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15.375/MAS.665/EC.731  Development Ventures ~ Exponential Innovations & Emerging Markets

Fall 2016

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Instructors: Joost Paul Bonsen, Cynthia Lynn Breazeal, Alex Paul Pentland

Lecture:  R 10am-12noon  (E14-633)        


We challenge students to craft enduring and economically viable solutions to problems faced by at least One Billion people worldwide

Summary -- Development Ventures (DV) is a unique Action Lab class on founding, financing, and building entrepreneurial ventures in developing nations and underserved communities. We challenge students to craft enduring and economically viable solutions to the problems faced by those in such markets. We're particularly interested in those technologies and concepts which are exponential innovations, meaning either they improve rapidly in price/performance (e.g. Moore's Law) or they spread virally in their target markets (e.g. mobile phones, first feature and now smart).  Our Live Case studies illustrate examples of both successful and failed businesses -- including many class alumni ventures -- and explores the difficulties in deploying and diffusing products and services through entrepreneurial action. We explore a range of established and novel business models, as well as new business opportunities enabled by emerging technologies in MIT labs and beyond. Students test market feasibility, build prototypes, and develop a business plan executive summary (plus collateral material) suitable for submission in the MIT IDEAS and/or $100K Entrepreneurship Competition and beyond.

Also, please visit the Development Ventures group on Facebook -- -- for sharing non-confidential ideas, news articles, and event announcements.

Location -- E14-633 -- 6th floor of E14 --


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