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Create your Own Employment

Entrepreneurs at MIT found e-MIT web portal

By Katie Jeffreys

Features Editor

This article is second in a series about finding employment. Future articles will include recruiting and interviewing techniques.

Everyone knows that MIT students are creative, intelligent and hardworking, three qualities which allow graduates to be successful entrepreneurs.

A new web portal, called e-MIT <http://e-mit.mit.edu/>, will assist young entrepreneurs and start-ups in learning and communicating about entrepreneurship. The site, developed and maintained by MIT students, will be launched officially to the MIT community this week. Julian C. Ting G, a Co-Founder of e-MIT cites the successful innovation that can occur “if you get an engineering or science student together with a business student with the same interest. If we could facilitate that, it would make MIT a much richer place.”

The site’s job posting section offers students of all academic disciplines the opportunity to find employment in new ventures. The site also offers many resources to help entrepreneurial minded individuals, including links to other web sites, a digested list of recent articles of interest, and a calendar of events around the MIT and Boston communities. In addition, the site provides a bulletin board style discussion section allowing young entrepreneurs to ask questions of experienced businesspeople. “It is a resource for students to allow them to see not only what is going on, but also to see what jobs are out there.” said Co-Founder David Lam G.

The e-MIT site will also act as a facilitator for social events which will allow students to interact and network on a personal level. “Over time, MIT has developed many centers of excellence. Not much effort has been taken in bridging the gap between different departments in the institute,” said Lam.

Not only does e-MIT represent relations across campus, it will also become a resource for the world when the site is launched to the public on December 4, 1999. The focus will be primarily on Cambridge, and the greater New England area. This connection with outside, regional sources is especially important considering that Massachusetts, after California, has the highest number of MIT related jobs (125,000) and sales ($16.7 billion).

The site was envisioned by a several Sloan students enrolled in Entrepreneurship Lab (15.399) last spring, including Lam, Ting, and Rami Habal G. The group was scheduled to present their (unrelated) class project to the Board of Directors of the Entrepreneurship Center. They arrived early, walking in on a discussion on how to encourage entrepreneurship at MIT. Lam recounts “Ultimately Bill Porter raised his hand and said ‘All these ideas are great, but you have everything here.’” Porter, founder of E*Trade, suggested that since the MIT community includes scientists, business students, experienced entrepreneurs, and commercial support, the only missing aspect was a method by which they could communicate.

With these words as inspiration and the encouragement of their Entrepreneurship Lab instructor Kenneth P. Morse, the students worked over the summer to develop e-MIT. The group has now expanded to about 35 students who work on every aspect of the site, gaining valuable business experience. Lam cites this involvement as another benefit of the site. “One of the skills that people look for among the student body is management skills, which is not something you get a lot of practical experiences in.”

The e-MIT site acts to unite the many entrepreneurship groups on campus, including the $50K Competition and the Entrepreneurship Center. “We didn’t want to create anything that had already been done. We did not want to replicate them but promote them, and to connect people who are involved in the related groups,” said Lam.