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Avoid Stagnation: Acceleration
Trumps Incubation
Bill Aulet, Managing Director, Martin Trust Center for MIT
Entrepreneurship
March 8, 2014
entrepreneurship.mit.edu @BillAulet
Summer 2012
• Summer 2010 – Startup Central
• Summer 2011 – Wicked Awesome
Summer StartUp Program (a/k/a
WASSUP)
• Summer 2012 – FSA
• Summer 2013 – GFSA
Time
Success
• Complete the Ramp
• Entrepreneurs Not Companies:
Teaching our students how to fish
rather than catching a fish
• Fulfill MIT’s Mission
Goals of FSA
Validation
MIT Entrepreneurship Ramp
Inspiration,
Idea,
Technology
Classroom Extra-Curricular
The Grand Plan: “The Ramp”
We needed
something to
support students!
Validation
MIT Entrepreneurship Ramp
Inspiration,
Idea,
Technology
Classroom Extra-Curricular
Most Often
Unable to
Achieve
Escape
Velocity
Plan vs. Reality: Before FSA
Validation
Completing the Ramp with FSA
MIT Entrepreneurship Ramp
Inspiration,
Idea,
Technology
Classroom Extra-Curricular Accelerator
• Peter Thiel
• Fellows Program
• $100k to dropout
Challenge
RESULTING CONCLUSION
Photo of Peter Thiel by David Orban via wikipedia.org
Stay in
school
Be a Serious
EntrepreneurORX
Changing Face of Entrepreneurship
Herbert B. Jones
Foundation’s Milestone
Achievement Awards
University of Washington
• Educational
• Honest broker
• Existing extensive entrepreneurship
eco-chamber & value chain
• Tremendous opportunity for a
complementary program
MIT’s Unique Role
• Space
• Stipend
• Structure
• Status
How GFSA Works
˅
Global
Community
•Support - emotional, pride, culture
•Learning
•Peer motivation
Space
1. Baseline: $1k/month per person
–Creates full focus
2. Milestone Awards
Stipend
Area Mtg #1 Mtg #2 Mtg #3 Mtg #4 Total
Customer $5K
Product $5K
Team $5K
Financial $5K
Cumulative $20K
3. Discretionary budget available
1. April 6 – 1st round of applications due
2. April – interviews
3. May 1 – decisions
4. 3.5 month program
5. Demo Day at t=0 Festival (mid-September)
6. Goal: student capabilities reach escape velocity
Structure
Student
Team
Mentor Network
• EiRs
• VMS
• Catalyst
Prototyping
• Labs
• IDC
Committee
• Holds team accountable
• Customized for team
• Members have BoD
experience
• 3 monthly meeting and 1
final meeting
Tues & Thurs
Luncheon Series
• JIT Education &
connections
• Internal & external
Informal Support
• Staff
General Rhythm
Validate &
invalidate
idea based
on Primary
Market
Research
(PMR) &
refine team
1st 30
Days
Continue
to refine
team &
focus on
product
definition
& dev
2nd 30
Days
Financials,
product
dev
iterations
& polish
for
graduation
3rd 30
Days
1. Acceptance with Social Norms
2. Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval/Status
Status
Reaction of Students & Application Process
ALL APPLICATIONS
129 Teams, 376 Participants, 241 MIT Students (All Schools)
FIRST SCREENING
26 Teams, 88 Participants, 61 MIT Students
GFSA FINAL SELECTION
10 Teams, 35 Participants, 25 MIT Students
Other Summer Accelerators:
40 Teams – MIT Beehive Coop
30 Teams – MassChallenge
RockHealth, HealthBox, YC, etc.
GFSA Educational Component
TEAM
• Founders Agreements & Equity
Splits
• Hiring and Firing Employees
• Developing Company Culture
CUSTOMER
• Primary Market Research/
User Innovation
• Developing a Persona
• Securing your First Customer
• Decision Making Unit/
Decision Making Process
FINANCE
• Legal Issues and Startups
• Building Financial Statements
• Entrepreneurship MicroEconomics:
CoCA & LTV
• Alternative Ways to Raise Capital
PRODUCT
• 24 Steps to Successful Product Launch
• Protecting and Growing your Core
• Iterating, Refining & Evolving Your
Product
• Building a Pricing Model
GFSA Clinic Leaders
MIT Management and Engineering Faculty
Eric von Hippel Matt Marx Catherine Tucker Fiona Murray Sanjay Sarma
GFSA Clinic Leaders
Internal Trust Center Resources
Bill Aulet
Managing Director
Christina Chase
Entrepreneur in
Residence &
Student Evangelist
Kyle Judah
GFSA Program Director
Elaine Chen
Rethink Robotics
Jim Dougherty
Great Hill Partners
Charlie Tillett
50-50-50 Consulting
Brian Halligan
HubSpot
Entrepreneurs in Residence (EiRs)
GFSA Clinic Leaders
External Resources
Başak Özer
Nokia
Jack VanWoerkom
Home Depot
Staples
Christopher
O'Donnell
HubSpot
Kevin Rustagi
Founder, Ministry
of Supply
Kit Hickey
Founder, Ministry
of Supply
Paul English
Founder, Kayak.com
Prahar Shah
Founder, Mobee
Aaron White
Founder, Boundless
Learning
Joe Greenstein
Founder, Flixster
Dharmesh Shah
HubSpot
Jim Baum
CEO, Netezza
Chuck Kane
Founder
One Laptop Per Child
• Extremely Important “Forcing Function” & Closure Event
• Three Goals for Three Audiences
– Students
– GFSA/Beehive
– Integration of External Players
• Positive effects already seen
– 3x increase in student participation in t=0 events from last year
– Fills pipeline to make next year’s GFSA much stronger
– Dozens of teams proactively asking to move into the Beehive
• Videos of Demo Day presentations can be seen at:
http://entrepreneurship.mit.edu
Demo Day “Graduation Event”
0
1
2
3
4
Customer Product Team Financials/Other Overall
Participant Data Validates Assumptions
Ability to Articulate Theory
0
1
2
3
4
Customer Product Team Financials/Other Overall
Participant Data Validates Assumptions
Ability to Execute
Participant Data Validates Assumptions
Net Promoter Score of +73
“This was one of the most valuable
experiences I’ve had while at MIT.”
“We learn a lot of theory in class,
but now we know how to execute.”
“The program fills the chasm that
often limits ideas/projects from
becoming real businesses.”
“This experience helped us to quickly
develop the product that addressed
real market needs, and with a high
market potential.”
“This real world experience really
helps clear up a lot of misconceptions
about the struggle as well as the pay
off in the end.”
“I have already advised
professors at other universities
about the program and
suggested that this is the real
way to honor your students.”
OVERALL
•Huge success in allowing teams to make progress beyond
best case scenario
•Three months is about the right time – less time would
not be enough maybe a month longer would be even
better
•There were conflicts with academic work at times but
was manageable (WiCare & SmartScheduling)
•10 was a good size for year 1 & could grow next year but
need to be careful on scaling too fast
Lessons Learned
Lessons Learned
SELECTION
•Team should be the #1 criteria far & away - the best teams
far outperformed the teams with more compelling projects at
the beginning
•Developing culture in the GFSA cohort is a tricky but very
important thing. Keeping a collaborative and positive spirit in
the program is important to optimizing its success.
•Have mixed skilled teams makes a difference – this is a very
good criteria
•Once teams get funding, they should probably not be in GFSA
Lessons Learned
IMPLEMENTATION
•Key element was giving the teams the chance to revisit strategy/direction
without a loss of urgency (there was only three months)
•Teams still reconfigured – founders issues took a lot of time; Forcing a
founders agreement milestones halfway through was very productive
•Board meetings and milestone payments were extremely implortant in
complementing the mentoring Demo Day as a forcing function worked
extremely well and was a huge amount of work to pull off
•There is a limit to the value of mentorship and at some points it can get
to be too much. Teams have to do things and get answers themselves
rather than continually listening to more people.
• Acceleration works
• General Incubation does not work as well
• Avoid Stagnation: Acceleration Trumps
Incubation
Conclusion
More info
• The book
• www.disciplinedentrepreneurship.com
• Progress Dashboard
www.detoolbox.com
29
Coming March 18: New Online course
• Google “edX Entrepreneurship 101”
• https://www.edx.org/course/mitx/mitx-15-390x-entrepreneurship-101-who-1312
Top 10 Teams All 129 teams that applied
Number Percentage Number Percentage
MIT Undergrads 1 4.0% 45 19.7%
MIT Master's 18 72.0% 113 49.5%
MIT Doctorate 5 20.0% 62 27.3%
MIT Postdoc 1 4.0% 8 3.5%
All MIT Students (Including 2012 graduates) 25 100% 228 100%
0 0
MIT Students (from above) 25 71.4% 228 66.7%
MIT Alumni 4 11.4% 27 7.9%
Harvard Students 2 5.7% 18.5 5.4%
Harvard Alumni 0 0.0% 7.5 2.2%
Other 4 11.4% 61 17.8%
All participants 35 100% 342 100%
0 0
SAP (4, 11, MAS) 4 16.0% 25 11.0%
Eng (1, 2, 3, 6, 10, 16, 20, 22, ESD) 10.5 42.0% 98.5 43.2%
HASS (14, 17, 21, 24, CMS, STS) 0 0.0% 2.5 1.1%
Sloan (15 including certain joint programs with ESD) 8.5 34.0% 74.5 32.7%
Sci (5, 7, 8, 9, 12, 18) 0 0.0% 13 5.7%
Whitaker (HST) 0 0.0% 4.5 2.0%
Other (postdoc; Operations Research Center) 2 8.0% 10 4.4%
All MIT Students 25 100% 228 100%
Preliminary Results I: Input
Pre FSA
Topic
Knowledge
(articulate)
Capability
(apply)
Scale 1 - 4 Scale 1 - 4
CUSTOMER average (across the group) 2.4 2.1
PRODUCT average (across the group) 2.5 2.2
TEAM average (across the group) 2.4 2.0
FINANCIALS/OTHER average (across the group) 2.6 2.1
Post FSA
Topic
Knowledge
(articulate)
Capability
(apply)
Scale 1 - 4 Scale 1 - 4
CUSTOMER average (across the group) 3.5 3.3
PRODUCT average (across the group) 3.5 3.3
TEAM average (across the group) 3.5 3.3
FINANCIALS/OTHER average (across the group) 3.7 3.4
Preliminary Results: Skill Building
Thank you!
Any questions?

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SXSW 2014 Accelerator vs Incubator Presentation

  • 1. Avoid Stagnation: Acceleration Trumps Incubation Bill Aulet, Managing Director, Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship March 8, 2014 entrepreneurship.mit.edu @BillAulet
  • 2. Summer 2012 • Summer 2010 – Startup Central • Summer 2011 – Wicked Awesome Summer StartUp Program (a/k/a WASSUP) • Summer 2012 – FSA • Summer 2013 – GFSA
  • 4. • Complete the Ramp • Entrepreneurs Not Companies: Teaching our students how to fish rather than catching a fish • Fulfill MIT’s Mission Goals of FSA
  • 6. We needed something to support students! Validation MIT Entrepreneurship Ramp Inspiration, Idea, Technology Classroom Extra-Curricular Most Often Unable to Achieve Escape Velocity Plan vs. Reality: Before FSA
  • 7. Validation Completing the Ramp with FSA MIT Entrepreneurship Ramp Inspiration, Idea, Technology Classroom Extra-Curricular Accelerator
  • 8. • Peter Thiel • Fellows Program • $100k to dropout Challenge RESULTING CONCLUSION Photo of Peter Thiel by David Orban via wikipedia.org Stay in school Be a Serious EntrepreneurORX
  • 9. Changing Face of Entrepreneurship Herbert B. Jones Foundation’s Milestone Achievement Awards University of Washington
  • 10. • Educational • Honest broker • Existing extensive entrepreneurship eco-chamber & value chain • Tremendous opportunity for a complementary program MIT’s Unique Role
  • 11. • Space • Stipend • Structure • Status How GFSA Works ˅ Global
  • 12. Community •Support - emotional, pride, culture •Learning •Peer motivation Space
  • 13. 1. Baseline: $1k/month per person –Creates full focus 2. Milestone Awards Stipend Area Mtg #1 Mtg #2 Mtg #3 Mtg #4 Total Customer $5K Product $5K Team $5K Financial $5K Cumulative $20K 3. Discretionary budget available
  • 14. 1. April 6 – 1st round of applications due 2. April – interviews 3. May 1 – decisions 4. 3.5 month program 5. Demo Day at t=0 Festival (mid-September) 6. Goal: student capabilities reach escape velocity Structure Student Team Mentor Network • EiRs • VMS • Catalyst Prototyping • Labs • IDC Committee • Holds team accountable • Customized for team • Members have BoD experience • 3 monthly meeting and 1 final meeting Tues & Thurs Luncheon Series • JIT Education & connections • Internal & external Informal Support • Staff
  • 15. General Rhythm Validate & invalidate idea based on Primary Market Research (PMR) & refine team 1st 30 Days Continue to refine team & focus on product definition & dev 2nd 30 Days Financials, product dev iterations & polish for graduation 3rd 30 Days
  • 16. 1. Acceptance with Social Norms 2. Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval/Status Status
  • 17. Reaction of Students & Application Process ALL APPLICATIONS 129 Teams, 376 Participants, 241 MIT Students (All Schools) FIRST SCREENING 26 Teams, 88 Participants, 61 MIT Students GFSA FINAL SELECTION 10 Teams, 35 Participants, 25 MIT Students Other Summer Accelerators: 40 Teams – MIT Beehive Coop 30 Teams – MassChallenge RockHealth, HealthBox, YC, etc.
  • 18. GFSA Educational Component TEAM • Founders Agreements & Equity Splits • Hiring and Firing Employees • Developing Company Culture CUSTOMER • Primary Market Research/ User Innovation • Developing a Persona • Securing your First Customer • Decision Making Unit/ Decision Making Process FINANCE • Legal Issues and Startups • Building Financial Statements • Entrepreneurship MicroEconomics: CoCA & LTV • Alternative Ways to Raise Capital PRODUCT • 24 Steps to Successful Product Launch • Protecting and Growing your Core • Iterating, Refining & Evolving Your Product • Building a Pricing Model
  • 19. GFSA Clinic Leaders MIT Management and Engineering Faculty Eric von Hippel Matt Marx Catherine Tucker Fiona Murray Sanjay Sarma
  • 20. GFSA Clinic Leaders Internal Trust Center Resources Bill Aulet Managing Director Christina Chase Entrepreneur in Residence & Student Evangelist Kyle Judah GFSA Program Director Elaine Chen Rethink Robotics Jim Dougherty Great Hill Partners Charlie Tillett 50-50-50 Consulting Brian Halligan HubSpot Entrepreneurs in Residence (EiRs)
  • 21. GFSA Clinic Leaders External Resources Başak Özer Nokia Jack VanWoerkom Home Depot Staples Christopher O'Donnell HubSpot Kevin Rustagi Founder, Ministry of Supply Kit Hickey Founder, Ministry of Supply Paul English Founder, Kayak.com Prahar Shah Founder, Mobee Aaron White Founder, Boundless Learning Joe Greenstein Founder, Flixster Dharmesh Shah HubSpot Jim Baum CEO, Netezza Chuck Kane Founder One Laptop Per Child
  • 22. • Extremely Important “Forcing Function” & Closure Event • Three Goals for Three Audiences – Students – GFSA/Beehive – Integration of External Players • Positive effects already seen – 3x increase in student participation in t=0 events from last year – Fills pipeline to make next year’s GFSA much stronger – Dozens of teams proactively asking to move into the Beehive • Videos of Demo Day presentations can be seen at: http://entrepreneurship.mit.edu Demo Day “Graduation Event”
  • 23. 0 1 2 3 4 Customer Product Team Financials/Other Overall Participant Data Validates Assumptions Ability to Articulate Theory
  • 24. 0 1 2 3 4 Customer Product Team Financials/Other Overall Participant Data Validates Assumptions Ability to Execute
  • 25. Participant Data Validates Assumptions Net Promoter Score of +73 “This was one of the most valuable experiences I’ve had while at MIT.” “We learn a lot of theory in class, but now we know how to execute.” “The program fills the chasm that often limits ideas/projects from becoming real businesses.” “This experience helped us to quickly develop the product that addressed real market needs, and with a high market potential.” “This real world experience really helps clear up a lot of misconceptions about the struggle as well as the pay off in the end.” “I have already advised professors at other universities about the program and suggested that this is the real way to honor your students.”
  • 26. OVERALL •Huge success in allowing teams to make progress beyond best case scenario •Three months is about the right time – less time would not be enough maybe a month longer would be even better •There were conflicts with academic work at times but was manageable (WiCare & SmartScheduling) •10 was a good size for year 1 & could grow next year but need to be careful on scaling too fast Lessons Learned
  • 27. Lessons Learned SELECTION •Team should be the #1 criteria far & away - the best teams far outperformed the teams with more compelling projects at the beginning •Developing culture in the GFSA cohort is a tricky but very important thing. Keeping a collaborative and positive spirit in the program is important to optimizing its success. •Have mixed skilled teams makes a difference – this is a very good criteria •Once teams get funding, they should probably not be in GFSA
  • 28. Lessons Learned IMPLEMENTATION •Key element was giving the teams the chance to revisit strategy/direction without a loss of urgency (there was only three months) •Teams still reconfigured – founders issues took a lot of time; Forcing a founders agreement milestones halfway through was very productive •Board meetings and milestone payments were extremely implortant in complementing the mentoring Demo Day as a forcing function worked extremely well and was a huge amount of work to pull off •There is a limit to the value of mentorship and at some points it can get to be too much. Teams have to do things and get answers themselves rather than continually listening to more people.
  • 29. • Acceleration works • General Incubation does not work as well • Avoid Stagnation: Acceleration Trumps Incubation Conclusion
  • 30. More info • The book • www.disciplinedentrepreneurship.com • Progress Dashboard www.detoolbox.com 29
  • 31. Coming March 18: New Online course • Google “edX Entrepreneurship 101” • https://www.edx.org/course/mitx/mitx-15-390x-entrepreneurship-101-who-1312
  • 32.
  • 33. Top 10 Teams All 129 teams that applied Number Percentage Number Percentage MIT Undergrads 1 4.0% 45 19.7% MIT Master's 18 72.0% 113 49.5% MIT Doctorate 5 20.0% 62 27.3% MIT Postdoc 1 4.0% 8 3.5% All MIT Students (Including 2012 graduates) 25 100% 228 100% 0 0 MIT Students (from above) 25 71.4% 228 66.7% MIT Alumni 4 11.4% 27 7.9% Harvard Students 2 5.7% 18.5 5.4% Harvard Alumni 0 0.0% 7.5 2.2% Other 4 11.4% 61 17.8% All participants 35 100% 342 100% 0 0 SAP (4, 11, MAS) 4 16.0% 25 11.0% Eng (1, 2, 3, 6, 10, 16, 20, 22, ESD) 10.5 42.0% 98.5 43.2% HASS (14, 17, 21, 24, CMS, STS) 0 0.0% 2.5 1.1% Sloan (15 including certain joint programs with ESD) 8.5 34.0% 74.5 32.7% Sci (5, 7, 8, 9, 12, 18) 0 0.0% 13 5.7% Whitaker (HST) 0 0.0% 4.5 2.0% Other (postdoc; Operations Research Center) 2 8.0% 10 4.4% All MIT Students 25 100% 228 100% Preliminary Results I: Input
  • 34. Pre FSA Topic Knowledge (articulate) Capability (apply) Scale 1 - 4 Scale 1 - 4 CUSTOMER average (across the group) 2.4 2.1 PRODUCT average (across the group) 2.5 2.2 TEAM average (across the group) 2.4 2.0 FINANCIALS/OTHER average (across the group) 2.6 2.1 Post FSA Topic Knowledge (articulate) Capability (apply) Scale 1 - 4 Scale 1 - 4 CUSTOMER average (across the group) 3.5 3.3 PRODUCT average (across the group) 3.5 3.3 TEAM average (across the group) 3.5 3.3 FINANCIALS/OTHER average (across the group) 3.7 3.4 Preliminary Results: Skill Building