Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program expands scope with new cohort

MIT Innovation Initiative October 23, 2015

Eight new global regional teams engage with MIT faculty, students, and thought leaders to build a more robust innovation-drive entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Nearly 70 global leaders spanning government, risk capital, university, corporate, and entrepreneurship sectors from eight diverse regions are convening in Cambridge, Massachusetts this week for a three-day workshop hosted by the MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (REAP). Forming the MIT REAP Cohort 3, teams from Tokyo, Japan; Beijing, China; Ashdod, Israel; southwestern Norway; Bangkok, Thailand; Al Madinah, Saudi Arabia; Santiago, Chile; and Wales, UK will dedicate the next two years to working collectively with one another, with others from their region, and with MIT faculty and thought leaders to devise strategies to build a more robust innovation-driven entrepreneurial ecosystem. Relevant faculty from across campus with particular regional interests are also engaging with individual teams. Additionally, several students from the Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Lab (REAL) class were selected to participate with teams from their home nations, strengthening ties from MIT to these regions at all levels.

Cohort 3 represents an expansion of the scope of regions previously engaged by REAP. “By bringing these teams together, REAP hopes to inspire collaboration amongst regions whose paths have never crossed before,” says Fiona Murray, the Bill Porter Professor of Entrepreneurship at MIT, associate dean for innovation at MIT Sloan, and co-director of the MIT Innovation Initiative. “Participants will benefit greatly from working in multi-stakeholder regional teams as they’ll be able to focus on collective action and impact rather than the perspective of a single stakeholder.”

MIT faculty, students, alumni, and others from the Institute’s ecosystem formally welcomed Cohort 3 to the community at a celebration dinner on Thursday, Oct. 22 at the Top of the Hub in Boston. Professor Vladimir Bulović, associate dean for innovation at the School of Engineering and co-director of the MIT Innovation Initiative, gave the keynote speech.

Conceived in 2011, REAP builds on MIT’s extensive experience as a key stakeholder in leading innovation ecosystems. Through the support of the MIT Innovation Initiative, REAP is also able to leverage the Innovation Initiative’s experience in leading innovation and entrepreneurship across broader global communities. As it enters its fourth year, REAP has engaged 23 regions to date, and has already seen positive impact from its workshops.