From MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp to Infinity and Beyond — Part 1/3

This is a story about friendship. Where the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) became our unexpected connective tissue, and the Internet our glue. We are from opposite sides of the world — Australia and Italy — and four months ago we didn’t know each other. We now chat on Skype two to three times a week and are each other’s rock-solid sounding board.

It all began with a belief that we could do more, be more, connect with something bigger — and so we each enrolled in the MIT program on edX, MITx Entrepreneurship 101.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP CAN BE TAUGHT: FROM MOOCs TO BOOTCAMP

MIT had the foresight to democratise education with a focus on teaching Entrepreneurship, spread the word that entrepreneurship is not innate, and that it can in fact be taught. So MIT set out on a mission to show the world how to maximise entrepreneurial success. This all begins with MITx Entrepreneurship 101, continuing with MITx Entrepreneurship 102, with yet more courses in this space coming soon.

‘People can adapt and learn new behaviours, and entrepreneurship therefore can be broken down into discrete behaviours and processes that can be taught.’ 
Bill Aulet, “Disciplined Entrepreneurship”.

These MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are indeed the first two parts in a series on Entrepreneurship, centred around Bill Aulet’s global bestseller ‘Disciplined Entrepreneurship’ and made available to prospective students worldwide through the open-source, non-profit platform known as edX. The MITx Entrepreneurship courses are already available in Spanish, Turkish, Chinese, Korean, and Rachel is currently working with another volunteer on the translation into Italian.

Bill Aulet’s book ‘Disciplined Entrepreneurship’ is the framework for the programme but it represents 1% of what you actually learn at Bootcamp — about yourself, others and living life to the fullest.

‘The MIT Bootcamp is a rare window of opportunity to learn how entrepreneurship and embracing diversity can change your life and the world.’ 
Sally Coldrick, Australia.

The MITx online courses are self-paced and allow great flexibility in their fruition: this is what made it possible for Sally and Rachel to fit them into their busy daily schedules as working mothers who are also start-uppers, whilst running their respective households and managing their families. The course videos and written materials are combined to offer a thorough and customisable approach to the “24 Steps”, with optional written assignments that can lead to a recognised certification of completion: a very valuable way to enhance your educational profile.

Taking this to the next level: for those students who decide they might fancy crowning their learning journey with a hands-on, full-immersion, larger-than-life experience in entrepreneurial intensity, MIT offers the very selective MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp. This consists in a six-day stint that defies all laws of time and space restriction, where participants will leave behind their personal notions of physical and mental limitation and learn to work in teams to build a new venture from scratch, from the business plan up until the final pitch on Demo Day in front of a panel of Investors and Business Angels. Access to this Bootcamp is extremely exclusive (in 2016, over 200,000 candidates enrolled in the MOOCs, 760 applied to Bootcamp, and only 73 candidates were selected to attend. Sally and Rachel were fortunate to be amongst the chosen few.)

Sally and Rachel with a group of Class 3 Bootcampers at Campus Seoul

Competition to get accepted is high, and being selected is no guarantee that you can actually attend, since admission marks just the beginning of a long obstacle course. The next challenge comes when you begin the hunt for funds and sponsorships to sustain the cost of tuition, travel and accommodation. The 3rd cohort of the MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp took place in Seoul in March this year and was the first relocation of the program off-site from MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

[Read Part 2 of “From MIT to Infinity and Beyond”]

[Read our final Part 3 of “From MIT to Infinity and Beyond”]

Co-authored by fellow-Bootcampers 2016, Sally Coldrick and Rachel Hentsch