Patrick J. McGovern Jr. (SB 1959), an MIT Corporation member and a world leader in computer publishing, returned to MIT May 5 to present the first Patrick J. McGovern Jr. Award to six graduating students of the Sloan School of Management for their efforts in advancing entrepreneurship during the past year.
The presentation took place at a reception at McCor-mick Hall prior to the 1999 $50K Entrepreneurship Competition ceremony.
The McGovern award will be given each year to an individual or team, working closely with the MIT Entrepreneurship Center, who made a significant impact on the quality and overall spirit of entrepreneurship at the Institute.
This year's winners are Rohini S. Chakravarthy, Ramzi M. Nassar, Laurea Dorvial Paglione, Joel R. Serface, Rodridge L. Soares and Jeffrey S. Williams. The six graduating MBA students received the award for their outstanding leadership of the MIT/Sloan Venture Capital Investing Club, which created the inaugural MIT/Sloan Venture Capital Conference in December 1998. Each student received a $1,000 prize.
Mr. McGovern also made a $4,000 gift to the Entrepreneurship Center for a total 1999 contribution of $10,000. He intends to maintain the award as an annual event.
Mr. McGovern received the SB in biology in 1959. Five years later he founded International Data Group. Today, IDC includes more than 300 publications, including Computerworld and PC World.
In his remarks, he emphasized the importance of being prepared to compete in entrepreneurship immediately after graduation, and he praised MIT for setting the standard for combining business and the sciences, now and in the past.
"The preparedness of the would-be entrepreneur today is so much better than in past generations," he said. "As a result, the likelihood of success in business is much higher now." He cited his own experience: starting a freshman guide because there was a need for one, and doing it without any financial support from MIT. Instead, he recruited a team of co-founder/investors and soon made the guide profitable from the advertising revenue of companies wishing to reach the tight freshman market.
"I enjoyed the process," he told the students and faculty. "It got me into publishing."
A version of this article appeared in the May 19, 1999 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 43, Number 31).