MIT’s Creative Arts Competition Accelerates Art-Focused Ventures


MIT’s Creative Arts Competition  pic

MIT’s Creative Arts Competition

A venture investor, Jean-Jacques Degroof helps grow startups into successful companies. A former affiliate researcher at the MIT Industrial Performance Center, Jean-Jacques Degroof was in subsequent years involved in supporting MIT’s Creative Arts Competition as a sponsor and a member of its jury.

MIT’s Creative Arts Competition is an year-long program put together to accelerate startups focused on the intersection of the arts and technology. The competition is open to founders who have one or more MIT students on their teams and have ventures that have arts at their core – those that address the needs of artists, producers, and other arts stakeholders.

Participating teams enjoy benefits such as access to MIT’s START studio specialized programming and MIT’s arts entrepreneurship incubator. The teams also participate in workshops at the Sloan School in which students receive mentorship from past winners of the competition and from distinguished MIT alumni. The mentors cover topics such as pitch preparation, customer development, and business plan creation.

Participating teams are expected to develop viable business plans to be judged based on their focus on the arts, potential for impact, and sustainability. The winning team receives a cash prize of $15,000 presented as a grant.


Creative Arts Competition Spurs Innovation at MIT

As a respected entrepreneur and alumnus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Jean-Jacques Degroof sponsors the annual Creative Arts Competition and is a member of the jury.

This years event is set for April 30 and is designed for young entrepreneurs in an effort to generate startup businesses focused on the arts. Teams comprised of graduate and undergraduate students from MIT pitch a panel of judges with a bevy of ideas that represent how art and business can join forces in a collaborative effort. The 2017 winner, Roots Studio, is a perfect example of the competition’s mission. They digitally transform art from rural villages into high-end products, thus taking away the burden of a costly supply chain through licensing.

Co-founded by CEO Rebecca Hui in 2011, they are able to connect rural artists around the world with design hubs who use the authentic designs to reach out to a multi-billion dollar market.

The first place prize for the 2018 competition will receive $15,000. For more information, go to



The 2017 Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference


Babson College pic

Babson College

An expert in entrepreneurship and innovation management, Jean-Jacques Degroof has taught at multiple European business schools. In addition, Jean-Jacques Degroof has contributed to a number of academic gatherings, including the Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference (BCERC), where he presented a paper in 2003.

Established by Babson College in 1981, BCERC has evolved into the world’s premier conference for papers on entrepreneurship research, attracting more than 350 scholars who hear more than 220 papers. Held each year in conjunction with an entrepreneurial studies doctoral consortium, this event unites entrepreneurial scholars with successful business leaders.

The 2017 BCERC took place from June 7-10 at the University of Oklahoma (OU) Michael F. Price College of Business and OU Innovation Hub. Sessions covered subjects ranging from the effect of corruption on international entrepreneurs to strategies for managing work-life balance for entrepreneurs. OU business professors Lowell Busenitz, Will Drover, and Jeremy Short delivered the conference’s final remarks.

The MIT Sloan Mentoring Program


EWB-USA Receives IKEA Foundation Grant




An alumnus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management, Jean-Jacques Degroof has devoted more than 17 years to venture investment. In addition, Jean-Jacques Degroof served as a sponsor to the (MIT) chapter of Engineers Without Borders in 2010.

In 2017, Engineers Without Borders USA (EWB-USA) was able to secure a grant from the IKEA Foundation to support efforts to fight climate change in parts of Africa and Asia. The grant covers a three-year period and will see EWB-USA give technical advice to partners in the relevant regions regarding energy efficiency, renewable energy, the risk of flooding, and water supply.

In her comments regarding the award, the EWB-USA executive director, Cathy Leslie, referred to the organization’s role in the creation of sustainable solutions that took climate change into consideration and to its partnership with the IKEA Foundation. She stated that her organization was eager to help marginalized communities push back against climate change.

MIT Sloan Dean’s Circle Benefits


Dean's Circle pic

Dean’s Circle

A self-employed investor and mentor in the field of entrepreneurship, Jean-Jacques Degroof studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management in the 1990s. Jean-Jacques Degroof continues to proudly support the culture of research and innovation at MIT through his membership in the Dean’s Circle, which honors those who have given generous financial support to the school.

Membership in the MIT Sloan Dean’s Circle provides many benefits, encouraging alumni and other friends, who are interested in fueling greater innovation and in supporting opportunities for students and faculty, to give to the school. Regardless of the amount Dean’s Circle donors provide, they gain access to many special events at a reduced fee, and are invited to the Dean’s Circle reception and other events not open to members of the general MIT community. They also receive regular updates on the state of the school and are permitted to attend a special speaker series.

Larger donors receive several additional benefits, most of which involve greater access to Sloan faculty. They receive regular case reports on research done at Sloan, as well as a suggested reading list and at least one book recently published by a faculty member. They can also attend special events featuring senior faculty and receive complimentary admission to conferences.

The 2018 Charite BIH Entrepreneurship Summit Slated for May 7-8

Charite BIH Entrepreneurship Summit  pic

Charite BIH Entrepreneurship Summit

A venture investor, Jean-Jacques Degroof is also a teacher of entrepreneurship and innovation management. Committed to developing the next generation of business leaders, Jean-Jacques Degroof supports Stiftung Charite and has been participating in the Charite BIH Entrepreneurship Summit since 2012.

Stiftung Charite was established to provide support for medical projects that will ultimately benefit all of mankind. A few years ago it launched the Charite BIH Entrepreneurship Summit to promote innovation in the biomedical sector. Every year, the summit hosts over 400 leaders in healthcare innovation from around the world to discuss and share ideas about opportunities for improving biomedicine.

The 2018 Charite BIH Entrepreneurship Summit will be held on May 7 and 8 at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Berlin, Germany. The summit will bring together entrepreneurs, scientists, investors, policymakers, and physicians to discuss major discoveries and emerging trends in global healthcare. Participants will also share insights on the future of healthcare, interact with industry professionals from the world over, and develop business partnerships to spur growth in the field of biomedicine.

The 2018 entrepreneurship summit is themed “From Vision to Patient.” It is supported by the Berlin Institute of Health.