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:

  • Akamai
  • net.Genesis
  • C-Bridge Internet Solutions
  • Brontes Technologies
  • Direct Hit
  • Silicon Spice
  • WebLine Communications
  • Harmonix
  • 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
G-LAB: PRIVATE HEALTH CARE IN AFRICA Defining growth at a for-profit clinic

“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.”

Anne Reilly
MBA
G-LAB: INTERGRUPO, COLOMBIA Growing a business by cultivating relationships

"The relationships that we forged helped us to turn out a better project. We were able to test our hypotheses with the people that we spoke with every single day. And really, I think the friendships that you develop really propel the work that you’re doing."

Ramy Hakim
MBA
G-LAB, KUALA LUMPUR Assessing the future of the Smart Card
"You have to manage what you can deliver for the company and what the company is expecting. The bottom line is that the CEOs of those companies want results. Even though we have to work five months in a row with the project, we have to deliver. This experience is more pragmatic than academic. It's a good opportunity to match those two worlds."
Camilo Syllos
MBA
SLOAN FELLOW Merging disciplines for climate change
"I needed to get a better understanding of the interaction of management and technology. And I think MIT is an obvious place for that. There’s probably no better place in the world [for learning] how technology and management interact."
Pascal Marmier
SF
G-LAB: MERCY CORPS, INDONESIA Using business principles to address malnutrition

“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!”

Libby Putman
MBA
SLOAN FELLOW Getting serious about going global
"I had interviews and visited other business schools, and it’s nothing like the environment that we have here at MIT Sloan."
Abner Oliviera
SF
COURAGE AND STRENGTH Supporting a student with breast cancer
"The Sloan community really rallied around me in a way that I totally didn’t anticipate. … It was just really nice to be a part of a community that I was totally comfortable in and felt completely supported by."
Kyle Maner
MBA
LEADERS FOR GLOBAL OPERATIONS Connecting management and technology
“[LGO students] get the advantage of a small cohort that they take many courses with. But they’re also part of the larger community. They’re part of MIT, of MIT Sloan, of the MBA program. They’re part of the core program that meets every fall, they’re part of the engineering committee; they get the benefits of both the larger community and the small cohort.”
Don Rosenfield
Senior lecturer and director of the Leaders for Global Operations
MFIN STUDENT TAKE Collective Brainpower

"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."

Tiffany Wetherell
MFin
$100K 2010 WINNERS: C-CRETE TECHNOLOGIES Reducing the environmental impact of concrete

“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.”

Natanel Barookhian
MBA
G-LAB: NAM MEE BOOKS, THAILAND Helping a book publisher mature

“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.”

Lia Cavalcante
MBA
CENTER FOR INFORMATION SYSTEMS RESEARCH Bringing people and machines together

“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.”

Jeanne W. Ross
Director and Principal Research Scientist, CISR
MSTIR MIT Sloan Teaching Innovations Resources
"MIT is not only a first-class institution in studying entrepreneurship, but in creating it and fostering it. A huge number of companies have emerged from MIT, not just MIT’s science and engineering schools, but also from collaborative projects between the science and engineering and the Sloan school."
John D. Sterman
Jay W. Forrester Professor of Management
MIT LEADERSHIP CENTER Changing views of leadership

“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.”

Deborah Ancona
Faculty Director, MIT Leadership Center
G-LAB: AIDS IN TANZANIA Striving for economic empowerment

“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.”

Krishna Venugopalan
SF
S-LAB: JAKARTA WATERSHED Combating a clean water crisis

“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."

Ian Lavery
MBA
G-LAB, RAS RESORT, INDIA Marketing in Mumbai
"The project was really interesting because the scope changed a lot. We started focusing in one goal, then we changed to another, then we changed to another, all before we even left Cambridge."
Gerardo Guzman
MBA
RETAIL AND CONSUMER GOODS Luxury beauty and the multicultural consumer
"The goal of the Retail and Consumer Goods Club is to provide networking opportunities for students at MIT Sloan, and to educate students about different functions within the retail and CPG space. We bring in executive-level speakers to educate our community on this topic."
Nga Phan
MBA, co-president of Retail and Consumer Goods Club
SWITZER FELLOWSHIP WINNER JASON JAY Focusing on environmental research and leadership

 “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.”

Jason Jay
Lecturer, Sustainability, MIT Sloan
G-LAB: WARMBATHS HOSPITAL, SOUTH AFRICA Improving staffing at a maternity ward

“I can honestly say that when I was planning on coming to business school I never thought that witnessing the birth of a child would be included in the education. It was definitely an experience.”

Kelsey McCarty
MBA
INDIA LAB: EDUCATIONAL ENHANCEMENT Creating employable workers to boost the economy

“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.”

Ted Chan
MBA
INDIA LAB: BANGALORE Working toward market expansion

“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.”

Katie Baron
MBA
INSTITUTE FOR WORK AND EMPLOYMENT RESEARCH Adapting to the changing nature of work

“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.”

Thomas Kochan
Co-director, IWER

“MIT Sloan is a serious research environment, and that reverberates in the classroom. Students are eager to participate in research, not just review finished case studies. They have the opportunity to see research unfold.”

- Fiona Murray
Class of 1922 Career Development Associate Professor