MIT International Science and Technology Initiative Dr. Michael Gordon University of Moratuwa February 2011 Massachusetts Institute of Technology • What makes MIT so special? – Combination of technical capacity and innovation • Innovation drives the American economy The Internet Revolution • Beginning in the 1990s, the Internet Revolution brought: • New opportunities: Digital Economies • Huge increases in efficiencies for traditional businesses and individuals The Internet Revolution • Revolution driven by entrepreneurs • Started small, many got huge • Many new billionaires MISTI/UoM Program • MIT and UoM want to bring a spirit of entrepreneurship to Sri Lanka • Innovation focused on the mobile technologies – Catalyze the mobile revolution • We want you want to become $ millionaires – Create the next huge mobile service MISTI/UoM Program • 6 – 8 weeks of intensive instruction and mentorship from MIT instructors – Technical component – Entrepreneurship component • Stimulate entrepreneurship and innovation • Give you the necessary framework to start the service • Teach advanced mobile technologies – Plus anything else needed for service ideas MIT Mentors • Concentrated interaction with MIT instructors – Small class – 2 grad instructors, 2 undergrad assistants • Help you with: – Brainstorming – Refining your ideas – Technical issues – Networking and connections Idea Generation • Work with your fellow students and our instructors • Study regional conditions and opportunities • Case studies, market analysis, guest lectures • Brainstorming sessions – Paid weekly elevator pitch competitions ($100) Entrepreneurship Skills • Presentation and public speaking skills – Be ready for many presentations – How to pitch to investors • Market research and analysis • Components of a business plan Technology • We will push you on technology • Software development – Objected oriented design – Threaded applications – Regression testing – Versioning control systems – Bug ticketing trackers Technology • What are the appropriate technologies for your service idea? – SMS, USSD – Mobile Web – Smart phone technologies (Android) • Location awareness, camera/video, audio, orientation/acceleration, ad hoc networking – Backend technologies: • HTTP, PHP, Parsing, XML, SQL, … Technology • What are the appropriate algorithms for your service idea? – Machine learning, distributed algorithms, networking, image processing / recognition, speech technologies, … • If we don’t know what to do, we can hook you up with an expert at MIT. Local Mentors • We introduce you to our network of local mentors – – – – Successful entrepreneurs Business leaders Professors Engineers • Help with all aspects of the program – Will remain to help you when we leave, if you keep them interested Unprecedented Access • We are building a network of highly-placed individuals • If you have a great idea, we will help you find the right audience • Access to: – Funders – Mobile operators – Businesses – Gov’t Deployment • We want you to deploy your service during the class – Access to operator APIs, app stores, and gateways – Work with operators to help you market your service – We will pay for cloud/server time if needed • We want you to make money before the course is over – Motivation to continue with the business Graduate School at MIT • This program will allow you to make contacts at MIT – MISTI Instructors – MISTI Advisers • Can help you with the application process • Can help you find the right contact person Where MISTI Fits Stages of a Startup Skill Development Idea Generation Incubation Transition Where MISTI Fits MISTI Skill Development • Appropriate technical and business skills Stages of a Startup Idea Generation • • • • • Brainstorming Competitions Case studies Technologies Proof of concept Incubation • • • • Refine idea Contacts Mentorship Seed funding Transition History of Program • First program: Kenya 2000 • Model: Send MIT students to ER to teach programming and Internet technologies – Promote entrepreneurship • Since 2000: – – – – 32 programs 5 countries in Africa Over 1500 African students Over 100 MIT instructors Personnel Faculty Leadership Prof. Paul Gray 14th President MIT Prof. Amarasinghe MIT EECS Student Leadership Prof. Akinwande MIT EECS M. Gordon, PhD Postdoc MIT EECS Staff Leadership Zawadi Lemayian Sloan, PhD Cand. Pat Gercik Associate Dir. MISTI Paul Njoroge AITI Founder CSAIL PhD Bryant Harrison MBA Harvard Advisers, Former AITI Martin Mbaya AITI Founder MPP HKS Spotlight: Richard, Amiri, Clarisse, & Jean • Rwandan CS undergrads • June 2010 – Little practical programming experience – No entrepreneurship experience – No mobile technologies experience Spotlight: Hehe, Ltd • January 2011: – – – – – Running successful mobile services startup Funded by multiple angle investors > $5000 USD revenue per month Meetings with CEO of RwandaTel, ICT Director, funders Press coverage in multiple national and international outlets Survey • If you are interested, please visit: http://bit.ly/mit-uom Questions?