Bill Aulet

Senior Lecturer, MIT Sloan School of Management Managing Director, Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship

Bill Aulet is the managing director in the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship at MIT as well as a senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

He teaches New Enterprises, Energy Ventures, and Applications of Advanced Entrepreneurial Techniques, in addition to running the Martin Trust Center, which supports student entrepreneurship education inside and outside the classroom across all five schools at MIT. Since Bill became managing director in 2010, he has conceived, designed and overseen the implementation of numerous innovative programs, from new courses (Linked Data Ventures, Entrepreneurial Product Marketing and Development, Energy Ventures, Applications of Advanced Entrepreneurial Techniques) and student initiatives (MIT Clean Energy Prize, MIT Entrepreneurship Review) to accelerators (Global Founders’ Skills Accelerator, Beehive Cooperative) and thought leadership initiatives (Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program or REAP). His work has won numerous awards; most recently, in April 2013, Bill was awarded the Adolf F. Monosson Prize for Entrepreneurial Mentoring at MIT.

Prior to joining MIT, Bill had a 25-year track record of success in business, having directly raised more than $100 million in funding for his companies and led the creation of hundreds of millions of dollars in market value in those companies. After working for 11 years at IBM, he was named an MIT Sloan Fellow, taking part in a one-year accelerated master’s program in management. Upon graduating, he became a serial entrepreneur, running two MIT spinouts as the president/chief executive officer (Cambridge Decision Dynamics and SensAble Technologies). The latter became a two-time Inc. Magazine 500 Fastest-Growing Private Company. With a presence in over 20 countries, SensAble also won more than 24 awards and was featured in Fortune Magazine, BusinessWeek, The Wall Street Journal, and many other publications for its innovative products and strong business foundation.

In 2003, he was recruited as chief financial officer to co-lead a turnaround of security technology company Viisage Technology. During his tenure of two and a half years, and in a resource-constrained environment, Viisage developed a new strategy, overhauled its operations, made three major acquisitions, and executed two major fundraising rounds; as a result, its market value increased from $50 million to over $500 million.

His writings on entrepreneurship have been published by The Boston Globe, The Huffington Post, Xconomy, the Kauffman Foundation, MIT Sloan Experts, and the MIT Entrepreneurship Review. A former professional basketball player, Bill lives in Belmont, Massachusetts with his wife; they have four grown sons.

Bill holds a bachelor’s in engineering from Harvard University and an SM in business management from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Read more about Bill and his new book, Disciplined Entrepreneurship: 24 Steps to a Successful Startup

Education and Experience

Education

Experience

Video

Panel at 2012 State of Entrepreneurship Address
Kauffman Foundation, February 9, 2012

Automotive: Electric Vehicles vs. Biofuels. What's the Fuel of the Future
MIT Energy Finance Forum, November 18, 2011

El ecosistema emprendedor del MIT. Claves para el fomento de la innovación (in Spanish)
Escuela Andaluza, D. Economia, April 12, 2010

Energy Innovation and Action We Can Take
Going Green Keynote, March 10, 2010

Energy Innovation at MIT
February 17, 2010

Energy Entrepreneurship and Innovation: Today's Challenges, Tomorrow's Opportunities
May 7, 2009

MIT Energy Club: Future of Energy Panel Session
March 19, 2009

Interview on Entrepreneurship & Future of Clean Energy by Peter Zak
MIT Enterprise Forum, January 17, 2009

Courses

MIT-wide

Sloan Innovation Period (SIP)

Executive Education

Articles and Papers

Entrepreneurship Education

 

Innovation in Large Companies

 

Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

 

Clean Energy Entrepreneurship and Innovation

 

Water

 

Media Mentions

On Entrepreneurship in General

1. Johnston, Susan. "Harvard grads turn gym business model on its head; fitness plan members pay more if they don’t work out." Boston Globe, January 2011,http://www.boston.com/yourtown/cambridge/articles/2011/01/24/gym_pact_bases_fees_on_members_ability_to_stick_to_their_workout_schedule/?rss_id=Boston+Globe+--+Today's+paper+A+to+Z
2. Denison, D.C. "Super Angels," Boston Globe, January 2011,http://www.boston.com/business/technology/articles/2011/01/23/investing_where_others_wont/?page=1 - also athttp://us.cisionpoint.com/GetFilePassThrough.aspx?locator=4-2A672C9C61-1BBBA0-
3. Lohr, Steve. “Some Business Skills to Go with the Passion.”  The New York Times 25 August 2010,  http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/26/education/26ENTREPRENEUR.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&sq=entrepreneurship%20education&st=cse&scp=1
4. Bluestein, Adam, Barrett, Amy. “Entrepreneurship Education for All:  Why it’s time to take entrepreneurship training out of business schools.”  Inc. Magazine 1 July 2010,http://www.inc.com/magazine/20100701/entrepreneurship-education-beyond-business-schools.html

On Topic of Value of Prizes

1. Gavin, Robert. “More than the Money.”  The Boston Globe 16 May 2010,http://www.boston.com/news/science/articles/2010/05/16/more_than_the_money/?page=2

On Topic of Entrepreneurs’ Walk of Fame

1. Becker, Deborah. “MIT Educator Seeks Stars for Local Entrepreneurs.”  WBUR.org (NPR) 23 August 2010, http://www.wbur.org/2010/08/23/walk-of-fame
2. Lynch, Brendan. "Professor eyes business walk of fame in Cambridge."  Boston Herald 24 August 2010,http://bostonherald.com/business/general/view.bg?articleid=1276608&position=1
3. Rice, Justin. "Geeks Deserve our Hero Worship, too." Boston Metro 27 August 2010,  http://www.readmetro.com/show/en/Boston/20100827/1/2/

Xconomy Articles:

1. Thurston, Ryan. "Startup-Hungry MIT MBAs Sleepless in Seattle?" Xconomy January 2011,http://www.xconomy.com/boston/2011/01/25/are-startup-hungry-mit-mbas-sleepless-in-seattle/?single_page=true
2. Buderi, Robert. "Kendall Square Wants an Entrepreneurial Walk of Fame—and So Should Every Innovation Hub." Xconomy 11 August 2010, http://www.xconomy.com/national/2010/08/11/kendall-square-wants-an-entrepreneurial-walk-of-fame-and-so-should-every-innovation-hub/
3. Buderi, Robert. "Entrepreneurial Walk of Fame Idea Resonates—Although A Few Potential Cracks Have Surfaced in the Pavement." Xconomy 23 August 2010,  http://www.xconomy.com/national/2010/08/23/entrepreneurial-walk-of-fame-idea-resonates-but-a-few-potential-cracks-have-surfaced-in-the-pavement/
4. Farrell, Maureen. "How Justin Timberlake Could Bring Sexy Back to Silicon Valley."  Forbes 27 August 2010,  http://blogs.forbes.com/maureenfarrell/2010/08/27/how-justin-timberlake-could-bring-sexy-back-to-silicon-valley/
5. Moore, Galen. "Seeing Stars," Boston Business Journal1 October 2010.  http://boston.bizjournals.com/boston/stories/2010/10/04/story1.html

On Topic of Spirit of Entrepreneurship (Spain)

1. Gonzalez de Vega, Berta. “Conversations in Andalucia:  William Aulet, Managing Director, MIT Entrepreneurship Center, came to Sevilla this week to participate in a seminar within the Excellence in Education series at the Andalusian Schooll of Economics.” El Mundo - Andalucia 18 April 2010,  http://entrepreneurship.mit.edu/sites/default/files/images/el-mundo-conversaciones.pdf
2. Monago, T. "Andalucia is seen as a place to live, not as an engine for innovation." Diaro de Sevilla 17 April 2010,  http://www.europasur.es/article/economia/679736/quotandalucia/es/vista/como/lugar/para/vivir/no/como/motor/la/innovacionquot.html
3. "William Aulet, Managing Director of the MIT Entrepreneurship Center, points out that the existence of a culture which is committed to innovation is  key to entrepreneurship." Communications Office of the Andalusian School of Economics 11 April 2010,  http://www.escuelaandaluzadeeconomia.es/comunicacion/2010/04/william-aulet-director-del-centro-de-emprendedores-del-instituto-tecnologico-de-massachusetts-mit-senala-la-existencia-de-una-cultura-que-apueste-decididamente-por-la-innovacion-como-clave-para-el/
4. Monago, T. "The Theory of the Bullfighter's Spirit." Diario de Sevilla 12 April 2010,  http://www.diariodesevilla.es/article/economia/676488/la/teoria/espiritu/torero.html
5. Berenstein, Marcelo. "The Theory of the Bullfighter's Spirit" Emprendadores.News 17 April 2010,  http://www.emprendedoresnews.com/emprendedores/mit-la-teoria-del-espiritu-torero.html

On Topic of Cape Wind

1. Fitzgerald, Jay. "Could be a Cape Wind-fall," Boston Herald 13 June 2010. http://www.bostonherald.com/business/general/view.bg?articleid=1261217&srvc=rss orhttp://www.istockanalyst.com/article/viewiStockNews/articleid/4207804

On Topic of Announcement into Job

1. MIT Sloan web site – “William Aulet appointed Managing Director of MIT Entrepreneurship Center,” March 19, 2010.  http://mitsloan.mit.edu/newsroom/2010-aulet.php

Recommended Reading

Inside the Tornado: Strategies for Developing, Leveraging, and Surviving Hypergrowth Markets by Geoffrey A. Moore
Still the classic overview of what makes high tech marketing different . Read Chapter 2 for summary of Crossing the Chasm. A must read for all innovation-based entrepreneurs.

Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne
Another very important framework for entrepreneurs to have in their toolbox. Helpful methodology to achieve differentiation for your new offering as an entrepreneur.

Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah
Very practical and timely way to think about how to leverage the new world order for entrepreneurs where social media can be a real value creator.

Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle by Dan Senor and Saul Singer
A very thought-provoking case study of how entrepreneurship came to flourish in one region and what lessons can be learned.

Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcom Gladwell
While the author is not a social scientist but rather a journalist and some of his work I find off base, this book is extremely thought provoking and shines the light on the importance of windows of opportunity.

Boulevard of Broken Dreams: Why Public Efforts to Boost Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Have Failed – and What to Do About It by Josh Lerner
A very current and intellectually honest look at the very mixed track record of promoting entrepreneurship and how a new approach is needed.

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
A book I am reading now and I have high hopes for so I am taking some risk. As the underdog with less resources, credibility and time, it is critical that entrepreneurs are effective at communicating and telling stories is the best way possible.

Entrepreneurs in High Technology: Lessons from MIT and Beyond by Edward Roberts
The first book I ever read on the topic and what really got me started. Still a classic all these years later.

A Business and Its Beliefs by Thomas J. Watson, Jr.
Where I learned my business fundamentals and the importance of values and culture. A brilliant business leader with an ability to take risks to create a great company.

Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success Playbook by John Wooden and Jay Carty
The great coach’s pyramid of success is not really a book but a framework that I learned early in life from basketball and it has been something that has stayed with me and proven to provide excellence lateral guidance when I look for answers in entrepreneurship as well. There are remarkable similarities between basketball and entrepreneurship.

Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions, by Dan Ariely
This book is a must-read for understanding buyer behavior. Don't price your products until you read this book!