Now in its 20th year, ‘G-Lab’ helps to promote entrepreneurship across Ecuador
Cambridge, Mass., January 17, 2020— It’s a company poised to expand locally and globally and interested in exploring how best to take that next significant step. Now, bioFeeder has been selected to host a Global Entrepreneurship Laboratory (G-Lab) project in collaboration with the MIT Sloan School of Management, founder of the international entrepreneurial program. The company was chosen based on their business model, growth potential, and success to date.
This year marks G-Lab’s 20th anniversary. Since 2000, nearly 2,500 MIT Sloan G-Lab students have worked with host companies on 643 projects at 482 startups in emerging and frontier markets in 54 countries. To date, approximately five other G-Lab projects have been hosted in startups and companies across Ecuador.
When determining project scope, host companies draw from a broad spectrum of business challenges such as growth, new market entry, pricing, marketing, benchmarking, fundraising, and financial strategy. G-Lab strongly emphasizes concrete “leave-behinds” as a primary component of the teams’ project deliverables. In the process, the MBA students gain real-world experience in creating, developing and running young enterprises with diverse economic infrastructures as well as thinking about the role of politics, culture, and other non-economic variables.
Meet the company and G-Lab project
bioFeeder has developed an automated shrimp feeder and accompanying software. The system consists of a network of intelligent cloud-controlled feeders with algorithms designed to optimize the shrimp feed cycle. It was developed with the latest technology in electronics, mechanics and telecommunications.
bioFeeder has asked the G-Lab team first to assess the market and generate perspectives on the future expansion of their product. Second, they’ve asked the G-Lab team to develop an idea for a financing structure and opportunities that allow them to grow while continuing to offer their feeders via a Hardware as a Service (HaaS) model.
“Across Ecuador, smart people are running good companies and looking to create more good jobs,” says MIT Sloan Professor Simon Johnson, the former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund who co-founded the program in 2000. “Over the past twenty years, it has been a privilege – and an education – for our students to find ways to be helpful. Everyone returns to the United States impressed with the energy and intensity of the CEOs in these companies.”
G-Lab—based on the MIT Sloan E-Lab model launched in 1992—is one of 15 pioneering Action Learning labs available to students at MIT Sloan. While project activities vary, they are united by common themes, including experiential, reflective, and peer learning; faculty mentoring; real-world problem solving; knowledge transfer; and, perhaps unique to MIT Sloan, a student team engagement intended to have a measurable business, which often includes a social impact. These real-time management challenges bring theory to life.
About the MIT Sloan School of Management
The MIT Sloan School of Management, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, is one of the world’s leading academic sources of innovation in management theory and practice. With students from more than 60 countries, it develops effective, innovative, and principled leaders who advance the global economy.