January/February 2005 Newsletter


  • Recommended IAP seminars this January
  • Want to showcase your innovation?
  • I-Teams class tackles five new projects with commercial potential
  • Faculty Workshop: Angel Funding
  • Staff comings and goings

Recommended IAP seminars this January
MIT's Independent Activities Period (IAP) in January offers several entrepreneurship classes. New this year is "Assessing the Commercial Potential for Breakthrough Technologies @ MIT," on January 26. Register for this non-credit class if you:

  • have a cool idea and want to know how to bring it to market
  • want to know what resources MIT offers to help you bring a technology to the market
  • are unable to take i-Teams but want a primer into the topic of commercializing MIT innovations

I-Teams faculty lead and Sloan senior lecturer Ken Zolot is the instructor, and space is limited. For more details, click on the link above. We also suggest these other IAP classes:

15.962 "High-Tech Start-ups", Ken Morse and Jack Gill
A pragmatic, fast-paced primer course on the dynamics of high-tech entrepreneurship. Features prestigious industry guest speakers. (for credit)

15.975 "The Nuts and Bolts of Business Plans", Joe Hadzima - The original business plan course at MIT! Geared towards putting together the preliminary executive summary for the $50k competition. (for credit)

15.976 "Starting and Building a Successful Technology-Based Company," Bill Aulet and Mike Grandinetti - How to turn a start-up into a viable business. (for credit)

Please note that eligibility varies (many classes require registration or are only open to the MIT community) and some may already be full, so please check the websites or with the instructor for details.

Want to showcase your innovation?
This year's IdeaStream Symposium, on April 26, will feature a repeat of last year's successful Innovation Showcase, a program that lets MIT researchers pitch their innovative technology ideas to venture capitalists and successful entrepreneurs.

The Innovation Showcase is a great way for your early-stage ideas to get market feedback at the research stage and without writing a full business plan. You get visibility for your work, make connections, and get real-world feedback on how you might be able to commercialize your ideas. The deadline for submitting your idea is March 14.

i-Teams class tackles five new projects with commercial potential
On December 8, 2004, we announced the five new projects that graduate students in this spring's i-Teams class will poise for commercialization. The projects cover innovations in ice-cream making, titanium production, nanomanipulators, database management systems, and portable spectrometers.

Faculty Entrepreneurship Workshop: Angel Funding
When should you seek angel financing? How does angel funding compare to VC funding? How do you find these people? Lucinda Linde (SM '83, Materials Sci & Eng) of Walnut Venture Associates will discuss these questions, as well as what angels look for in a company and how they can help in the early stages (beyond supplying capital), at our next Faculty Entrepreneurship Workshop Thursday, February 10.
Lucinda co-authored an in-depth study on angel investors, "VSS Project: Report on Angel Investors," for Ken Morse of the MIT Entrepreneurship Center and Professor Howard Stevenson at Harvard Business School. Over the past seven years, she has invested in software companies both as an angel and as a partner of First Light Capital, an early-stage venture capital fund.
Another workshop, planned for April 5, will feature MIT Professor Tom Leighton as guest speaker. Tom co-founded Akamai Technologies and is affiliated with the Department of Mathematics and CSAIL (the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory). Stay tuned for more details.

Faculty workshops are invitation-only events that address the unique challenges facing faculty interested in starting a company or licensing a technology. They are restricted to MIT faculty and Deshpande Center grant recipients.

Staff comings and goings
Please join us in welcoming Katja Wald, program coordinator, to our team. Formerly the marketing and membership manager for the MIT Enterprise Forum, Katja is responsible for creating community at the Deshpande Center through events, volunteerism, and partnerships.
We also say good-bye and many thanks to our office manager, Isadora Deese, who after the recent birth of her second child has taken a part-time position in MIT's Biological Engineering Division. Best wishes to both Katja and Isadora!