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How to Start a Startup at MIT

Student Groups

MIT Biotechnology Group - Increasing biotechnological innovation pace by building symbiotic relationships between MIT and global academic and venture communities

TechX - Empowering students by bringing new technology, ideas, and top tech-innovators to MIT

i-Teams - Students who design go-to-market strategies for MIT tech startups

SBC - MIT's premiere undergraduate business organization - organized into three initiatives: Finance, Consulting, and Entrepreneurship. Once invited to join SBC, members go through the intensive, semester-long, Business Education Program.

Ventureships Club - provides a great opportunity for early stage startups to get connected with eager and motivated students to work on a semester-long volunteer project

StartLabs - MIT's premier entrepreneurship club. Hosts various events throughout the year that help connect students with entrepreneurship resources around MIT and Boston, brings insightful speakers to campus, and spurs innovative ideas

MIT Bitcoin Club - Educating members on blockchain fundamentals and new innovations

Entrepreneurs Club (E-Club) - Developing science, engineering and tech ideas to create ventures

Venture Capital and Private Equity Club (VCPE) - Cultivating world class investors and professionals in private equity, venture capital and entrepreneurship

Accelerators and Incubators

Delta v. - accelerator for MIT entrepreneurs to accelerate company growth over the summer

Flux Accelerator - the first on-campus accelerator built for undergraduates. It runs during the school year on a rolling basis. Team goes beyond mentorship by actually working with students on marketing, branding, product design, financials, funding, etc.

MIT Fuse - The Trust Center's entrepreneurial program - 2.5 weeks accelerator during the Independent Activities Period (IAP)

Hackathons and Competitions

100k Pitch - 90 seconds to pitch a startup idea with no slides - just you and your idea. Winner receives $5,00. Held in mid-November, and finalists will also compete for the $2,000 Audience Choice Award.

100k Accelerate - During the winter, Accelerate helps early-stage teams build out their ideas with the support of industry experts and experienced entrepreneurs. Participants eligible for $1,000 in funding and advancement to 100K Launch.

100k Launch - The last and most intensive competition within 100k - teams prepare to launch their ventures into the marketplace. 1st place prize is $100,000

Lemelson MIT Student Prize - Series of prizes for execution of innovative ideas. $15,000 for each winning grad team, $10,000 for each winning undergrad team

Reality Virtually Hackathon - Bringing together interdisciplinary minds to explore VR and AR applications

Hacking Arts - annual conference where artists, engineers, and entrepreneurs solve challenges at the intersection of the arts and technology

HackMIT - MIT's largest hackathon taking place in mid to late September. This year's tracks are Health Tech, Communication/Connectivity, Education, and Urban Innovation.

MIT Clean Energy Prize (CEP) - a multi-stage, student-organized business plan competition. CEP's goal is to accelerate clean energy entrepreneurship and innovation through a robust mentoring program and competition. University teams from across the United States enter their business ideas in Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Infrastructure & Resources, and Energy for Development categories. Prize structure varies annually - in 2019 the grand prize was $100K

Pear Competition - $25K uncapped note and resources to launch your start-up. No idea is too early. More than 10 student teams win. Apply January-March.

University Resources

MIT E-labs - Pairing students to work with a startup company one day a week

MIT G-Lab in which students work on a 4-month, mini consulting project for international, entrepreneurial firms.

MIT D-Lab - works with people around the world to develop and advance collaborative approaches and practical solutions to global poverty challenges.

MIT Center for Art, Science, and Technology (CAST) - Connecting the worlds of art, science, and technology by collaborating with departments, labs, and centers across MIT

Deshpande Center - Empowering MIT's most talented researchers to developing innovative technologies in the lab and bring them to the marketplace

Entrepreneurs in Residence - highly experienced founders focusing on educating, mentoring, and coaching aspiring MIT entrepreneurs

GEL Program - Educating and developing the character of outstanding MIT students as potential future leaders in the world of engineering

MIT Media Lab - Promoting an antidisciplinary culture that emboldens mixing seemingly disparate research fields to create ventures

The Byte- Weekly newsletter with announcements and events pertaining to MIT students

Martin Trust Center - Providing expertise, support & connections MIT students need to become effective entrepreneurs

Venture Mentoring Services (VMS) - provides aspiring entrepreneurs with impartial and unbiased team mentoring

Global Startup Labs - trains and funds top MIT students and alumni to conduct technology incubator courses globally at international partner universities. Participants mentor startups, network with entrepreneurs and VCs, learn and teach real-world technology platforms, and explore exotic locales. Travel allowance plus generous stipend provided

Notable Courses

2.009 | Product Engineering Processes

6.S078 Entrepreneurship Project

15.373 | Venture Engineering

15.378 Building an Entrepreneurial Venture

15.390 | New Enterprises

15.911 | Entrepreneurial Strategy

21W.789 | Communicating with Mobile Technology

EC.074 The Start-up Experience at MIT

ESD.051 | Engineering Innovation and Design

15.360 Introduction to Technological Entrepreneurship


Contrary - University-focused venture fund investing up to $500K in emerging startups launching from the university scene around the US

Sandbox Innovation Fund - Providing seed funding for student-initiated entrepreneurship ideas and mentoring from a network of committed partners (guaranteed $1K funding and going up to $25K)

Deshpande Ignition Grants - Up to 50,000 in Funding for commercializing a technology within three years

Deshpande Innovation Grant - Up to 150,000 in Funding for commercializing a technology in the next year

DRF - First Round Capital's pre-seed investing branch - providing up to $20k to student startups

The Engine - empowering disruptive technologies with the long-term capital, knowledge, network connections, and the specialized equipment and labs they need to thrive.

RDV - General Catalyst's pre-seed investing branch - student team building a large network of student founders

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