MIT Sloan announces new chair position supporting practitioners and educators of entrepreneurship

New chair endowed by Robert Metcalfe, inventor of the Ethernet

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., April 13, 2022—At today’s New Frontiers of Entrepreneurship 2022 symposium, David Schmittlein, the John C Head III Dean at the MIT Sloan School of Management, announced a new chair position in entrepreneurship at MIT Sloan. The inaugural holder of the chair will be William Aulet, managing director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship. This endowed chair, titled the Ethernet Inventors Professor of the Practice, has been made possible by the generosity of Robert Metcalfe.

Metcalfe, who helped pioneer the creation of the Internet, invented the Ethernet and co-founded digital electronics manufacturer 3Com in 1979 with other MIT alumni. He graduated from MIT in 1968 with two S.B. degrees, one in electrical engineering and the other in industrial management from MIT Sloan. He was awarded the Adolf F. Monosson Prize for Entrepreneurship Mentoring in 2019. Metcalfe has long served as a mentor for MIT Sloan students, a judge in entrepreneurial competitions, and a keynote speaker who has helped raise the profile of entrepreneurship at MIT. He also served as a Visiting Innovation Fellow during the 2015-2016 academic year, spending four days a month meeting and mentoring more than 120 student startups. He has also endowed professorships in the MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences and the MIT School of Engineering.

“I am grateful to Bob [Metcalfe] for his support of entrepreneurship and the pursuit of invention at MIT, and for his generosity in establishing the Ethernet Inventors Professorship of the Practice,” says Dean Schmittlein. “This chair will enable the Trust Center to continue to expand its reach and impact by attracting and providing support for practitioners and educators of entrepreneurship in perpetuity.”

Since 2009, Aulet has led the development of entrepreneurship education across MIT at the Trust Center. His work builds on his 25-year business career, first at IBM and then as a serial entrepreneur. He is author of Disciplined Entrepreneurship, released in August 2013, which has served as the content for three online edX courses—taken by hundreds of thousands of people in nearly 200 different countries.

“Free enterprise makes the world go round. And entrepreneurial startups are its machinery,” says Aulet. “Entrepreneurship is a mindset, startup skill set, and way of operating that is critical for all of our students going forward. It can be taught, and we do. Bob Metcalfe and his fellow Ethernet inventors embody this mindset. I am deeply honored to be the first Ethernet Inventors Professor of the Practice of Entrepreneurship in the Trust Center at the MIT Sloan School of Management.”

“A secret to success is continuously to do less of what is not working and to do more of what is working,” says Metcalfe. “Let’s do more of what Bill Aulet does at the Trust Center at MIT Sloan. His advocacy and teaching of the entrepreneurial mindset is working.”

To help grow the chair position and to be recognized as an Ethernet Inventor yourself, please contact Lauren Krzynowek in the MIT Sloan Office of External Relations at