Where Einstein Meets Edison

Where should you locate your start-up?

Where should you locate your start-up?

Oct 7, 2013

In Why does location matter?, I made a case that picking the right place for your venture can affect its performance. There I argued that start-up activity varies across different cities and regions because of six elements: pillar companies, universities, human capital, investment capital, mentoring, and values. If you agree that location matters, the next...

Where Are They Now? A Reunion with MIT Business Plan Competition Alumni

Where Are They Now?  A Reunion with MIT Business Plan Competition Alumni

Oct 3, 2013

The end of the spring semester at MIT heralded the close of another year of business plan competitions. In the wake of an exciting conclusion to the Clean Energy Prize (CEP), the $100K Entrepreneurship Competition ($100K), and the IDEAS Global Challenge, and looking ahead to the start of a fresh cycle, I thought I would follow-up with a few business plan...

Why Does Location Matter?

Why Does Location Matter?

Sep 20, 2013

The world-is-flat meme dismisses location as irrelevant because companies can start anywhere and reach employees and customers at any time of day via e-mail, text, voice, and video. However, my research suggests that where you locate your start-up matters tremendously; it can influence whether you succeed or fail. Location matters to start-ups because the people...

Using Big Data Takes Discipline

Using Big Data Takes Discipline

Jun 26, 2013

“It’s like saying, I gave Stacy a pen, therefore she’s a journalist,” said ZestFinance CEO Douglas Merrill at GigaOM’s Structure:Data conference this March. We’re not automatically great decision makers just because we have big data. In fact, the hazards of relying strictly on data to make decisions have received a good amount of press, including a...

Suits in Silicon Valley

Suits in Silicon Valley

Jun 16, 2013

During the month of March, nearly a hundred MBA candidates from MIT Sloan visited Silicon Valley to visit 62 companies, ranging from very early stage companies to titans like Google and Facebook.  We learned that the Bay Area is thriving and picturesque, but would our MBA open doors?  Or are Silicon Valley startups so focused on building cool products that...

The Unexotic Underclass

The Unexotic Underclass

May 19, 2013

The startup scene today, and by ‘scene’ I’m sweeping a fairly catholic brush over a large swath of people – observers, critics,  investors, entrepreneurs, ‘want’repreneurs, academics, techies, and the like – seems to be riven into two camps. On one side stand those who believe that entrepreneurs have stopped chasing and solving Big Problems –...