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Welcome to the Next Stage: Raise the Bar for Innovation-Driven Enterprise (IDE) Entrepreneurship Education

Last February, 2024, and EDP is wrapped up (always amazing), edits for the dramatically enhanced and expanded 10th-anniversary Disciplined Entrepreneurship book are done and off to the printer (always longer than expected) and the spring semester is underway (always a chance for renewal).

The time to take on a new BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) is upon us, and in fact, it is one that we have been working on for a while but now we can bring it front and center.

It has always bothered me deeply that teaching entrepreneurship has embarrassingly no standards like any other subject does—math, sciences, language arts, history, economics, finance, and on and on. Because of this, people can teach almost anything including incredibly unrigorous or seemingly rigorous but in both cases, with no evidence that it works. This has been the 800-pound gorilla in the room to me ever since I started teaching this subject almost two decades ago. Yet, amazingly, this has been ignored and entrepreneurship education keeps proliferating without any quality metrics.

To the credit of some but not enough, it should be noted that it has improved in some places as researchers have started to look more seriously at this field, but not nearly enough. Not with all the demand for more entrepreneurs at all levels of society and the increasing pressures put on society to solve such difficult and critical challenges such as climate, social mobility, healthcare, and education to name but a few.

What we do at MIT is take a systematic, evidence-based approach to the process of creating entrepreneurs. The initial Disciplined Entrepreneurship book was a first example of this but even more so is the broader set of mindset, content, programs, processes, agents, and infrastructure we describe in our Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship annual report. We seek to integrate rigor (research/theory) with relevance (practice/frameworks/tactics) to create a repeatable, effective, and efficient way to produce a new generation of more skilled IDE entrepreneurs to deal with the world’s increasingly challenging problems.

The point of this new stage is that we will be making a big push this year (and beyond) in collaboration with all who believe in this cause and can contribute to bringing more standards to the entrepreneurship process everywhere (not just MIT). It starts almost immediately with the dramatically improved content of the new Disciplined Entrepreneurship core book as well as a brand new but battle-tested Disciplined Entrepreneurship Tactics book (by my esteemed colleague Paul Cheek) both of which should be available in just over 30 days from now.

Colleagues Scott Stern, Erin Scott, and Joshua Gans also have a highly anticipated and another battle-tested book coming out shortly on Entrepreneurial Strategy. This for the first time I know of, will provide a full stack of high-quality entrepreneurship education materials from theory to practice to tactics.

We will also release a full research report study to show the strengths and areas for improvement of the ecosystem we have developed and described above. And then there will be more.

But this must all be done in collaboration with others because no one has a monopoly on knowledge and good ideas. Everything must be tested in different contexts. The collective wisdom of a collaborative, humble, and diverse group will always exceed that of a single genius/organization, despite what the movies might tell us. This is especially true when the group allows for multiple experiments to be run simultaneously but in cooperation. Speed is important here, particularly in a world that is moving faster and faster.

So, this is the next stage. Let’s Raise the Bar together!

Stay tuned for more details but if you believe in the cause, please reach out and help us make it happen.

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