking part in either MIT fuse or StartMIT? Come learn about each program, which one is right for you, and how to submit a winning application.Sign up for one of our Info Sessions:TOMORROW at 12 noon in 32-155 (Stata Center)TOMORROW at 5:30 pm in E40-275 (Trust Center)Thurs. Nov 1 ay 12 noon in 32-155 (Stata Center)APPLICATIONS ARE NOW OPEN! TOMORROW AT 12 NOON IN THE GARAGEOur next speaker series event features Maynard Webb, a 40-year veteran in the tech industry, and an experienced mentor, investor, and board member. He will be speaking on the topics of his two critically acclaimed books, Rebooting Work in the Age of Entrepreneurship, and Dear Founder: Letters of Advice for Anyone Who Leads a Business. A few spaces are left for this lunchtime speaker event in the Trust Center Garage tomorrow.
Upcoming MIT Events
11.1 Is It Up to Business to Save the Planet?A livestream discussion of business priorities vs. sustainability concerns and the planet.
11.1 AMP Session #1A 4-week seminar for undergraduate engineering students who are curious about entrepreneurship and how to turn their ideas into businesses.
11.2 - 11.4 MIT Energy HackThis year's theme is "Hack Sustainability".
11.5 Pear VC Pitch NightGive a two minute pitch and compete to win a $1K prize. Judges include Katie Rae, head of The Engine.
11.6 MIT $100K PITCH Finale 2018The first of the three phases of the year-long $100K Entrepreneurship Competition, celebrating its 30th year.
11.8 AI and the Future of Work ConferenceWork is changing, driven by an AI revolution and new talent models. Come engage in this important conversation.
11.15 MIT Water Innovation Prize Kickoff DinnerThe first event for the 2019 Water Innovation Prize with $30K in prizes.
NOW OPEN MIT Ventureships Student ApplicationsFor students looking to work alongside MIT early-stage startups for a semester.
10.31 MIT Water Summit Poster SessionApply to present at the annual water summit on November 15th and 16th.
11.6 MITdesignX 2019 Cohort DeadlineFor student ventures featuring a member of SA+P.
11.14 MIT fuse Application DeadlineFor the Trust Center's team-focused mini accelerator during IAP in January 2019.
11.19 StartMIT Application DeadlineThis is the "on-ramp" to the entrepreneurial world at MIT taking place during IAP in January 2019.MIT E& I News
MIT News: Monitoring muscles to improve athletic trainingMIT delta v 2015 company Humon and its "Hex" wearable device gives athletes real-time data on muscle oxygen levels to guide workouts.
MIT Innovation Blog: Why We Hack for FreedomA participant from The Freedom Lab explains the passion behind this past weekend's hackathon.
MIT Sloan News: 3 Professional Life Hacks From a Billionaire IntrovertLinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman on limited serendipity, betting on a reference, and embracing your skillset.
MIT News: MIT spinoff takes top honor at MassChallenge AwardsMIT delta v 2017 company Infinite Cooling wins a $100K Diamond Winner at the MassChallenge Awards.
GeekWire: Fashion rental startup Armoire -- the 'closet of the future' -- raises $3M to grow and expand offeringsMIT delta v 2016 team will use funding to expand and further develop its predictive capability technologies.
StartU: Helping you take the pill, on time, every timeMIT delta v 2018 team Aavia has built a smart sensor device to help women on birth control take their pill regularly. BU LAW CLINIC - Every Friday 10a - 4pLooking to have your legal questions answered? Sign up for an appointment with the BU Law students who can help with entrepreneurship, IP, and cyberlaw issues. Clinic takes place at the Trust Center every Friday; walk-ins allowed but reservations strongly suggested. New MIT FinTech Bulletin BoardNow anyone can post and make announcements for the MIT FinTech community! Announce events, share news, look for resources, find co-founders, and launch a new venture. Learn all about the MIT FinTech community and conference on this page!…
a key invention(s) within a team environment
be a matriculated student in the spring of the year the award is given
serve as an inspiration to young people, through their creativity, outreach or mentoring activities
Applicants can be from any major, discipline, or research concentration and will be invited and encouraged to participate in Lemelson-MIT Program activities, including outreach opportunities to inspire young people to pursue creative lives and careers. All applicants benefit from networking opportunities with each other, the MIT community, and Lemelson-MIT Award Winners.
Lemelson-MIT Student Prize Winners and Finalists are expected to attend EurekaFest, the Lemelson-MIT Program’s annual celebration of the inventive spirit. EurekaFest is a unique, inspiring opportunity for Student Prize Winners and Finalists to interact with Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams, and the Winners of the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize and the $100,000 Lemelson-MIT Award for Global Innovation.
Student Prize Home | Selection Process | Application Guidelines…
Welcome Back Students! Interested in starting a company? Need to know how to sell, design or develop your product? Want to accelerate your idea? Check out our list of entrepreneurship courses offered this semester -- with 31 courses to choose from, there's no excuse not to add entrepreneurship to your schedule. Visit http://bit.ly/2013EshipCourses to view Spring 2013 offerings.
MIT Entrepreneurship Events
Thu, 02/07/2013 - 5:30pm - 8:00pm, Greentown Labs, Boston, MA MIT Clean Energy Prize Kickoff Join the MIT Clean Energy Prize and members from MIT Enterprise Forum Energy Community Circle at Greentown Lab's first Energy Bar of 2013. Visit http://bit.ly/VtOX34 to RSVP for the event.Fri, 02/08/2013 - 8:00am - 3:00pm, MIT Media Lab - E14 2013 Sloan Women in Management (SWIM) Conference - Dare to Fail: Taking Risks When it Matters Most The third annual Sloan Women in Management Conference - "Dare to Fail" - pushes us to question our risk thresholds and to ask how men and women respond differently in crisis scenarios. Open to All: men, women, students, alumni, and professionals. Buy your tickets at: http://www.sloanwomeninmanagement.com/conference/
Fri, 02/08/2013 - 4:00pm - 8:00pm, 32-123 MIT TechTalks 2013: Innovation in a Data-Driven World Join MIT Techfair for TechTalks 2013, the second annual speaker series featuring high-profile leaders in technology! Speaker line-up includes: MIT alumnus John Bicket, Co-Founder & CTO at Meraki (recently acquired by Cisco); Paul English, Co-Founder and CTO at Kayak; Ari Gesher, Senior Software Engineer at Palantir; Yoky Matsuoka, VP of Technology at Nest Labs. The talks are open to the general public, and dinner will be served! Register for free at http://mittechtalks.eventbrite.com. Learn more about the event at: http://techfair.mit.edu/events/talks/
Sat, 02/09/2013 - 10:00am - 3:30pm, MIT Media Lab - E14-6th floor Scaling Development Ventures The Scaling Development Ventures conference seeks to explore the complexities of scale. For teams, it is an opportunity to access resources that will help them as they grow to reach new clients and geographic regions. The conference will share successful models of scale, explore some of the most pressing challenges and help attendees broaden their network. Attendees will hear from speakers who have forged a path in this space and who will share success stories to inspire and lessons learned to help teams avoid making the same mistakes. Find a full event schedule and link to register here: http://globalchallenge.mit.edu/about/scalingdevventures
Mon, 02/11/2013 - 6:00pm - 9:00pm, 32-155 NFC Goes Social This panel discussion will focus on some recent social applications of NFC - including smart posters and social networking tags - as well as emerging future opportunities. Find more info at http://bit.ly/WYHeru
Submission Deadline for BioInnovations Conference Poster Session Deadline: Sat, 02/09/2013 Do you have exciting health/life sciences research? Do you want to meet people in the business side of biotech? Present your work at the BioInnovations Poster Session on February 22! Presenters receive FREE admission to the entire conference (max two presenters per poster) and present during the Lunchtime Poster Session and Closing Reception. Interested in presenting your bioinnovation? Register at http://bit.ly/11nmjTS by Saturday, February 9, 2013.
The above listings are some of the many events that happen throughout MIT and the broader entrepreneurial ecosystem. For more, take a look at our event calendar at entrepreneurship.mit.edu/calendar.
MIT Community Members: If you have an event or opportunity to promote, please add it here.
of electricity—far from enough for a rapidly growing city of 18 million. To address this shortfall, students from across MIT have teamed up to launch a waste-to-energy company that will provide Lagos residents with cheap, reliable electricity.
"Lagos has a severe waste problem, severe unemployment, and an environmental problem. Millions of people are running diesel generators on a daily basis," said Adetayo "Tayo" Bamiduro, an MIT Sloan MBA '15 student from Nigeria. The company the students founded, NovaGen Power Solutions, aims to supply biogas to apartment buildings while providing local jobs. "The impact is social, environmental, and economic," Bamiduro said.
The brainchild of Adeyemi "Yemi" Adepetu, a student in MIT's System Design and Management (SDM) program, NovaGen will collect organic waste from apartments and convert it into biogas to fuel generators. The system will be piloted this summer at a seven-unit building and scaled up to 10 buildings, serving 70 units in total. If the pilot succeeds, the next step would be for NovaGen to equip all 210 units managed by their partner real estate company, Property Mart Real Estate Investment.
"We think what's available is too expensive," Adepetu said. "Our idea was: Look at the technology out there, build locally, and make it affordable for people."
While NovaGen will employ existing technology, it has a novel strategy, Bamiduro said. "The innovation is our business model. We're not targeting large businesses or customers one by one. We're looking for that sweet spot," he said, wherein 20-70 families share one waste-to-energy system. "That's why we picked real estate."
The fledgling company has racked up a number of successes in entrepreneurship competitions. The team—which also includes Ellen Chen, a Master's in City Planning (MCP) candidate in the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning—was a semifinalist this spring in the MIT Africa Innovate Business Plan Competition, the MIT IDEAS Global Challenge, and the MIT $100K Pitch and Launch Entrepreneurship Competitions (emerging markets track).
Adepetu was recently named a finalist for the 2014 Echoing Green Climate Fellowship, which supports next-generation social entrepreneurs committed to working on innovations in mitigation and adaptation to climate change. Adepetu also has a Legatum Fellowship that supports his work on NovaGen and is supported by the MasterCard Foundation.
Born and raised in Nigeria, Adepetu said the idea for the company had been percolating for a long time before he came to MIT and was inspired to act. "I thought [NovaGen] was 10 years away. MIT was the crucial influence that took me from the corporate world," said Adepetu, who spent several years working for United Technologies. "Before MIT... I thought I'd do this when I was done with my first career."
At MIT last fall, Adepetu met Chen in New Enterprises, a class designed to help students launch startups. "I wanted to do something in emerging markets and Yemi's was the only idea in a developing country," said Chen, whose interest in housing inspired the idea of targeting residential real estate. Adepetu had originally envisioned serving hospitals.
Bamiduro was the next team member to join NovaGen, bringing with him crucial, up-to-date contacts with the Lagos business community. (Adepetu had been out of the country for nine years, but Bamiduro had just left a lead analyst role in Nigeria's oil and gas industry.) Bamiduro said his goal in attending MIT was to gain the skills necessary to create "a high impact energy venture that would employ a lot of people."
NovaGen's founders credited the MIT Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship for first believing in their idea, as well as the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, the MIT Venture Mentoring Service, MIT Africa Interest Group, and the student club Energy for Human Development with giving them opportunities to meet mentors and connect to others with a passion for energy and the developing world. "The ecosystem at MIT Sloan gives you the chance to test your ideas vigorously," Bamiduro said. The MIT D-Lab group has also been a source of mentorship and advice, he added.
All three founders are committed to a future with NovaGen—although Chen won't graduate until December, and Bamiduro won't complete his degree until 2015. Adepetu, who will graduate this spring with a master's degree in engineering and management, said he expects to spend the next couple years building the company in Nigeria, but the long-term plan for NovaGen is to build a U.S.-based multinational company. For now, the founders are actively seeking early seed investors, mentors, and additional business partners to help them move forward.
tes. They’ll each receive medallions inscribed with the Computerworld Honors Program’s mission, “A Search for New Heroes,” at the Computerworld Honors Awards Gala in Washington, D.C.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)-funded NTIA programs selected are:
California Emerging Technology Fund;
City and County of San Francisco;
The Youth Policy Institute (YPI) is honored in the Human Services category, which recognizes organizations for the innovative use of IT to effectively develop or deliver public programs that provide food and nutrition, housing, transportation, mental health or other social service to populations in need. YPI has installed 80 public computer centers in the Los Angeles area in less than two years and, in the process, developed best practices that can be adopted by organizations that wish to establish similar services in their own communities.
City of Boston (Public Computer Center and Sustainable Broadband Adoption) is honored in the Economic Development category, which recognizes organizations for the innovative use or development of IT to create, enable, improve or expand business and job opportunities. The City of Boston provides training for low-income families with children, unemployed individuals lacking digital skills, and seniors living in Boston Housing Authority sites.
Clackamas County, Oregon, is honored in the Economic Development category. Clackamas County is building the Clackamas Broadband Express (CBX) network, 180 miles of broadband fiber infrastructure. This infrastructure allows existing businesses to participate and compete in an increasingly global marketplace.
The School Board of Miami-Dade County, Florida (M-DCPS) is honored in the Philanthropy category, which recognizes organizations that have made significant contributions of one or more goods or services to a needy cause. M-DCPS partners with non- and for-profit organizations to provide computers, Internet service, and multilingual digital literacy training in English, Spanish, and Haitian-Creole for low-income students and their families. M-DCPS provides access to innovative technologies with limited budget dollars and is creating best practices for how to replicate this program in other school districts facing similar challenges.
Northwest Open Access Network (NoaNet) is honored in the Economic Development category. NoaNet is bringing broadband access to 170 rural communities across Washington state by improving the backbone that serves rural communities. This expansion will transform Washington’s high-speed broadband infrastructure and secure the state’s economic future by reducing government costs, educating young people, and creating business opportunities for generations to come. NoaNet is also future proofing the network for the next decade and beyond by laying the fiber groundwork to support speeds of 400 Gbps and greater.
MCNC golden leaf rural networks link 1 2
Ohio Academic Resources Network (subrecipient); ;
Colorado Governor’s Office of Information Technology (SBI grant); Government of DC; Horizon Telcom; Internet2; Merit Network; Technology for All; …
IME magazine's best inventions of 2012.
LiquiGlide, a nontoxic, nonstick, super slippery coating for condiment bottles, was developed by Kripa Varanasi's laboratory in MIT's Department of Mechanical Engineering. Made from food materials, it's easy to apply to food packaging and prevents stubborn condiments from sticking to the inside of the bottle.
For food-sauce companies — and their customers — easy removal of condiments is a constant challenge. Most people have experienced the frustration that comes with struggling to expel a condiment — such as ketchup, mustard or mayonnaise — with furious shaking, messy rummaging or pure brute force. Now, a simple tilt of the hand sends condiments sliding out.
This prestigious recognition comes on the heels of this fall's top MassChallenge award, including $100,000, and this past spring's MIT $100K Competition Audience Choice Award. Led by Varanasi, the Doherty Associate Professor of Ocean Utilization, the LiquiGlide team is J. David Smith, Christopher J. Love, Adam Paxson, Brian Solomon and Rajeev Dhiman.
Bounce Imaging's low-cost, easy-to-use imaging device for visual recconnaisance enables soldiers and first responders to get an inside look at potentially dangerous situations, such as fires, collapsed buildings, hostage situations and war zones, without having to run in blind and put their lives at increased risk.
The spherical device is stuffed with six cameras and infrared LEDs on the inside and covered with a rubber shell on the outside. Once it's thrown into an unknown area, the camera takes two photos per second — even in low light. The infrared LEDs and a camera with near-infrared range enable full panoramas that can be sent to phones, tablets or laptops for immediate viewing.
The startup's co-founder, MIT alum Francisco Aguilar MBA '12, says the idea came to him after the Haitian earthquake in 2010, which illustrated to him the need for a method of visualizing a potentially dangerous situation before entering it. Bounce Imaging's other co-founder, David Young, is currently a second-year MBA student at the MIT Sloan School of Management.
Bounce Imaging was also recognized at this year's MassChallenge Awards Ceremony with a $50,000 prize.…
Us On Facebook
On The Web
Who We Are
Our Community Partner
Post a Support Message
PEN designs hands-on STEM activities that infuse national standards with hands-on activities and train teachers in how to execute these activities within the structure of traditional education programs.
Key to our success is the coupling of these resources with sustained support after our workshops end. To this end, we are developing OurLabs, a mobile community-building and information-sharing tool for educators. Through this, they will regularly receive tips on their upcoming practicals, and they will share progress and questions with each other.
2013 Yunus Challenge - Education: Solutions for Learning
Who We Are
Team leader Heather Beem (MIT PhD ‘14, Mechanical Engineering) has a passion for science education. She taught Ghanaian high school students to build a wind turbine, and taught workshops on solar energy through SPLASH and HSSP. She led the founding of PEN’s D-Lab class, and co-teaches it with Aron- teaching educational practices and mentoring the students in their international projects. She serves as MIT liaison, initiating and maintaining PEN’s communication with the MIT entities that PEN pursues collaboration with (D-Lab, MISTI, etc).
Edward Burnell (MIT ‘13, Mechanical Engineering) leads PEN's web development. He has taught many engineering lessons in Ghana with Anna and Grace, won the recent ‘Education Designathon’ with a book whose pages that both were circuits and explained them, and taught two MIT classes on wind turbines. He worked last summer on a flying wind turbine, and is currently researching model-free learning for a plane designed to fly through dense forests. Edward is also a partner of Rough Draft Ventures, a venture capital fund by and for Boston-area students. Brianna Conrad (MIT ‘11, Physics and Electrical Engineering) researches solar energy at the University of New South Wales, and has led make-your-own solar panel workshops.
Deborah Hanus (MIT ‘13, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science and Brain & Cognitive Sciences) works on PEN’s web/mobile development team. This summer she will teach mobile application development in South Africa as AITI’s Technical Lead. As a 2013 Fulbright Fellow in Cambodia, where she has worked on educational projects in the past, Deborah hopes to expand PEN’s reach to Asia.
Madeline Hickman (MIT ‘11, Mechanical Engineering) coordinates MIT community relations and runs PEN’s SPLASH classes. She is a high school physics teaching assistant and D-Lab researcher, and has collaborated with D-Lab in Ghana, Kenya, and India on bicycle rickshaws, motorized mobility aids, and engineering education.
Grace Kane (MIT ‘11, Mechanical/Ocean Engineering) is a marine engineer in Scotland. She brings organizational experience as Chief Engineer at the Indian start-up Saathi, and has taught dozens of engineering classes for high school students in Ghana and the US.
Fareeha Safir (‘13, Mechanical Engineering) researches biomedical technologies and bioengineering. She taught lessons with D-lab in Tanzania, spent several terms working on a bicycle-powered grain mill with Global Cycle Solutions, and designed a lighter rickshaw truss with Gwyn Jones and the Indian Rickshaw Bank. She spent one year working with Engineers Without Borders on solar powered lighting in collaboration with a community in Degeya, Uganda.
Anna Waldman-Brown (MIT ‘11, Physics and Writing) is PEN’s coordinator of community relations in Ghana, where she was a 2012 Fulbright Fellow researching appropriate technology and piloting several PEN initiatives. She has taught science classes in Ghana, Peru, and the US.
Aron Walker (MIT ‘07, Chemical Engineering and Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Science) co-teaches PEN’s D-Lab class with Heather. He is a high school science teacher and brings experience in both teacher-training and collaborative curriculum development. During his four years in the Peace Corps in Tanzania, he founded Shika na Mikono (an initiative for hands-on science education), published a manual for volunteers, and worked with the Ministry of Education on 3 educational books.
Our Community Partner
Service Location Ghana
exponential impact advisory: the social business youth networks inspired by muhammad yunus -without which millennium goal actions networks would be way behind are worth far more than any individual parts according to Norman Macrae Foundation trilliondollaraudit methodology and charter notespace
Beyond the extraordinary investment of the members bank at Grameen, and the approximate third share its members foundation holds in grameenphone, here is our Unofficial League Table of Most Impactful Social Business Investments around yunus - last update 1 dec 2012
-------- while not controlled by yunus we see wholeplanetfoundation microcredit investment table and conscious capitalsm movements and hugely important to advancing pro-youth economicsmission of friends of youth and yunus