Regions can apply to join the next MIT REAP Cohort at any point during the year. A new cohort of up to six regions starts every January.
Each REAP Team consists of up to 12 team members. The acceptance of regional teams into MIT REAP is evaluated based on the strength and commitment of the Champion and ability to engage core team members across the stakeholder groups. All team members must also speak English fluently to participate in the workshops.
These stakeholders should be decision-makers of executive level, and have the ability to influence the creation of policy and programs in their own sector, and they should bring an intimate understanding of the current ecosystem and its challenges from their perspectives. With participation comes responsibility. Each Team member will take on the responsibility of representing the interests of their sector, identifying opportunities, and working to build support in their sector to execute on various elements of their regional REAP Team strategy.
Participation in MIT REAP is contingent on paying the MIT REAP tuition fee. Tuition may be funded by the Champion Organization and/or sourced from other partners, though our experience has been that Teams are most effective when most, if not all, partners are financially involved. Teams will typically split the payment amongst all partner organizations on the REAP Team.
At MIT REAP we are adapting to the changing environment, and our top priority is to ensure that we continue to deliver top quality educational experiences to all MIT REAP teams. To this end, we are in constant communications with accepted teams and are actively working with them on a flexible program schedule that takes into account disruptions associated with COVID19. Through MIT REAP, international teams will connect, inspire, and learn from one another during this unique and challenging time.
To apply to MIT REAP, it is important that all five stakeholders from the region are represented (university, government, corporate, risk capital, and the entrepreneurial community). Thus, the application should be a team effort and we expect applicants to apply as a team.
The acceptance of regional teams into MIT REAP is evaluated based on the strength and commitment of the Champion and ability to engage core team members across the stakeholder groups. Each REAP Team consists of up to 12 team members. All team members must also speak English fluently to participate in the workshops.
Teams need to complete the online application to be considered for any given Cohort.
Typically, a higher percentage of applicants are accepted during the Early Decision period than during the Regular Decision period. Additionally, Early Decision applicants have the opportunity to receive feedback on their applications from the Admissions Committee, and be re-considered during the Regular Decisions period if they are not accepted during the Early Decision round.
The official REAP Team Champion is the leader of his or her Team and is deeply connected to the mission of inspiring innovation-based entrepreneurial ecosystems. This individual works in this capacity on a daily basis, and will understand the local landscape and which key players to engage to create the greatest impact. This individual will be critical in helping to build regional support for the program, assemble key players to serve on the regional REAP Team up to 12, secure funding for participation, and work closely with the MIT REAP staff team.
Though Champions may come from many places and should be determined based on the regional context, our experience shows that successful Champions often have the following profile: energetic, once-practicing entrepreneurs now seated in a business-facing public policy, government, or economic development role, with strong ties to regional and national government and deep connections across stakeholders. This person should have a current organizational mission aligned with that of MIT REAP and a job role related to accountability for creating or implementing a regional strategy to accelerate regional prosperity and economic growth and development through innovation-driven entrepreneurship.
We expect regional teams to send up to 12 members to onsite workshops, ensuring coverage of stakeholders and key players while keeping to a size that maintains productivity. In order to ensure proper representation of the ecosystem, we aim to keep the teams small enough to optimize productive team conversations, helpful inter-regional exchange, and ability for our MIT Faculty to coach the teams as they develop and implement their regional strategies.
Opportunities exist to engage broader networks of ecosystem players to gather input and mobilize others to help support implementation – teams can utilize working group models or broader engagement to ensure that strategy development is well-informed and that the team is addressing the key challenges and opportunities in the ecosystem.
Teams should maintain as much consistency as possible because the program builds over the course of two years: presenting foundational frameworks and assessment assignments at the beginning, building on this work to develop a strategy, and ultimately implementing that strategy by the team members and those they influence. A lot of turnover on a team can negatively impact the learning and momentum that occurs when a team completes all MIT REAP program activities together.
Careful attention should be paid to ensure that the Champion of the team is able to commit to the two-year leadership appointment to ensure maximum team leadership and regional impact. If members need to be added or replaced to support regional strategic direction or ensure that the team is as effective as it can be, flexibility exists for this case.
Yes, absolutely. The MIT REAP team is seen as a core, mobilizing force to drive change in the region. In order to create lasting impact, teams have implemented a variety of successful models to engage broader networks beyond the core team.
For example, the MIT REAP team from Scotland schedules a working group session every other month in each of their sectors to share information from MIT REAP lessons learned and gather input from key players across the ecosystem that will inform strategic direction and spin-out activities in support of the regional strategy. Some regions have tried a less formal approach, reaching out as needed to individuals in their networks based on the targeted strategic initiatives they are undertaking.