The MIT of Entrepreneurship Studies

… is actually a new course being offered to MIT students this summer.

I just learned from Bill Aulet, the Managing Director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, about a great new initiative getting started at the Institute this summer exclusively available to its students and 2012 grads. It’s called the Founder Skills Accelerator, and is intended to give very early-stage businesses a summer’s worth of support – money, space, peers, and mentors.

As its website explains:

Spend your summer at MIT iterating on a startup idea, and earn up to $20k for your team! 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 grants per team (no equity stake) upon completion of pre-determined, customized milestones
  • Monthly stipend 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.

Doesn’t that sound fantastic? If I were a student with a business idea that I was at all serious about, I’d be scrambling right now to get my application in by the May 2 deadline.

If you’ve spent any time trying to make cross-disciplinary things happen in big universities, you know how amazing it is to get all of MIT’s schools to sign on t0 this. And Aulet and his colleagues in the Trust Center did it in record time. This is exactly the kind of innovation we need in higher ed, and a great countermove to Peter Thiel’s encouragement to young entrepreneurs to drop out.

At Bill’s kind invitation I’m going to be involved with FSA this summer. Exactly how is unclear, but I want to be part of this. I’ll keep you posted on what I learn…