MIT is launching a new course to teach young innovators how to build their own tech start-ups, part of a broader emphasis on entrepreneurship geared specifically toward computer science and engineering students.
The effort comes out of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL). Officials feel that, by offering time and credit for students working on entrepreneurial projects, MIT could hold on to more of its young tech pioneers who might otherwise ditch their studies and their region to start a company.
“People here are just as smart as people out there [in Silicon Valley],” says professor Dave Gifford, who is leading the new program. “But I think that we need to be more proactive about starting companies. It would be good for our students, and it would be good for the New England economy, if we could get them to stay here.”
Students will not only learn how to form a company; they will work on projects that might actually become real businesses, with early access to capital from investors. Industry names such as Google Ventures, Greylock Partners and Matrix Partners have agreed to help the MIT entrepreneurship program, each committing a senior representative to the course.
More than 20 students have registered, but even those unregistered can join a start-up team, just without credit.
“In the end, the way that we’ll judge this is whether or not we actually did start something that was successful,” Gifford says. “It’s less about educating everyone about how to do start-ups than it is trying to catalyze the creation of one or two big things.”
Posted February 20th, 2013 under Tech Transfer