Information for Host Companies
The benefits of becoming a host company
For more than 12 years, MIT Sloan G-Lab teams have provided high-impact insight and analysis, on an extremely cost-effective basis, to more than 250 startups and growing companies. Our student teams focus on specific issues that host companies are facing and work to find solutions that can be implemented concretely, quickly and efficiently.
The value our G-Lab teams deliver is consistently rated as superior by our host companies. Many of the companies have made personal recommendations of G-Lab to their peer organizations, and a significant percentage have participated in G-Lab for multiple years.
As a direct result of G-Lab's legacy of success and impact, the course attracts MIT Sloan's best students. Each G-Lab team is comprised of four second-year MIT Sloan MBA students representing a wide range of backgrounds and expertise, from management consulting and financial services to manufacturing and operations.
The project calendar
Teams work on a project engagement for their host companies. Potential hosts submit online questionnaires from June through August. In the questionnaire, companies describe the scope of the challenges they are facing and the solutions they would like a G-Lab team to work on. We also ask potential hosts to detail the skill sets and expertise they believe would help make the team most effective, including any non-English language requirements. G-Lab faculty are available to assist companies in shaping and defining their project scope for the questionnaire.
In October, G-Lab faculty match host companies with the best-qualified teams. From late October through December, the teams work with their hosts remotely from campus to first finalize scope and agree on a work plan, and then undertake research, interviews, and analysis. The companies and teams build their working relationships through online collaboration and regular conference calls through December. Each team works with a G-Lab faculty mentor, who meets frequently with the team and oversees their progress, both logistically and substantively. The team, however, is in charge of building and managing their host company relationship.
In January, when MIT classes are not in session, teams work on site at their host companies' offices full-time for at least three weeks. The teams' final deliverables include a formal presentation and, more importantly, concrete "leave behinds" that deliver high-impact tools that host companies can begin to use immediately.
When selecting their project scope, host companies can choose from a broad spectrum of business challenges, such as new market entry, strategic planning, fundraising, venture capital, mergers and acquisitions, marketing and sales, and human resource development.
G-Lab strongly emphasizes concrete “leave-behinds” as a primary component of the teams’ project deliverables. For example, for a project focused on creating an acquisition strategy, the deliverables will likely include an M&A toolkit with spreadsheet templates and valuation benchmarks, each with user guides. Projects to help fast-growing startups institutionalize their internal operations may include a template for an HR Manual, or compensation and incentive program metrics tailored to local market needs and environments. Other concrete tools student teams may deliver include financial models, potential customer/investor/partner pipelines, and go-to-market plans.
Host company obligations
Host companies receive optimal results when the CEO and other senior managers are available to devote focused time and energy on the project and with the G-Lab team, especially while teams are on site.
While MIT Sloan does not charge companies a fee for engaging a G-Lab team, host companies do assume responsibility for 1) round-trip coach airfare for the team, and 2) modest, safe lodging while they are in-country. Given that G-Lab sends teams to countries from Argentina to Zambia, travel and lodging costs vary widely. As a guide, however, a number of recent host companies report that they budget approximately US$10,000-12,000 to host a team.
In order to participate, potential host companies must complete the G-Lab questionnaire. If you are interested in becoming a host company for G-Lab, please contact Shari Loessberg with your questions or ideas. Additional questions about G-Lab can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a closer look at common questions, please check out these FAQs.