Events and Student Initiatives
Inspiration to be the best
Global conferences and speaker series are among the most anticipated events of the academic year at MIT. Many events are organized by MIT Sloan clubs — the Brazilian Club, for example, coordinates the very popular annual Latin Conference. The Venture Capital Private Equity (VCPE) Club and the Sports Analytics Club each hold some of the largest student-run conferences of their kind in the United States. Still more events are organized by academic departments and research centers within MIT.
Competitions are just as popular. Each year, clubs hold such varied contests as the Sales Competition, the Operating Simulation Competition, and the newest student contest, the Bold Sell Competition. In this contest, participants pitch a product on-stage — the only catch? The product is not revealed to the students until they are on stage to pitch! This high-energy, collaborative competition encourages a culture of risk taking and improvisation.
Perhaps the best-known contest, the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition, is a yearlong educational experience that encourages MIT students to act on their talent, ideas, and energy to develop tomorrow’s leading companies.
Since its beginning in 1990 as the $10K, more than 5,000 MIT students and colleagues have competed in the annual $100K Entrepreneurship Competition.
More Than Abstract Concepts
As the world leader among student-run university entrepreneurship competitions, the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition has facilitated the birth of more than 130 companies with aggregate exit values of $2.5 billion captured and a market cap of more than $15 billion.
These companies have generated more than 2,500 jobs and have received $770 million in venture capital funding. The $100K includes three contests: the Elevator Pitch and Executive Summary contests, which present prizes of nearly $20,000 each, and the Business Plan contest, which awards cash prizes of more than $300,000.
Success stories from the $100K contest include companies such as:
- C-Bridge Internet Solutions
- Brontes Technologies
- Direct Hit
- Silicon Spice
- WebLine Communications
- Actuality Systems
- Frictionless Commerce
- Sensable Technologies
- Stylus Innovation
- Virtual Ink
More opportunities to compete include:
- MIT Clean Energy Prize
- $100,000 Lemelson-MIT Award for Sustainability
- The MIT Peer Recognition Awards
- International MBA Sales Competition
- MIT IDEAS
- MIT Global Challenge
“It was really rewarding that they wanted to know what we thought. We left there being fairly certain that they will do some of the things that we suggested.”
“We are very much an action-learning environment. The way to learn leadership is not only through reading cases, not only through learning theory — in fact we don’t want people to regurgitate the theory. We want people to take theory and to live it, use it.”
“The assistant to the CEO was like our host mom while we were there. She arranged our housing for us, she took us out to her friend’s game farm, and we got driven around in 4x4s. She was just wonderful to meet, and we developed a personal as well as professional relationship with her.”
“At MIT Sloan you have a lot of opportunities to explore entrepreneurship. Especially in a place like Kampala where you have a lot of development, entrepreneurship can be very exciting.”
“One of the reasons I came to Sloan was because I wanted to be at a top MBA institution worldwide. But I also wanted access to working with the latest innovations and the highest technology that was coming out of the MIT labs.”
“We’re very interdisciplinary. Among the faculty in the group are an economist, a political scientist, a sociologist, and an industrial relations specialist. We’ve always made a big effort to be open to a variety of perspectives, but also to go beyond being open to them, to want to bring them in, because it makes for a richer environment.”
“I love being in a place that is such a nexus of people and ideas — people coming to learn something new and to define themselves. Being a part of that process is a real honor and a real gift.”
"After we gave our recommendations, the great part was that the very next day the CEO was in the boardroom implementing them with his top vice presidents."
“I knew about American business, but not enough about what’s really become a global economy. … You can read about it all you want, but there’s no substitute for being there and seeing the context and seeing how completely different these [other countries] are.”
“These companies are really excited to work with MIT students.They reach out to the community to set up these projects and are great to work with. They give us access to all their resources and are very open to us.”
“The conditions in the neighborhoods we were visiting were different than what we realized before getting there. Beyond that, what was surprising was that there weren’t surprises!”
“Because of the diversity of our backgrounds, when we hit the ground in Tanzania it almost was a natural play where different people assume different roles.”
“The concept behind enterprise architecture is that you have all these machines, you have all these business processes, you have all these people doing things, how do you make sure they all come together and achieve business objectives that make you more competitive.”
“I came to Sloan because of its high rankings within the sustainability community, specifically the professors. The S-Lab class itself is part of what drew me to Sloan. And the reason I came to business school was to learn the business speak that really is what connects with people."
"The classroom itself is filled with so much collective brain power . . . it's obvious that I'm caught up in a room full of 124 of the brightest, most curious people from around the world."
“One of MIT Sloan’s strengths is that it combines research with teaching practices. It truly merges theory and practice — a feat that is possible due to its top-notch research faculty and the faculty’s interest in putting their ideas to work.”