MIT volunteer leaders rang the closing bell Friday at NASDAQ, the world's first electronic stock market, in a tribute to the Institute's entrepreneurial spirit and economic influence. MIT Alumni Association President Ken Wang ’71 and MIT Enterprise Forum Chairman Rich Kivel presided at the event in New York. Wang and Kivel put the focus on how the Institute transforms new ideas into practical solutions that help the world.
"MIT is rich in entrepreneurial culture," Kivel says. For example, the MIT Licensing office files more than 100 patent applications each year, and a recent study notes that alumni have created thousands of companies that contributed more than $2 trillion to the global economy.
"The MIT Enterprise Forum has built an influential global entrepreneurial network," he says. "We support inventors and innovators by helping them to learn how to bring their ideas to the marketplace and by providing a community of people ready to make innovations into commercialization."
Alert Slice of MIT blog readers were able to watch the event live, from 3:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. on Nov. 6, when a short video featuring MIT entrepreneurs and inventions ran continuously on the NASDAQ tower's seven-story screen — the largest stationary video display in the world. At 3:45 p.m., the display switched to a live feed from the closing ceremony.
The NASDAQ OMX invitation also underscored MIT's outreach to the world. The MIT Enterprise Forum, an MIT Alumni Association program, welcomes entrepreneurs, alumni or not, to join its network of 24 worldwide chapters. The Enterprise Forum is also a partner in Global Entrepreneurship Week, a Nov. 16-22 effort devoted to engaging millions of young people worldwide in a growing entrepreneurial movement. It's co-sponsored by the Kaufman Foundation.
"Our impact reaches far beyond our campus community in Cambridge, Mass.," says Wang. He noted that millions of people worldwide benefit from OpenCourseWare, MIT World videos, and other ways the Institute extends its intellectual network. "Simply put," he said, "our objective is to make the world a better place."