What is StartMIT?

For students who are interested in exploring entrepreneurship while here in school and are looking for an entry point, StartMIT is a 2-½ week course held every January during Independent Activities Period (IAP). We call the course “your on-ramp to the entrepreneurial world at MIT.”

Who is StartMIT for?

If you are someone who has been looking to get started on an idea that’s been ruminating, explore the commercialization of a technology that you’ve been working on in the lab, or simply better understand what forming a new venture looks and feels like, StartMIT is right for you.

The course is open to any student on campus (including post-docs) who is looking to gain more exposure to entrepreneurship in a peer environment. The main activities of StartMIT are:

  • Networking with your peers
  • Listening to our guest entrepreneur speakers
  • Doing independent exercises to apply what you’ve learned
  • Working with small groups on your entrepreneurial ideas
  • 1:1 support with MIT Entrepreneurs in Residence

Typical Day’s Schedule in Virtual StartMIT 2021:

  • 9:30 – 10:00: Networking
  • 10:00 – 10:30: Class Forum
  • 10:30 – 11:10: Speaker
  • 11:10 – 11:20: Break
  • 11:20 – 12:00: Speaker
  • 12:00 – 12:15: Class Forum
  • 12:15 – 1:00: Lunch Break
  • 1:00 – 2:00: Independent Activity
  • 2:00 – 2:30: Recap of the day
  • 2:30 – 3:30: Working with your team

We would like to thank the many people across campus who help support StartMIT, but especially the School of Engineering and the Sloan School of Management, chaired by Dean Chandrakasan, School of Engineering and Dean Schmittlein, MIT Sloan School of Management.

  • “StartMIT is a great opportunity to get rid of the inertia that holds you back from starting a start-up!”

  • “StartMIT gave me a holistic view on entrepreneurship and made me think about potential business ideas. Every speaker and organizer was down to earth and enthusiastic about entrepreneurship. It was really nice to see such people and interact with them closely.”

  • “A fantastic crash-course on real-world entrepreneurship led by a multitude of diverse entrepreneurial experts and practitioners.”

  • “A rapid fire how-to introduction to entrepreneurship.”


Who is eligible to participate in StartMIT?

Any current student who is curious about entrepreneurship and is looking for an introduction to the skill set and spirit it requires. This is inclusive of undergraduate students, graduate students, and post-docs.

Can I apply if I am not currently enrolled at MIT?

Yes. We will consider non-MIT students if space permits.

Do I have to have a startup idea to participate?

Absolutely not!

StartMIT is meant for anyone that is curious to learn more about entrepreneurship in general. Whether you are just curious or have an idea and are ready to go, this course will allow further exploration. Whether you wish to utilize an entrepreneurial skill set to be a founder, work in a lab, invest, pursue a side project, or dive into the corporate world, we believe this course will be beneficial in each of those pursuits and welcome you all!

What are the logistics of StartMIT?

  • StartMIT is a two-and-a-half-week course that takes place on weekdays during IAP every January.
  • The day begins with a light breakfast and networking at 9:00 am, typically includes talks and workshops, a one-hour break for lunch, and concludes by 4:00 pm.
  • StartMIT will be held on campus, location TBA
  • All full-time participants are eligible to apply for our field trips to New York City in January and to San Francisco during Spring Break.

What can I expect to learn and who can I expect to hear from?

We will give you a crash course in entrepreneurship, including an introduction to the skill set and spirit it requires. We hope that by the end of the course you’ll have a better understanding of your desired entrepreneurial path, and also the resources available to support you in that journey at MIT and beyond.

You’ll hear from a large number of both faculty and practitioners from the Boston ecosystem and beyond. 

What’s the difference between a full-time and part-time participant?

Full-time participants are expected to attend the entirety of the course in January. The only optional requirements are the field trips to New York City and San Francisco.

Full-time participants are also expected to submit a one-page reflection paper and give a short presentation at the end of the course. Other benefits of full-time participation are a guaranteed seat in the classroom and a mentor assignment.

Part-time participants will not be eligible for: mentor assignments, the New York City and San Francisco field trips, or a guaranteed seat in the classroom.  Part-time participants must provide a schedule of their expected participation before the course begins.

We strongly encourage all participants to commit to the course full-time as that’s how you will receive the most benefit, but we understand that is not possible for everyone, which is why we provide a part-time option.

Can I take this course for credit?

Yes, but it is not required.

What is my mentor for?

All full-time participants will be eligible to be matched with a mentor based on your industry or field of interest. A mentor’s role is to guide you through the course: to answer questions that arise during your time in StartMIT, and provide feedback on any entrepreneurial idea you want to pursue. Mentors will make themselves available up to three times throughout the course of the program (either in person or remotely).

What is the application deadline?  

Usually in November. Exact dates for the 2022 version of StartMIT will be announced later in 2021.

When will I know if I’m accepted into the program?

We aim to inform students of their acceptance status no later than the first week of December.

StartMIT sounds awesome!  Where can I apply?

We will have an application available some time during the fall semester.

I have more questions.  Who can I contact?

Email us at startmit@mit.edu