Book Description

CELEBRATING ENTREPRENEURS is a firsthand account of the past, present, and future of entrepreneurship at MIT from the man who has led those endeavors since the beginning.

Edward B. Roberts has created a history of the seminal role of MIT’s faculty and alumni in: Transforming entrepreneurship into a discipline worthy of rigorous academic study; and forming and building the many organizations that constitute the “MIT entrepreneurial ecosystem”. They in turn nurtured the founding and investing in thousands of startup companies that pioneered new industries.

Structured in two parts, the book first showcases how the unique atmosphere at MIT encourages its innovative entrepreneurs to thrive. Then, with in-depth coverage of the founders and companies that pioneered four industries—biotechnology, the Internet, from CAD-CAM to robotics, and modern finance—plus many other successful firms, Professor Roberts analyzes how MIT’s most successful entrepreneurs have capitalized on that environment and culture to build companies that have lasted for decades. Both internal and external to MIT, the founders of these organizations and companies tell their own stories, describing their motivations, challenges, and outcomes.

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Praise for Celebrating Entrepreneurs

“MIT taught me that no problem is too difficult to solve. All you need is to be willing to work hard enough to get it done! In Celebrating Entrepreneurs, Ed Roberts has assembled the lessons learned by many dozens of successful entrepreneurs to stimulate the thoughts and actions of those who aspire to greatness.”

RAY STATA, co-founder, former CEO, and Chairman, Analog Devices

“For decades Ed Roberts has studied, taught, and promoted entrepreneurship at MIT and beyond. Here, in a wonderful new edition, he has accounted the enormous benefits to society that MIT entrepreneurs have created.”

PHILLIP SHARP, co-founder of Biogen and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Nobel Laureate in Medicine in 1993, and former President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

“I have used what I learned at MIT every day. MIT taught me to be comfortable and confident with technology, cope with complexity, and build on principles.”

TOM PERKINS, co-founder, Kleiner Perkins

“Among the many industries pioneered by MIT alumni are life sciences/biotechnology, the Internet, CAD-CAM, robotics, and modern finance. In this impressive volume, Professor Roberts explores how these and other key industries came to be, the entrepreneurs who founded them, and MIT’s role in making all this happen.”

BRAD FELD, co-founder of Foundry Group and Techstars, and author of many books on entrepreneurship

Celebrating Entrepreneurs demonstrates the great power of academic research and teaching in the marketplace through stories of successful MIT entrepreneurs creating great and pioneering firms.”

IRWIN JACOBS, Founding Chairman and CEO Emeritus, Qualcomm

“An entrepreneurship tornado continues to blow at MIT. The energy of entrepreneurship rises through our classrooms, labs, and centers. It has been central to who we are as an institution for 50 years of extraordinary service and achievement.”


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About the Author

Edward RobertsEDWARD B. ROBERTS is the David Sarnoff Professor of Management of Technology at the MIT Sloan School of Management. His scholarship focuses on advanced technol­ogy management and entrepreneurship, and he founded and chairs the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship. During the past year Professor Roberts has received the Legacy Award “for a lifetime of pioneering entrepreneurship” from the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers, as well as the Founders Award from the Deshpande Foundation for Innovation & Entrepreneurship “for extraordinary achievements for entrepreneurship in higher education”. His nine previous books include Entrepreneurs in High-Technology, the first research-based book on technology-based entrepreneurship. Roberts also cofounded numerous firms, including Medical Information Technology (Meditech), Sohu.com, and Zero-Stage Capital. He has been a board member of more than 30 companies and an angel investor in 100+ high-tech startups.

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All author proceeds from the sale of Celebrating Entrepreneurs will be donated directly to MIT endowment funds that support the institute-wide MIT Entrepreneurship Program.

Anyone who wishes to supplement these donations should mail checks, payable to MIT Fund 3647030, to

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
600 Memorial Drive, W98-200
Cambridge MA 02139-4822

For credit card, wire, stock transfers and other forms of donation, please go to giving.mit.edu. Please identify Fund 3647030 as the recipient of your generosity.

Those who are interested in naming an entrepreneurial program or space, please email the author directly for further discussion at Roberts.Entrepreneurs@mit.edu.

Thank you.