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Innovation and Entrepreneurship (I&E)

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WCVB

WCVB-TV spotlights two MIT startups, True Moringa, a beauty and wellness company that uses the oil from Moringa trees grown in Ghana to directly benefit farmers in Ghana, and Sourcemap, which traces supply chains and provides transparency about where goods are stemming from. Says Kwami Williams ’12, co-founder and CEO, of his inspiration for True Moringa: “I started to ask myself, if aerospace engineers can help put a man on the Moon, then what can I do to help put more food on the table for families” in Ghana.

The Boston Globe

Drew Houston ’05, co-founder and CEO of Dropbox, speaks with Boston Globe columnist Scott Kirsner about his favorite courses and extracurriculars activities at MIT, his first computer, and the future of work at Dropbox during a recent visit to MIT where he announced a gift that will endow a professorship in the Schwarzman College of Computing. “I loved studying computer science, and I loved things like distributed systems and operating systems and algorithms,” said Houston of his time at MIT. “Those were my favorite classes. I had grown up tinkering under the hood of my computer, trying to figure out how it worked.”

Forbes

Forbes contributor Frederick Daso spotlights Fitnescity, a startup founded by MIT graduates that offers “a streamlined online platform to help consumers select lab kits, get tested, and display their data on a digital dashboard.” CEO and co-founder Laila Zemrani MBA ’13 explains that: “Fitnescity was founded to give people access to the information they need to improve their health and wellness.”

The Washington Post

Ayr Muir ’00, SM ’01 speaks with Washington Post reporter Trisha Pasricha about how the goal behind his plant-based restaurants, Clover Foods Labs, is to use plant-based foods to help mitigate the climate crisis. “The overarching mission is global warming. And what we’re trying to do is help meat-lovers eat more meals that have no meat in them,” Muir said. “The more success we have with that, the greater impact we have on the environment.”

Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Pranshu Verma spotlights how innovators in the greater Boston area, including a number of MIT startups, are “aiming their moonshot ideas at a climate crisis that has only gotten worse and made their task all the more urgent.” “That’s our purpose,” said Katie Rae, CEO and managing partner for The Engine. “We are here to back those super ambitious companies that are taking a big swing.”

Boston Globe

Rebekah Huang, a seven-year-old from Belmont who participated in a program sponsored by the Lemelson-MIT program aimed at teaching children about innovation, took second place for her age group at a global invention competition for her device that keeps chairs from tipping over, reports Diana Bravo for The Boston Globe. “You can buy special types of chairs that don’t tip over easily, but my suction holder string can be put around any chair you already have at home,” says Huang. “So my invention is much more convenient.”

Bloomberg News

Bloomberg reporter Kyle Stock spotlights the origin and future of Rivian, an MIT startup that has developed an electric pickup truck.

Fortune

Fortune reporter Nicole Gull McElroy spotlights how the MIT Innovation Initiative and the Sloan School of Management are opening Innovation HQ, a 50,000 square foot space that will house a cross-disciplinary innovation and entrepreneurship lab. “Innovation HQ will offer students, alumni, faculty and staff a place to work, collaborate and create with six departments, lab space, an innovator’s lounge and a new space for music and arts innovation called Voxel Lab,” writes McElroy.

Bloomberg Businessweek

Orna Therapeutics, which was co-founded by MIT researchers, is working on “programming RNA with genetic code that instructs a line to split into several strands and then repair itself in the shape of a circle,” reports Bloomberg Businessweek reporter Angelica LaVito. “Delivering those messages via circles may produce a more stable, longer-lasting signal, potentially treating cancer, autoimmune disorders, and genetic diseases.”

TechCrunch

TechCrunch reporter Kate Park spotlights Catalog, a startup founded by MIT graduates that is “developing an energy-efficient, cost-competitive and more secure data storage and computation platform by using synthetic DNA.”

The Boston Globe

Alicia Chong Rodriguez SM ’17, SM ’18 speaks with Boston Globe reporter Pranshu Verma about the inspiration for her startup BloomerTech, which is focused on addressing heart disease in women, and the underrepresentation of women in clinical trials. As part of this effort, BloomerTech is developing a “sensor-enabled bra that feeds real-time heart data to doctors running clinical trials on women’s cardiovascular disease.”

Nature

Nature reporter Eric Bender spotlights MIT startup Kytopen, which has developed a microfluidic platform to create induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells and other forms of cell therapy. We want to do minimally invasive surgery,” says Kytopen co-founder Prof. Cullen Buie.

Boston Globe

President L. Rafael Reif and Linda Henry, CEO of Boston Globe Media Partners, took part in a wide-ranging fireside chat during the inaugural Globe Summit, touching upon everything from the urgent need to address the climate crisis to MIT’s response to Covid-19, the Institute’s approach to AI education and the greater Boston innovation ecosystem. “This is such an important global issue,” says Reif of climate change. “It’s the most serious challenge we have in our times.”
 

Forbes

Forbes reporter Aayushi Pratap spotlights Vicarious Surgical, an MIT startup and surgical robot company aimed at making “abdominal surgery faster, easier and subject to fewer complications, starting with hernia repairs.”

Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Janelle Nanos spotlights how MIT and the food incubator CommonWealth Kitchen will be hosting three new vendors in the Launchpad dining hall in the Stratton Student Center as part of MIT’s goal to support diverse, local start-up food businesses and help create a more just, equitable, and sustainable food economy. “The move stems from the July 2020 announcement by President Rafael Reif that MIT would work with more minority-owned businesses as part of its effort to fight systemic racism on campus,” writes Nanos.