Sample Venture Classes

Media Ventures: Media Lab Entrepreneurship & Digital Innovations Seminar
Sandy Pentland, Joost Bonsen
Media Lab Entrepreneurship is the flagship course within the Media Lab Entrepreneurship Program. It is a Spring seminar surveying cases of inter- and entrepreneurship-based on Media Lab technologies, with the goal of gaining increased understanding of how digital innovations grow into societal change. We survey case examples of both successful and failed businesses and generally grapple with the difficulties of deploying and diffusing products. Finally, we explore a range of business models and opportunities enabled by emerging Media Lab innovations. Deliverables: Students craft a business analysis for one of the featured technology innovations. In the past these analyses have been the basis for future research, publications, and new ventures. This year we will be focusing especially on personal health care, mobile transactions, new media.

Development Ventures: MIT Emerging Market Innovations Seminar
Joost Bonsen, Sandy Pentland
Development Ventures (DV) is an exploratory Fall semester elective Action Lab on founding, financing, and building entrepreneurial ventures targeting developing countries, emerging markets, and underserved consumers everywhere. We challenge students to craft enduring and economically viable solutions to problems faced by at least one billion people worldwide. Particular emphasis is placed on transformative innovations and exponentially scalable business models that can enable or accelerate major positive social change throughout the world. Deliverables: Students craft a business plans worthy of submission in the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition. Action funds available to the most promising teams for researching and prototyping the new venture.

Imaging Ventures: Cameras, Displays, & Visual Computing Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Joost Bonsen, Ramesh Raskar
Imaging Ventures: Cameras, Displays, and Visual Computing is a seminar and project-oriented course on the opportunities and challenges for businesses based on emergent imaging innovations. We study the landscape of imaging developments, plan business strategies and brainstorm towards a startup, business unit, non-profit or citizen sector organization. To bring imaging research to the real world, the students will be encouraged to build teams and craft a business plan. The class will include live case studies of established and emerging businesses, through talks by invited business speakers, as well as surveys of commercialization and the innovation landscape in every arena of imaging. Topics include mobile camera phones, cameras in developing counties, image-search, medical imaging, online photo sharing, computational photography and more.

Neurotechnology Ventures
Joost Bonsen, Ed Boyden
Neurotechnology Ventures is a seminar and project-oriented course on the challenges of envisioning, planning, and building startups to bring neuroengineering innovations to the world. Explorations will cover a broad array of issues ranging from the deeply technical, to the analysis of market realities. Students will work in teams to analyze an opportunity and create a business plan executive summary to solve a major problem through neurotechnology. The project will develop throughout the term, with multiple reviews, and culminating in a final presentation. We expect that some projects may go on to become successful ventures.

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