Julie Lockner, EMBA ’17, came to MIT focused on gaining the skills she needed to launch a health tech company. As an alumna, she turned to IDEA Lab for a team of EMBAs to help her with a project.Learn More
Applying an Innovation-Driven Entrepreneurial Advantage (IDEA)
IDEA Lab is an MIT Executive MBA Action Learning lab focused on innovation and entrepreneurship. Building an ‘Innovation-Driven Entrepreneurial Advantage’ (IDEA) is deeply embedded in the culture of MIT, and is an intellectual and practical cornerstone of the MIT Executive MBA Program. In the first year of the program, Executive MBA students (EMBAs) complete the IDEA Week executive module, which introduces them to key concepts and MIT frameworks supporting innovation-driven entrepreneurship (e.g. iterative innovation loops of experimentation and evaluation), and the innovation ecosystem (e.g. the ecosystem’s key stakeholders, and the foundations of innovation and entrepreneurial capacities).
In the second year, IDEA Lab provides a follow-on opportunity for EMBAs to put their IDEA insights into practice with interested organizations/corporations, or with their own start-up (perhaps resulting from IDEA Week). IDEA Lab gives EMBAs time and space to explore and leverage innovation ecosystems to gain an innovation-driven entrepreneurial advantage, and to build a stronger culture of corporate innovation.
IDEA Lab projects will be co-created by faculty and students along one of two tracks:
- Innovation: focuses on organizations wishing to become more innovative and/or to engage the ecosystem. EMBA alums often host these projects.
- Entrepreneurship: principally for EMBAs with start-up enterprises/ventures.
IDEA Lab will further explore the themes of:
- Innovation ecosystems
- The innovation loop of experimentation and evaluation
In keeping with the emphasis on global issues critical to the Global Labs experience, each Innovation Track project will be a team-based one that can be in Boston (as this is a globally important innovation ecosystem in its own right).
Entrepreneurship Track projects should also be team ventures, but the other team members can come from outside the EMBA.
Two types of projects are envisioned. Both include the consideration of the global elements of the innovation economy, the comparison/selection of innovation ecosystems, and/or global expansion.
IDEA Lab’s Two Tracks
The IDEA Lab tracks will encompass two distinctive types of group projects, each with a theme of innovation-driven entrepreneurial advantage (IDEA) in a global context.
Accelerating corporate/organizational innovation through engagement with the wider innovation ecosystem
Innovation Track projects explore the potential for corporations and other large organizations to expand engagement with their local innovation economy in Boston or another innovation ecosystem. These may also emphasize internal ‘corporate innovation’ processes that complement ecosystem engagement (e.g. through internal accelerators etc.). Considerations include the nature of Boston-based engagement, choices of specific location, and program design/development. Host organizations may be global corporations, government agencies or non-profits.
Work on your own start-up venture
These projects emphasize location and expansion opportunities, drawing on the globally distinctive elements of Boston’s ecosystem; or identifying the strategic rationale for global expansion into another innovation ecosystem, determining the operational nature of this expansion. These projects may be proposed by an individual founder-EMBA who is driving the start-up venture, and can be delivered with a team of EMBA students for IDEA Lab (or by the founder working with non-EMBAs). They can also be delivered for an existing start-up.
Interested in Enrolling?
IDEA-Lab is the pilot amongst the EMBA Global Labs, so those interested should liaise directly with the faculty. IDEA Lab projects are co-created by faculty and students.