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. Host Companies (HCs) 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. Most HCs have made personal recommendations of G-Lab to their peers, and a significant percentage of HCs have participated in 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
Teams work for their Host Companies on a four-month project engagement. Potential HCs submit online questionnaires from June through August. In the questionnaire, potential HCs 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 HCs to detail the skillsets and expertise they believe would be most useful for team members to possess, including any non-English language requirements. G-Lab faculty are available to assist potential Host Companies in shaping and defining the project scope for the questionnaire.
In late September, G-Lab faculty match Host Companies with the best-qualified teams. From October through December, the teams work with their clients remotely from campus to first finalize scope and agree on a workplan, and then undertake research, interviews, and analysis. Host 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 the team’s progress, both logistically and substantively. The team, however, is in charge of building and managing their client 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 creating concrete “leave-behinds” as a primary component of the 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 local language 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, again tailored to local market needs and environments. Other concrete tools our teams frequently deliver to HCs 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.
There is no fee to MIT for engaging a G-Lab team. Host Companies do assume responsibility 1) for round-trip coach airfare for the team and 2) for simple, 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 past HCs report that they budget approximately US$10,000 to host a team
If you are interested in becoming a Host Company for G-Lab, please contact Shari Loessberg with your questions or ideas. In order to participate, potential Host Companies must complete the G-Lab questionnaire. Questionnaires are due by August 23, 2012.
For a closer look at common questions, please check out these FAQ's.