Bob Pozen Endows Summer Internship Program for MIT Undergraduate Entrepreneurs

Increased support will allow more students to experience working in a startup, improve their knowledge base for starting their own successful ventures upon graduation

February 12, 2018
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Cambridge, MA, February 12, 2018 — The Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship is pleased to announce the endowment of its annual summer entrepreneurship internship program for MIT undergraduate students thanks to a generous gift from Robert (Bob) Pozen.

The program was launched in the summer of 2016 as the MIT Entrepreneurship Internship, thanks to initial funding from Pozen. MIT undergraduate students have gotten the opportunity to work in MIT startups that have come out of the Trust Center’s summer accelerator program, delta v. The pilot funding allowed the students to receive a monthly stipend and established a support program to ensure the 10-week summer internship was both meaningful and educational.

“Three years ago, Bob saw an opportunity to give MIT undergraduates an opportunity to expand their career horizons and Bob agreed to fund a two-year pilot to test our hypothesis,” said Bill Aulet, managing director of the Martin Trust Center. “It turned out the hypothesis was very true and now Bob has funded the program for the long term with an endowment. We could not be happier because MIT students will benefit greatly from this internship experience going forward for the foreseeable future.”

Bob Pozen has been engaged in numerous activities and programs at the MIT Sloan School of Management for years. He is also a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, a former president of Fidelity Investments, and executive chairman of MFS Investment Management with a distinguished career in business, government, and academia.

“There is no substitute for going out in the real world and seeing startup companies first-hand,” said Pozen. “The sad truth is that most startups fail, so this internship provides MIT undergraduates with a better idea of the critical factors in operating a successful startup before they attempt that experience themselves. The Trust Center does a very good job in training people in entrepreneurialism. The metrics from the first two years of the internship have shown it to be a tremendous success. Increasing my investment allows for even more students to experience the impact that taking part in this program will have on their careers and paths.”

The support for the internship program covers the salary for each student to work full-time for 10 weeks, providing undergraduates the chance to experience working life at a startup and receive invaluable hands-on experience in a field they are interested in pursuing upon graduation. At the same time, the startups benefit from having a dedicated and MIT-educated employee, at no cost to their bottom line, working in areas that in the past have included software development, machine learning, analytics, market research, and mechanical engineering at a critical time for the growth and development of their businesses.

With 85 applications submitted last year for the 10 positions available there is proven demand for these kinds of job opportunities and experiences for MIT students.

Jenny Xue, an electrical engineering and computer science major who had just finished her sophomore year at MIT, said of her internship, “I learned so much on my own this summer and loved having so much say on the major project I was assigned to. It was challenging but doable thanks to my mentor. This experience was absolutely a 10!”

Companies that have taken part in the first two years of the program include Accion Systems, Ori, Infinite Analytics, Embr, Humon, and Spyce among others.