Bill Aulet Takes Reins of MIT Entrepreneurship Center from Ken Morse
Bill Aulet, an Xconomist and one of the most energetic advocates for entrepreneurship and innovation in the Boston area, has been appointed acting director of the MIT Entrepreneurship Center, according to an announcement made internally yesterday by MIT Sloan School of Management Dean David Schmittlein. Aulet takes the reins from fellow Xconomist Ken Morse, the dry-humored, quick-witted head of the center since 1996.
Morse told Scott Kirsner of the Boston Globe he is going to write a book on global entrepreneurship. Aulet took time to praise Morse as a “fantastic” colleague he had worked alongside of for several years while serving as a senior lecturer at the Sloan School and entrepreneur in residence at the MIT Entrepreneurship Center. Still, he says, “Anytime there’s a change of guard then there’s a chance of revisiting things” and doing new things.
“I’m real excited about this. We’re going to implement, basically, the philosophies I espoused in my Xconomy article.” (I didn’t ask him to say that). He was talking about a piece last fall in which he explained his philosophy of “educate, nurture, network, and celebrate,” which he has used in talks and workshops around the world to try to spur energy innovation. “We did that for energy and it’s worked really, really well,” he says. “I want to do that for all of entrepreneurship at MIT.”Aulet says that involves building ties both within the MIT community and between it and the outside word, in order to “smooth the glide path for our entrepreneurs from the idea through getting it funded.”
While he remained vague about any forthcoming partnerships, Aulet says he has been visiting or has planned visits with Stanford, Babson, the Cambridge Innovation Center, and other institutions to build new relationships and collaborations “consistent with Metcalfe’s law that the power of the network is exponentially related to the number of nodes on it.” He also says he will look at Twitter, Facebook, and other social media and beyond to examine “what new ideas can we implement to make it a more dynamic place for students to foster more entrepreneurship and nurture it.”
The MIT Entrepreneurship Center will continue to be chaired by MIT Sloan School of Management professor Ed Roberts, who founded it. MIT also named Sloan associate professor Fiona Murray as associate director of the Entrepreneurship Center.
You can read Aulet’s bio here. He has long experience at IBM and has subsequently been both an entrepreneur and an executive of a public company, biometrics firm Viisage Technology, where he was chief financial officer. Aulet and I played basketball together in Ireland as part of the World B. Tour in 1990. That’s not in his bio.