Drinking directly from the firehose: Aditi Chadha on lessons from the MIT entrepreneurs bootcamp
At 2.30 pm on March 26th, 2017, in Brisbane, Australia, Brian Subirana, Research Scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), who has taught at prestigious business schools such as MIT Sloan, Harvard, Stanford and Insead, begins the afternoon by talking to 120 global entrepreneurs from 32 countries about the fifty years of evolution of the Internet, the emergence of the Internet of Things, and how the role of telecom operators is going to change.
Marius Ursache, comes up on the stage next. He has a Medical Doctor degree yet followed his passion to found Grapefruit, one of the first digital agencies in Romania. He’s won over 25 international design awards globally. He started delving deeper on how to come up with great ideas and build big businesses through collaboration. Erdin Beshimov, the founder of the MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp, who obtained his MBA from MIT Sloan, is originally from Kyrgyzstan and has lived in India, then started explaining about how to define problem statements and create business ideas out of them.
By this time, my mind was overwhelmed and overstretched with so much greatness in knowledge. To stretch our limits of thinking then, Inga Stasiulionyte, an Olympian athlete and javelin thrower who competed in the Beijing Olympic Games began by sharing about her journey to the Olympics, on going beyond what we think is comfortable or believe to be possible, to reinventing our mind and life.
I am beyond excited and honored to have had the experience of drinking directly from the firehose (MIT speak) and to have been selected for the prestigious MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp. Over 6,200 global ideators and entrepreneurs applied to this world renowned program and finally 120 were selected out of 32 countries. That comes to over a 2% acceptance rate. I went through approximately 5 rounds of screening and finally an interview to get in. The process was tough, but I still applied. I wanted to challenge and test myself and to see if I had what it takes to get in. This year the program was held in the beautiful city of Brisbane, Australia, 1 hour from the world famous beaches of the Gold Coast on the Western periphery of the land Down Under.
The MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp is an intensive, week-long program that gives bootcampers a taste of drinking from the firehose that all MIT students experience when they go to university there. The Bootcamp connects entrepreneurs from around the world to the entrepreneurship and innovation eco-system surrounding MIT. It is the brainchild of Erdin Beshimov and the legendary Bill Aulet, Managing Director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship and Senior Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management. For the record, before teaching at MIT, Bill has collectively raised US$ 100 million for his Startups.
The youngest in this Bootcamp was 19 years of age and the oldest around 60. Some were serial entrepreneurs, some first time, some bureaucrats and some from the United Nations.
If you want to continuously challenge yourself in your field of work or entrepreneurship, grow by leaps and bounds within a week, and learn from the best in the world, then this Bootcamp is for you. The youngest in this Bootcamp was 19 years of age and the oldest around 60. Some were serial entrepreneurs, some first time, some bureaucrats and some from the United Nations. So age and type of work are no bar. But resilience and caliber definitely are because MIT only accepts the best.
On March 31st, we made our final presentation in front of the judges, and I received a certificate in ‘New Ventures Leadership’ from MIT. As a part of this unique journey, while I made a lot of friends representing an eclectic mix, I also went through the uncomfortable process of re-strategizing on how I would approach my Startup, DAZL, which merges fashion and technology to build luxurious and intelligent jewellery for women with a technology module that goes inside the jewellery.
Over the next few weeks, I will share with you what I learned, how I challenged myself, and how you can apply these exclusive MIT learnings to your life, career and business.
A special thank you to Andrew Ngui and Vimala Palaniswamy for putting together such a challenging event in a seamless manner, despite the second most ravaging cyclone in Brisbane’s history ever. Andrew is a Senior Program Manager at the MIT Bootcamps and co-founded Global Entrepreneurs. Vimala holds an MBA from MIT Sloan and is the CEO of Demeter Entrepreneurs Support Network.
Interact with Aditi in the comments section below. She will be writing a series of articles about her experiences from the bootcamp.