Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Bill Aulet’s 24 Steps to Becoming an Entrepreneur

Guest author, Alice Campbell, Business Analyst at Gray Plant Mooty (and MIT Alumnus)

Last month, an outstanding group of our entrepreneurial clients, together with members and guests of the MIT Alumni Club of Minnesota, gathered at our offices for a time with Bill Aulet, Managing Director of the Martin Trust Research Center for MIT Entrepreneurship. Since 2004, Bill has taught three or four courses each year on entrepreneurship at MIT's Sloan School of Management. He is also the author of Discliplined Entrepreneurship: 24 Steps to a Successful Startup, which has been translated into 11 languages. Bill has raised over $100 million in funding for his companies and directly created hundreds of millions of dollars of market value.

Bill’s presentation provided a snapshot of how he developed the 24 steps, following which he answered questions about all kinds of entrepreneurial activities and education. The energy at the event was palpable, and the event could have easily continued late into the evening. (Sorry to any attendee who planned an evening schedule around our projected ending time, which was off by about 90 minutes!)

Some experts think that entrepreneurship can’t be taught—that it’s a skill with which some people are born. But, for over 40 years, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has been turning out ever larger numbers of graduates who already are or will become entrepreneurs. The 25,600 companies started by the entire pool of MIT alumni have generated approximately $2 trillion in revenue and have created 3.3 million jobs. If MIT were a country, it would be the 11th largest economy in the world—just about the size of the economy of Canada (but without all the great hockey players, eh?).

If you want a few of the benefits of MIT’s classes without the >$60k per year cost, MIT is one of the founders of, a website at which some of the finest universities have put courses online as massive online open courses (MOOCs). MIT’s entrepreneurial courses are well-represented among the MOOCs, including:

Entrepreneurship 101: Who is your customer? 
Entrepreneurship 102: What can you do for your customer?

Out of the 54,856 students who took Entrepreneurship 101 online, MIT selected 47 to participate in the inaugural MITx Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp last summer. A similar number have confirmed for this August. If you thought MIT was hard to get into for an undergraduate degree (7.9%), the competition for bootcamp was even more brutal (0.086%), or slightly more than 100 times less likely.

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