Action Learning

G-Lab

G-Lab student teams have delivered insight and analysis to over 375 startup and growing companies on more than 500 projects located in 50-plus emerging and frontier markets around

Dive In
G-Lab

Welcome

Now Reading 1 of 6

G-Lab team in Chile

Global Entrepreneurship Lab

Since 2000, Global Entrepreneurship Lab (G-Lab) student teams have delivered insight and analysis to over 375 startup and growing companies on more than 500 projects located in 50-plus emerging and frontier markets around the world. Our teams work on business problems with host companies in critical areas such as strategic growth, new market entry, pricing, marketing, benchmarking, fundraising, and financial strategy.

G-Lab teams are typically composed of four second-year MIT Sloan MBA students. Teams work with their host companies on a four-month project engagement: they work remotely from MIT for three months from late September through early December, and full-time, on site, at their host companies’ offices for three weeks in January. The companies collaborate with their student teams to finalize their projects’ scope and determine the deliverables their teams will create.

G-Lab teams deliver significant, concrete value to their host companies. Of equal importance is the impact of the G-Lab experience on students, who have unprecedented opportunities to apply their cutting edge classroom learning to challenging global business markets in real time.

WATCH: Professor Simon Johnson on Global Entrepreneurship Lab

G-Lab Success Stories

G-Lab

Overview

Now Reading 2 of 6

WATCH: Faculty Member Michellana Jester on Global Entrepreneurship Lab

G-Lab Overview

Global Entrepreneurship Lab (15.389)

Entrepreneurship in the 21st century is evolving. Due do global changes in technology, communication, and capital markets, today’s innovative startups are building successful companies in markets around the globe, in environments with young or emerging entrepreneurial ecosystems. These challenges are the focus of G-Lab.

This course focuses on measuring and understanding what kinds of entrepreneurship thrive in different countries, and it develops analytical diagnostic frameworks that can be used to better understand any situation. This includes applying macroeconomic, financial, and microeconomic tools – as well as thinking about the role of politics, culture, and other noneconomic variables. The course covers relevant history, as well as the likely trajectory of countries and what kinds of policies can make a difference.G-Lab is an interdisciplinary project-based learning course with three specific goals:

  • To provide students with insights into the opportunities and problems facing entrepreneurs in emerging markets
  • To structure an intensive project experience for students, in which they work collaboratively with senior leadership at global startups
  • To help students develop their skills of integrated problem framing, in order to understand how organizations in complex environments move to action

As the main feature of G-Lab, student teams work with their host companies on project engagements designed to tackle real-world problems. Host companies are located in up to 15 countries with emerging economies throughout the world. In September, G-Lab faculty members match the best-qualified teams to their preferred host companies. From late September through December, the teams work remotely from campus with the companies, building their relationships through online collaboration and weekly conference calls. Teams conduct project-related research, interviews and analyses that lay critical groundwork for their work in the field. In January, teams travel to work on site full-time at their host companies’ offices for three weeks.

Return: Post-Onsite Reflections and Deliverables

In MIT Sloan’s signature Think-Act-Reflect approach to Action Learning, reflection is an ongoing component in the cycle of a G-Lab project. Through various methods of reflection—such as blogs, team processing, mentor coaching, posters, and public presentations—students link theory and practice before, during, and after their project engagement, bringing them to a deeper understanding of the broad impact of what they’ve learned. The teams’ final deliverables include a formal presentation and, importantly, concrete "leave behinds" that deliver high-impact tools, such as financial models, HR manuals, strategic business plans, or social marketing strategies that the host companies’ senior management can put to work immediately.

G-Lab

Info for Students

Now Reading 3 of 6

Information for Students

G-Lab’s components—classes, projects, and deliverables—parallel the Think-Act-Reflect architecture of MIT Sloan’s Action Learning model.

Class

15.389 Global Entrepreneurship: Global Entrepreneurship Lab

  • Prerequisites: None
  • Term: September-December (full semester) plus January Independent Activities Period (IAP)
  • Four MIT Sloan graduate students per team
  • Project: Teams work with a company in an emerging market country (remotely September-December, and then onsite in January) in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East or Southeast Asia.
  • Course format: Some lectures and guest presentations throughout the semester. Required course work: team formation; project matching; several written assignments including work plan and culturally relevant project research; presentation of preliminary recommendations. Companies and teams negotiate and agree on project scope, schedule, and deliverables.
  • Onsite project work: in January, teams work full-time on site for at least 15 consecutive business days.
  • Host companies cover cost of round-trip airfare and onsite lodging; students are responsible for any additional expenses
  • Mandatory on-campus debrief session following onsite
  • Project deliverables completed and poster session in February
G-Lab

Info for Hosts

Now Reading 4 of 6

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.

Student teams

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.

Project scope

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 glab-faculty@mit.edu.For a closer look at common questions about hosting a team, please check out these FAQs.

Partnership Voices

  • LUIS NAVAS, CEO CONEXIA, (THREE-TIME G-LAB HOST COMPANY)

    "Through G-Lab, we get access to very talented and motivated young people. They engage with everyone in the company, and then they apply what they've learned.”

  • SIMON JOHNSON, RONALD A. KURTZ (1954) PROFESSOR OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP, PROFESSOR OF GLOBAL ECONOMICS AND MANAGEMENT, CO-FOUNDER OF G-LAB

    "Students have always been really enthusiastic about G-Lab, and are important drivers of innovation for the course.”

G-Lab

Contact G-Lab Team

Now Reading 6 of 6

G-Lab Contact

For general questions about G-Lab, contact:
Michellana Jester
G-Lab Faculty Course Manager
mjester@mit.edu

If you would like to be considered as a Host Company for a G-Lab team, contact:
Shari Loessberg
Senior Lecturer, Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Strategic Management
sloessberg@mit.edu

G-Lab team in Chile

Contact Us

Keep Exploring

About Action Learning

Bringing Theory to Life.

Learn More

All Labs

MIT Sloan’s Action Learning labs take the idea of learning-by-doing to a whole new level. Come explore.

Learn More

Get Involved

Bringing student teams together.

Learn More