The MIT Public Service Center and the Bose Corporation held their third-annual Speed Mentorship dinner on campus on Feb. 26. The event is an opportunity for MIT students participating in the MIT IDEAS Global Challenge — an annual innovation and social entrepreneurship competition — to network with Bose employees and receive mentorship and advice on their innovative service projects.
Keely Swan, the IDEAS program administrator, kicked off the mentorship event by highlighting the power of MIT’s mission and the desire of MIT to combine hands-on learning opportunities with classroom education for the purpose of benefiting humanity. “IDEAS is part of the vibrant innovation ecosystem at MIT, and it provides an important bridge between the classroom and the real world that enables students to tackle quality of life issues for people around the globe,” Swan said.
Brian Mulcahey, director of emerging business at Bose, noted that Bose employees are passionate about volunteering and mentoring and truly value the opportunity to give back to MIT. “None of my colleagues had experience in industries like farming, sanitation, and water quality, yet they were amazed at how relevant and transferable their Bose experiences were in helping these incredible students. We got as much out of the event as the students did,” added Mulcahey.
The student teams pitched their projects and received two 30-minute rounds of mentorship and advice from Bose. The ideas proposed by the students cover a variety of challenges — including sanitation, energy, water, health, agriculture, and education — and span the globe from the United States to Burkina Faso. Through the event, teams of MIT students and their collaborators from community organizations and other universities sought advice from Bose employees on subjects including intellectual property, finance, engineering, and product design, manufacturing and supply chain, distribution, communications, marketing strategy, and business models. The event also included the opportunity to network with Bose employees over dinner.
The student teams were enthusiastic about the event and grateful for the help from Bose. On behalf of the team Mocha Mocha, MIT graduate student Mohammed Ghassemi of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and his teammate Shireen Al-Adeimi of Harvard University described how they "really appreciated that we got to hear from four different [Bose] people with four different perspectives. It has been very helpful for our project development.”
The student teams will use what they learned from Bose as they prepare their final proposals for the IDEAS Global Challenge. The MIT community will have the opportunity to see these projects at the Innovation Showcase on April 10 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on April 15. For more information on attending these events, please visit the MIT IDEAS Global Challenge website.