Author: Martin Trust Center

One Week in December at the Trust Center

It’s been quite the fall semester at the Trust Center. And while we’re reaching the climax with classes ending and finals on tap this week, it’s incredibly exciting to see all the momentum and activity going on that will propel everyone into IAP in January and the spring semester to follow.

Last week was a rush of activities and events that have us motivated for what’s to come. We promise to rest up over the holidays as we prepare for 2022 and invite any MIT student who wants to get involved in entrepreneurship to climb on board!

(click on any image below to enlarge)

MIT Fuse Kickoff Mixer

On Monday during lunch we hosted students and teams that were accepted into MIT Fuse for January. The program is a two-and-a-half week sprint towards getting our students to work at “entrepreneurial speed.” For many of them, this is their first opportunity to work full-time on their idea and venture and we’ve seen real progress made in such a short time, such that this momentum carries into the spring semester and the ability to progress even further.

Starting on January 4th, 30 student teams will be working out of our co-working space (plus 5 more teams joining remotely from our partner school, Queensland University of Technology in Australia), and getting “fusey.” With a focus on setting weekly then daily then hourly benchmarks and work on primary market research and fine tuning their product or service to what the customer needs and will spend money on, we are excited for our first in-person mini-accelerator in two years.

MBA E&I Track Holiday Party

On Monday evening we invited members of the MIT Sloan MBA Entrepreneurship & Innovation track to Glass House in Kendall Square to celebrate the end of their first semester (or first semester back on campus in-person for the second year MBAs.)

This year’s incoming Sloan class of 2023 saw 184 students sign up for the E&I track, one of the largest numbers ever and a representation of ~40% of all incoming Sloan grad students. The track requires students to take certain core courses, choose from particular electives, travel to Silicon Valley, and get involved with starting their own venture during their two years of study. The holiday gathering was a great opportunity to have so many of them in the same room at one time (without it being a classroom) and get to know one another socially.

Intro to Making Final Class Projects

On Tuesday, students in “Introduction to Making” (2.351J / 15.351J) presented their final projects in the Trust Center garage. The range of creativity on display is always a high point of the last week of classes every semester, and the students this year were no exception. Using what they learned in computer-aided design, electronics, prototyping, Arduino programing, and more, and using the resources of the Trust Center’s ProtoWorkshop making space, the Intro to Making class winds up the semester with the knowledge and understanding of how to use these tools in any role or career they have moving forward.

Congratulations to all of them, and thanks to our partners at MIT Project Manus for a great semester,

StartMIT Kickoff Mixer

The Trust Center’s other Independent Activities Period program in January is StartMIT, and Tuesday evening we invited the 130+ students who will be participating in the course (for credit or not-for-credit) to come meet each other. During StartMIT, students who describe themselves as curious about entrepreneurship or who have an idea or venture that they are only beginning to explore spend nearly three weeks getting a daily dose of what one needs to know and understand about starting a venture, taught mostly by those who are currently running their own companies or who have done so in the past. In addition, the schedule includes an introduction to the dozens of entrepreneurship and innovation resources available to students across campus.

A combination of talks and hands-on work, StartMIT-ers form teams and come up with a product or service to explore further so this kickoff mixer is a great chance for them to make connections before the program begins. These team projects get presented to the class on the last day.

Trust Center Holiday Social

We wrapped up our incredibly busy week on Friday afternoon with a holiday party put on in partnership with our Student Advisory Board members. Full of holiday cheer, hot cocoa, EntrePong, gingerbread house decorations, and a visit from ol’ Saint Nick, the holiday celebration was a great reminder of why we do what we do: the students.

Having them in the Trust Center provides so much energy and we love building the community (the final H of our 4 H’s, the home) that is critical for startups to network and thrive. Below is the poem that was written for the celebration, and to echo the final lines: “Happy Holidays to all, and to all a great break!”

Twas the Night of the Trust Center Holiday Party

Twas the day after classes, when all through the campus

Not a person was online or clicking a mouse

The stockings were hung in the Trust Center with care

In hopes that Ramen noodles soon would be there

The students were restless lying bored in their beds

While visions of poker & gingerbread & SuperMario & EntrePong danced in their heads

My roommate in a Get ‘Ship Done shirt, and I in my IHTFP cap

Were just settling down for an after lunch nap

When over from E40, there arose such a clatter

Another Block Party? We must investigate this matter!

I jumped on my long board and rode off in a flash

Tore open my iPhone, attested on COVID Pass

The Trust Center windows emitted a glow

Gave light to my spirit, entrepreneurially so

A crowd, they had gathered and it gave me a pause

Full of Fusers, StartMITers, and, of course, EIRs

One man he spoke loudly and forceful and quick

Though his hair was quite gray he did not look like St. Nick

Twas the e-ship cheerleader, known as Bill Aulet

The MIT programs, out loud he called it:

“Now Sandbox, Now StartLabs, Now 100K

On Hackers, Legatum, come join in the fray!

All students can innovate, we’ll teach you the way

But now’s time for fun, 3-5 this Friday”

There are no more projects, there are no more psets

Before all your finals, let’s all hit reset

Come wrap the semester with friends old and new

The Trust Center is here, always welcoming you

Hot cocoa is brewing, and the air’s filled with cheer

We’re ready to revel and wrap quite a year

To miss this one party would be quite the mistake

Happy Holidays to all, and to all a great break!