Quick start guide for student entrepreneurs at MIT

First of all, welcome to MIT! You have come to the right place.

The sheer volume of entrepreneurship and innovation classes, programs, activities and people who can help you get going can get daunting. Here are a few quick links to get you started.


Orbit is the one-stop-shop for student entrepreneurs at MIT. All of the resources below can be found on orbit, as well as links for posting jobs, finding jobs, founder dating and more.

Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship
The Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship 1 teaches student entrepreneurs how to start new ventures from the ground up, in a startup or corporate setting. The Trust Center is located at E40-160. All are welcome - and we have unlimited coffee and also ramen noodles. MIT Orbit is a Trust Center resource.

Entrepreneurial events in the area
If you are a curious entrepreneur, the best way to get started is to attend events. Sign up for the Trust Center newsletter 2 to stay in the loop. For Boston area events, check out the Hitchhiker's Guide to Boston Innovation maintained by NextView Ventures.

Entrepreneurial classes
MIT offers over 60 courses in the area of innovation and entrepreneurship

For all entrepreneurial students (undergraduate or graduate in any program), 15.390 New Enterprises is an excellent project-based way to get immersed in the Disciplined Entrepreneurship framework based on the book by Prof. Bill Aulet.

Check out this Knowledge Base article for a bird’s eye view for top entrepreneurship classes, and in what order we advise you to take them.

There are many student-run hackathons held throughout the academic year. Here is a subset of everything that’s going on.

  • [HackMIT] is MIT’s biggest undergraduate hackathon.
  • [MIT Hacking Medicine] has grown to be a major organizer of hackathons and other events focused on the medical field. They organize multiple events a year both on- and off-campus. Click here for upcoming events.
  • [MakeMIT] is a hardware hackathon promoting innovation that is geared towards those who are excited and passionate about designing and building.
  • [EnergyHacks] is focused on challenges on energy and sustainability. This event is hosted by the MIT Energy Club. During this weekend long event, teams of participants will be able to tackle real-world challenges in energy and sustainability sector with the guidance of field experts from companies like Schlumberger, OPower, First Fuel, McKinsey, and more.
  • [HackingArts] is part hackathon, part festival, fostering community and celebrating innovation in the creative industries: Design, Fashion, Film/Video, Gaming, Music, Performing Arts, Virtual/Augmented Reality and Visual Arts.
  • [FinTech Challenge] is a two day hackathon and one of the Computing Connections Challenges to celebrate the launch of the MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing. 

Speaker series
We run a celebrity speaker series out of the Trust Center. Past speakers included former Navy SEAL Jocko Willink, Carolyn Brown, former CEO of DKNY, John Doerr, Chairman of venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, and Professor Bengt Holmstrom, Nobel Prize winner in Economic Sciences.

The Sandbox Fund provides equity free seed funding, mentoring and tailored educational experiences for MIT student entrepreneurs.

IAP Programs
There are several entrepreneurial programs held during IAP (Independent Activities Period in January). StartMIT, your on-ramp for entrepreneurship at MIT; MIT fuse, a 3-week-long full time mini accelerator for startup teams who are working on their ventures; MEMSI, a two-week-long hardware startup bootcamp held in Hong Kong and China for entrepreneurial students who are applying as individuals.

Summer programs
In the summer we host MIT deltav, a full time startup accelerator for startup teams ready to build and grow their ventures. MEFTI is a one-week-long FinTech startup bootcamp held in Hong Kong for students applying as individuals.

More resources
The resources section of Orbit contains a more comprehensive, curated list of other resources on campus for MIT students.

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