Disrupt Africa caught up with Fiona Murray, Associate Dean for Innovation and co-director of the MIT Innovation Initiative at MIT Sloan, to discuss the school’s approach to supporting entrepreneurship, including the programmes that have been making an impact for Africa-focused and global entrepreneurs.
Disrupt Africa: Tell us about MIT Sloan’s approach to supporting entrepreneurship.
Fiona Murray: MIT Sloan’s mission is to develop principled, innovative leaders who improve the world and to generate ideas that advance management practice. Our specific approach is focused on equipping students with the skills, mind-set and values they need to succeed as entrepreneurial leaders; not just focused on their venture today but also tomorrow. We’re teaching our students how to fish, not just giving them a fish.
We also have a few things that are key to our classroom experiences. We try and have academic faculty and practitioners teach together so that we can balance theory and practice , individual stories and experience with more broadly applicable advice and evidence. We try and mix management and technical students together so that people learn to appreciate different skills, build teams and work in an multi-disciplinary context.
We take a problem-oriented approach so that we focus on real problems not just problem sets – and we build up from small but open ended problems to larger and more challenging ones.