Celebrating Entrepreneurs–a firsthand account of the past, present, and future of entrepreneurship at MIT

Entrepreneurs / 1st May 2020

MIT Sloan School of Management has announced that the book, Celebrating Entrepreneurs: How MIT Nurtured Pioneering Entrepreneurs Who Built Great Companiesnow in its second edition—is available for purchase on Amazon. The book, by Edward Roberts, the David Sarnoff Professor of Management of Technology and the Founder, Chair, and Faculty Director of Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, offers a firsthand account of the past, present, and future of entrepreneurship at the school.

The book is available for download on Kindle and other electronic platforms for $9.99; it is also available in paperback for $50. Roberts will donate all author’s proceeds to support entrepreneurship programs at the school.

“For more than a half a century, MIT has been in the business of creating, educating, mentoring, stimulating, and launching innovation-based entrepreneurship,” said Roberts. “My book commemorates the ways in which MIT has helped move cutting-edge science and technology into the marketplace, pays tribute to the courageous MIT alums who started companies that have become the building blocks of entire new industries, and salutes the next generation of innovators. I hope that donating my author proceeds will help to sustain and further develop MIT’s ambitious efforts on behalf of future entrepreneurs.”

In the first part of the book, Roberts provides context and detail around MIT’s unique entrepreneurial ecosystem. He traces the history of how the school transformed entrepreneurship into a discipline worthy of rigorous academic study and describes the collaborative culture in which entrepreneurial activities have grown across MIT’s five schools. Roberts also vividly illustrates the ways in which MIT has helped other universities, regions, and countries learn how to start and nurture new ventures.

In the book’s second half, Roberts analyzes how MIT’s most successful entrepreneurs have capitalized on the energy that courses through the school’s classrooms, labs, and centers to build companies that have lasted for decades. In particular, he focuses on the seminal role that MIT faculty and alumni have played in pioneering four industries: life sciences and biotechnology, the Internet, CAD-CAM and then robotics, and modern finance.

The final chapter provides case studies of newer, more diverse enterprises with MIT roots, as well as companies based in the developing world. Roberts offers in-depth interviews with recent MIT Sloan alum who have founded highly successful and profitable firms, including HubSpot, the marketing company; Okta, the cloud software business; and PillPack, the online pharmacy and Amazon subsidiary. These founders tell of their motivations and challenges, and their stories, woven into the narrative, contain advice, insight, and inspiration for would-be entrepreneurs.

Many entrepreneurs have praised the book. Ray Stata ’57, co-founder, former CEO, and Chairman of Analog Devices, said: “In Celebrating EntrepreneursEd Roberts has assembled the lessons learned by many dozens of successful entrepreneurs to stimulate the thoughts and actions of those who aspire to greatness.”

Institute Prof. Phillip Sharp, the co-founder of Biogen and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and a Nobel Laureate in Medicine in 1993, said, “For decades Ed Roberts has studied, taught, and promoted entrepreneurship at MIT and beyond. Here, in a wonderful new edition, he has accounted the enormous benefits to society that MIT entrepreneurs have created.”

For more information, visit CelebratingEntrepreneurs.com.

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