That’s one of the fundamental secrets of business, in my opinion.
I mean, of course it’s about what you know, but a lot of it is (like in most industries), being in the right place and right time.
The Martin Trust Center is the right place, and for me and the recent fuse attendees, it’s been the right time.
I’ve been working as a Storyteller In Residence for the last few months (living in Boston), and as much as that involves me interviewing, and telling the stories of the people who come into the Center about their goals, and ideas, it’s about watching what goes on here, and there’s definitely a uniquely positive mood.
All of the staff here, including the EIRs (Entrepreneurs In Residence) have a wealth of experience, whether it’s been studying in an academic setting — lest we forget that MIT is one of the most prestigious institutions for science and technology in the entire world — or a business one. The aforementioned EIRs, for example have been able to start, maintain and develop successful businesses, and now they are working here passing on their knowledge, in how to do well, and how to deal with failure.
When you walk in here, with a business idea (of any kind) it’s going to be pretty intimidating — some of the greatest minds in the world will doubtless be incubating in this space at any one time, but that’s what makes it such an awesome resource.
No busy staff member is too self-important to stop and listen to a student’s concerns, council nerves or workshop an idea, however busy they are; while you could say to me, ‘well, that’s their job!’, I have seen EIRs rushing to meetings, but stopping to arrange to chat with a student about their ideas, at a later point in the day. I have seen staff here (whether they work in marketing, or program coordination) brimming with enthusiasm about a student’s idea, or taking time to enthusiastically discuss the Center’s resources with visitors. Highlights have involved seeing the pride of fuse students, and seeing staff physically applauding when a deal is secured, or a particular milestone is reached.
To me, that’s business in a modern context; you can achieve anything if you have the right people around you to motivate, and inspire you. Here at The Martin Trust Center, if you’re nervous these people will support you. Equally, if you think your idea is the best thing since Yorkshire Tea (sorry, I’m British), then they will give you balanced, decent (but very real, honest advice), on how to make it better, or fine-tune as needed.
Coming in to work with this team and uncover some of the most exciting, and innovative ideas on campus right now, while watching the staff (no matter what success, or level of notoriety they have achieved) interact with the students on such an empathetic level is inspiring. It’s taught me that these are the types of people that I want to know, and this is the type of place that I want to be, wherever in the world that is.
For more information on The Martin Trust Center for Entrepreneurship visit: http://entrepreneurship.mit.edu/
To listen to some of the audio interviews I’ve taken since I started here, you can follow this link (transcription to follow).
Thanks for reading!
You can see me waddling about the Center about 15 seconds in to the video above, behind entrepreneur/legend, Bill Aulet!