MIT REAP and GE Ventures Host MIT Global Innovation Gala

MIT Innovation Initiative June 21, 2016

On Tuesday, May 31, 2016, MIT hosted the Global Innovation Gala, featuring over 200 attendees from 16 global regions as well as key members of the MIT innovation community. Sponsored by GE Ventures, the gala celebrated collaboration between high-level regional stakeholders to facilitate Innovation-Driven Entrepreneurship (IDE) in each of the global regions who have been participating in the MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (REAP). The unusual gathering of diverse stakeholders ranging from government, risk capital, academia, corporate, and the entrepreneurial community attended the event to learn more about what each other is doing and to find new ways to drive economic prosperity and social progress.

Keynote speaker Neal Sandy, chief marketing officer of GE Ventures, welcomed the guests and spoke of GE’s decision to become an engaged part of the Boston ecosystem, which exemplified the inter-stakeholder collaboration that MIT REAP focuses on. Additionally, guests shared the strategies the 16 regions participating in the program have developed over the past couple of years with the confidence and instruction of the MIT REAP faculty, including Professors Scott Stern and Fiona Murray and Senior Lecturers Bill Aulet and Phil Budden. The regions participating in the program currently range in geographical locations as far as Beijing and London. Each of these teams have focused on developing interventions that will help their region build a more supportive environment for entrepreneurship. The interventions and mechanisms taught by the faculty have been one of the main focuses of the program, drawing lessons from initiatives developed around the MIT community such as the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, MIT Industrial Liaison Program, and the MIT Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation.

Included in the regions attending at the Global Innovation Gala were those of MIT REAP Cohort 2 (London, Morocco, Moscow, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Seoul, Singapore, and Valencia), who were in Cambridge for their final workshop and anticipated graduation. As a result of MIT REAP, the program’s alumni enter into the MIT Global Innovation Network, a community of high-level stakeholders who have successfully completed the program and continue to collaborate with other regions and the MIT innovation community to enact change that improves regional prosperity and social progress through IDE. The Global Innovation Gala celebrated efforts being waged both here at MIT and around the world.

A special thank you to members of the MIT community who attended the event from the MIT Sloan School of Management, MIT Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship, MIT Innovation Initiative, Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, MIT Launch, MIT Sloan Executive Education, MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives, MIT Office of International Programs, MIT Political Science, MIT Fintech, MIT Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation, MIT Industrial Liaisons Program, MIT Media Lab, MIT Lincoln Lab, MIT Beaver Works, MIT Industrial Performance Center, MIT Technology Review, and MIT Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

Authors: Sarah Jane Maxted, Director of MIT REAP and Travis Hunter, Program Manager at MIT REAP