MIT Entrepreneurship: Pirates, Navy SEALs

“I think we’re not so much in creating the next dating app,” Aulet says. “Dating can be a good thing before you are married but hybrid innovation is what we specialize in. We like to see ventures that involve software, hardware, and big data, for example. And does it help people? The best ideas are from the people concerned about helping others with their ventures and remember to execute the process.”

Aulet rattles off numerous examples of lesser known but impacting startups. Wecyclers is one of those examples and was founded by two 2012 Sloan grads, Bilikiss Adebiyi and Alexandra Fallon to remove the heaping piles of recyclables from Nigerian slums via bicycle. The startup has removed more than 600 tons of recyclables and created 75 local jobs.

“That’s an example of a startup that won’t make your list, but is doing something beneficial to a community,” Aulet says. “But I am proud of all of the my children in the center. I love all the children.”

Still, children can do dumb things from time-to-time.

“The dumbest ideas are the ones that only focus on technology,” Aulet says. “Their ideas are not customer focused. It’s all about the technology. Those are the ones that crash and burn.”

MALCOLM BUTLER AS A CASE STUDY

Finally, Aulet says the students benefit from an adept faculty and staff.

“It’s all about Ed Roberts and Fiona Murray leading this team,” Aulet says. “Scott Stern doesn’t sit in an ivory tower and do research. He is involved. Matt Marx is innovating the laws of MIT entrepreneurship. Eric von Hippel is teaching the importance of listening to customers. And that’s just a few. I stand on the shoulders of giants.”

Before allowing the interview to end, Aulet had some final thoughts he insists be published: a lesson learned from a 2015 Super Bowl hero.

Says Aulet, “Malcolm Butler earned that interception. Discipline beats indiscipline. When someone on the other team is acting like he’s going to the bathroom on the ball after a touchdown, that’s indiscipline. The interception wasn’t luck. Like in entrepreneurship, there is no luck. Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. Malcolm Butler is a case study for that.”

Spoken like a true Patriots-sympathizer.

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