Welcome to REAL @ MIT

REAL: Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Lab

The REAL Lab is designed to provide students with the foundational knowledge, insights and tools that they need to be more effective participants in regional entrepreneurial ecosystems

The Course

Course Overview

The REAL Lab is designed to provide students with the foundational knowledge, insights and tools that they need to be more effective participants in regional entrepreneurial ecosystems, in whichever key stakeholder category they see themselves: entrepreneurs, risk capital, universities, large corporate and government.

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Course Format

We aim to have a strongly interactive class (with around 30 students) that meets once a week (Thursday 5pm-7pm), and remote participation is available (especially to accommodate eMBAs). There will be readings for each session and students will be expected to be prepared to make insightful and thoughtful contributions to class discussions.

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Is this course for you?

The course is open to students from across the MIT community and beyond. It is likely to be of particular interest to students from MIT Sloan and DUSP as well as the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Business School. Students in the TPP, EMBA, MBA, and SF programs will find this of particular interest.

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Course Overview

Have you ever wondered where to locate your start-up? Have you thought about how you and your organization might improve your local innovation ecosystem? Have you asked what makes Kendall Square special as a place for entrepreneurial firms and what other regions might learn from our experience? REAL (Regional Entrepreneurial Acceleration Lab) is a practical MIT course aimed at students wishing for a research-based but action-oriented understanding of how to accelerate innovation-driven entrepreneurship and build vibrant regional economies. It takes as its starting point the innovation-driven entrepreneurial ecosystems (IDE Ecosystems) that have served as the foundation of many successful regions since the first industrial revolution, and now characterize places such as Silicon Valley, Boston/Cambridge, London, Israel and Singapore. The course takes the perspective of five critical stakeholders: entrepreneurs, risk capital providers, and universities, as well as policymakers (government) and large corporations. It provides frameworks for understanding the strengths and weaknesses of innovation-driven entrepreneurship in particular regions, and then focuses on interventions – programs and policies - that can be designed and implemented across regional economies worldwide.

Course Format

We aim to have a strongly interactive class (with around 30 students) that meets once a week (Thursday 5pm-7pm), and remote participation is available (especially to accommodate eMBAs). There will be readings for each session and students will be expected to be prepared to make insightful and thoughtful contributions to class discussions.

Class sessions will take three different forms:

Is This Course For You?

The course is open to students from across the MIT community and beyond. It is likely to be of particular interest to students from MIT Sloan and DUSP as well as the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Business School. Students in the TPP, EMBA, MBA, and SF programs will find this of particular interest. We believer that students engaged in the Legatum Center, D-Lab and IDEA Challenge will also be valuable contributors to this course.

Students from a variety of different backgrounds and perspectives will benefit from the class.

Interested students are welcome to review the syllabus.

Faculty

Fiona Murray

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Fiona Murray

  • Associate Dean For Innovation
  • Co-Director MIT Innovation Initiative
  • William Porter (1967) Professor of Entrepreneurship
  • Faculty Director Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship
  • Faculty Director Legatum Center

Professor Fiona Murray is the Associate Dean of Innovation at the MIT Sloan School of Management, Alvin J. Siteman (1948) Professor of Entrepreneurship and the Faculty Director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship. She is the Co-Director of MIT’s Initiative for Innovation. She is also an associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. Murray holds an MA in chemistry from Merton College, University of Oxford, and an MS and PhD in engineering and applied sciences from Harvard University.

She is an international expert on the transformation of investments in scientific and technical innovation into innovation-based entrepreneurship that drives jobs, wealth creation, and regional prosperity. She has a special interest in entrepreneurship, the commercialization of science and the economics of entrepreneurship and innovation. She has done extensive work with entrepreneurs, governments, large corporations and philanthropists designing and evaluating the policies and programs that shape vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystems: prizes competitions, accelerators, patent licensing rules and proof of concept funding programs.

A former scientist trained at Harvard University and the University of Oxford, Murray has taught and published extensively on fostering cultures that bridge scientific innovation and entrepreneurship, building effective entrepreneurial strategies for science-based businesses (in biotech and biomedical companies and recently, clean energy), and evaluating the commercial potential of novel scientific ideas. Closely tied to real world problems, Fiona works with public policy makers and entrepreneurs designing and evaluating the policies and programs that shape vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystems: prizes competitions, accelerators, patent licensing rules and proof of concept funding programs.

She also works with large global corporations who seek to leverage the ideas of a wide range of internal scientists as well as external entrepreneurs through novel programs such as prize competitions. Her recent engagements have focused on relationships that span the public and private sectors. She is particularly interested in new emerging organizational arrangements for the effective commercialization of science, including public-private partnerships, not-for-profits, venture philanthropy, and university-initiated seed funding and innovation-focused competitions and prizes.

After a short time on the faculty of Oxford University’s Said Business School, Murray joined MIT Sloan where she is now Faculty Director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship. In this role, Fiona works on the design and delivery of entrepreneurship education at the undergraduate and graduate levels. She teaches the “Innovation Teams” course, which assembles teams of students from across MIT to learn the process of technology commercialization, with a focus on evaluating a technology’s potential for significant commercial and social impact. She has recently started the REAL course – Regional Entrepreneurial Acceleration Lab - which gives students practical and academic insights into the design and development of entrepreneurial ecosystems around the world. These courses encourage cross-campus collaborations that move scientific discoveries closer towards marketable products and allow for students from different stakeholder perspectives to understand the broader entrepreneurial ecosystem. She also has a particular interest in the entrepreneurial education of scientists and engineers, and in the role of women in entrepreneurship and commercialization of science.

Fiona has spoken at events worldwide about building entrepreneurial capacity built upon the engine of scientific research. She also speaks in academic and policy settings on innovation and intellectual property in the scientific community. She has been published in a wide range of journals, including Science, Nature, New England Journal of Medicine, Nature Biotechnology, American Journal of Sociology, Research Policy, Organization Science, and the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Murray has served on the faculty at MIT Sloan since 1999. In 2006 she was promoted to Associate Professor in the Technological Innovation & Entrepreneurship Strategic Management Group and in 2009 became Faculty Director of the Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship. Previously, Murray held positions at Harvard University, the University of Oxford, the Asian Development Bank, and United Nations Environment Program in Kenya.

Murray received her BA ’89 and MA ‘90 from the University of Oxford in Chemistry. She subsequently moved to the United States and earned an AM ’92 and PhD ’96 from Harvard University in Applied Sciences. She serves on the Prime Minister’s Council on Science and Technology in the United Kingdom

Contact
MIT Sloan School of Management
E62-470
100 Main Street
Cambridge, MA 02142
Email: fmurray@mit.edu
Phone: 617-253-3681
Fax: 617-253-2660

Phil Budden

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Phil Budden

Dr Phil Budden is a Senior Lecturer at MIT Sloan affiliated with the Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship. He joined the British Foreign Office as a diplomat in 1993, after a PhD in international political economy from Oxford University (and MAs from Cornell and Oxford). His first ten years as a diplomat were focussed on Britain's membership of the European Union, and its key economic and technology policies.

His second decade was spent in the US, first at the British Embassy in Washington (focused on transatlantic economic and technology issues including national security, international science and innovation links and trade policy). From 2007 he served as the British Consul General to New England, based in Boston.

As CG, Budden had responsibility for transatlantic business affairs, including trade and investment, science and innovation, and politics and policy issues. From September 2012, Budden undertook a project for No. 10 (and UK Trade and Investment), while based at MIT Sloan, to inform the UK's Entrepreneurs Campaign. He is currently on leave from the British Government, working in Boston's private sector for the Royal Bank of Scotland's US subsidiary, RBS Citizens, focussed on British-American trade and investment.

Contact
MIT Sloan School of Management
E62-455
100 Main Street
Cambridge, MA 02142
Email: pbudden@mit.edu
Phone: 617-253-3681
Fax: 617-253-2660

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