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Sloan School of Management

Innovation Ecosystems: a New Approach to Accelerating Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Jun 13—14
2 days
Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
USD 4100
USD 2050 per day
Oct 10—11
2 days
Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
USD 4100
USD 2050 per day

How it works


Based on MIT's research into the science of innovation ecosystems, this course equips executives with the high-level frameworks and tools necessary to understand innovation and entrepreneurship in the ecosystems around them, shift to a more effective ecosystem-based open innovation approach, and design programs to engage effectively with external stakeholders.

Innovation is a driver of productivity, competitive advantage, and enterprise value. But it does not happen in a vacuum. Innovation requires connections, just as entrepreneurship does, among key stakeholders—entrepreneurs, universities, risk capital providers, government, and large corporations. These connections are increasingly taking place in “innovation ecosystems” and through programs such as accelerators, hackathons, prize competitions, and co-working spaces in which stakeholders and communities contribute and share resources (e.g., talent, ideas, infrastructure, money, and connections). How can leaders harness the power of these open innovation ecosystems around the globe or in a specific region of interest for their organizations? If you are a business or government leader interested in engaging in an innovation ecosystem to find talent, ideas, and entrepreneurial ventures, this new program will provide you with the tools and frameworks necessary to take externally focused innovation and entrepreneurship activities to the next level at your organization.

Drawing on recent MIT research, this highly practical program helps leaders:

  • Understand why innovation is a challenge in their organization
  • Assess and identify the innovation hub(s) with which to engage (e.g. Boston, Israel, London, Berlin, etc.)
  • Consider how best to engage in these ecosystems—via hackathons, accelerators, venture competitions, etc.
  • Develop new organizational practices to break down internal silos and the “fortress mentality” and shift toward a more open innovation ecosystem framework
  • Identify what their organization wants from the ecosystem—and what they can give back to it, with metrics that can track such changes

Participants in the program need not aim to become corporate entrepreneurs or intrapreneurs themselves, but they should want to understand—as leaders and managers—how to access external innovation and entrepreneurship from the ecosystem and accelerate internal innovation and corporate entrepreneurship.



  • 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM Introduction and trends: From open innovation to 'innovation ecosystems'
  • 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM How ‘iEcosystems’ work and what leaders need to know
  • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Networking Lunch
  • 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM Assessing iEcosystems and leading a corporate strategy
  • 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM Metrics and data for iEcosystem engagement


  • 8:30 AM - 10-:30 AM How to engage the iEcosystem engagement
  • 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Working session to design/optimize your engagement
  • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Networking Lunch
  • 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM Internal change and leadership to benefit from your iEcosystem
  • 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM Wrap up

Who should attend

This course is designed for executives in both public and private sectors, ranging from senior managers and corporate entrepreneurs to C-suite executives and future leaders. The program will also be of value to entrepreneurs, regional development officers, investors, and government policymakers.

Participants must be interested in encouraging innovation in their organizations or regions, especially through leveraging innovation ecosystems. Participants from both developed and emerging markets are encouraged to attend.

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Phil Budden is a Senior Lecturer at MIT Sloan, affiliated with the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship and the TIES Group. He co-teaches a course on entrepreneurial ecosystems known as the 'Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Lab' (REAL) with Fiona Murray. REAL combines academic and r...
Fiona Murray is the Associate Dean of Innovation at the MIT Sloan School of Management, William Porter (1967) Professor of Entrepreneurship, and an associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. She is also the CoDirector of MIT’s Innovation Initiative.   She serves on the British Prime ...


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