Information for Host Companies
The benefits of becoming a host company
Since 2000, MIT Sloan G-Lab teams have provided high-impact insight and analysis, on an extremely cost-effective basis, to over 375 startups and fast-growing companies in more than 500 projects in 50-plus emerging and frontier markets. Our MBA student teams focus on the specific challenges you request, 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. Each year, a significant percentage of new host companies are introduced to us by satisfied past participants. Nearly 30% of our clients have returned to G-Lab over 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
Interested host companies or organizations complete and submit online questionnaires from July through early September. In the questionnaire, companies describe the scope of the business challenge they are facing and the solutions they would like a G-Lab team to seek. 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 September, G-Lab faculty match host company projects with the best-qualified student teams. From September through early December, the teams—comprised of four graduate students—work closely with their hosts remotely from campus to first finalize scope and agree on a work plan, and to then undertake initial research, interviews, and analysis. The companies and teams build their working relationships through online collaboration and regular conference calls. 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 the 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 and recommendations that host companies can put to use immediately.
When selecting their project scope, host companies can choose from a broad spectrum of business challenges, such as strategic growth, new market entry, pricing, marketing, benchmarking, VC and fundraising, and financial strategy.
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. Student teams may deliver other concrete tools such as financial models, potential customer/investor/partner pipelines and screens, and go-to-market roadmaps.
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$10,000-14,000 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 about hosting a team, please check out these FAQs.