Creative Arts Competition Honors Arts-Focused MIT Entrepreneurs


University Fellowships pic


For more than three decades, Jean-Jacques Degroof has held leadership roles as a banking executive, corporate board member, and entrepreneur. A former researcher and Sloan Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management, Jean-Jacques Degroof has since been involved with the university as a mentor and member of entrepreneurial and alumni groups.

Though MIT is most commonly associated with the technology, engineering, and business worlds, the school has also played a prominent role in the arts and culture of both the Boston area and the United States. To further support the intersection of the arts, technology, and entrepreneurship, the school organizes an annual Creative Arts Competition that recognizes MIT students who develop innovative projects in this sphere. All business ideas entered in the competition must either use the arts or creative disciplines in conjunction with technology and entrepreneurship.

Winning teams receive a $15,000 grant, plus additional support and mentorship through the START Studio and the Martin Trust Center for Entrepreneurship at the Sloan School of Management. First prize in the 2018 competition went to Hapticomix’s Project Daredevil, which creates virtual reality experiences for visually impaired individuals, while second prize went to a project that develops abandoned sidewalk shops into artists’ studios.

The MIT Sloan Mentoring Program


Grants and Prizes for Students at the Mossavar-Rahmani Center

Grants and Prizes pic

Grants and Prizes

Jean-Jacques Degroof, a former fellow of the MIT Sloan School of Management, is an educator and mentor who focuses on instruction in entrepreneurship. In addition to his fellowship at MIT, Jean-Jacques Degroof was a fellow of the Center for Business and Government at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Now called the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business & Government, it seeks to improve the knowledge and policy understanding of issues at the intersection of the public and private sectors. Drawing on the unique intellectual resources of the Kennedy School and Harvard University, it brings together thought leaders from both business and government to conduct research, engage in dialogue, and seeks answers that are both rigorous and policy relevant.

While a CBG Fellow, Jean-Jacques Degroof pursued the research initiated while he was a Ph.D. candidate at MIT on academic spin-off ventures as vehicles of technology transfer. This work fitted within broader interests of the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business & Government that seek to improve linkages between research and policy communities.

Sloan Fellows Program Offers Premier Leadership Development Training

Sloan Fellows Program pic

Sloan Fellows Program

Dr. Jean-Jacques Degroof lectures at various universities and business schools across Europe and provides mentorship in venture investing. Earlier in his career, Dr. Jean-Jacques Degroof completed a fellowship with the MIT Sloan School of Management in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Sloan School of Management provides students with the opportunity to develop their global leadership skills through the Sloan Fellows Program.

A one-year executive master of business administration program, the Sloan Fellows Program aims to provide graduates the necessary skills and tools to become elite global managers. Fellows within the program are exposed to late-breaking research as well as core fundamentals within the areas of business and technology. In addition, students graduate with access to a broad international network consisting of MIT peers and entrepreneurial leaders.

The Sloan Fellows Program offers students a number of distinct advantages, making it one of the top entrepreneurial leaderships programs worldwide. Students receive instruction from a team of global industry leaders and become immersed in solving organizational challenges while exploring issues vital to leadership growth. Furthermore, the program gives students the flexibility to customize their curricula to include electives and experiences that suit their personal and professional goals.

Jean-Jacques Degroof – MIT IDE 2015 – theCUBE

“I came out of this conference with tons of ideas in my head, of course, but one of them is about the implication of this new digital economy on education and how we need to teach our children.”

“The way we educate children hasn’t changed much in the last 200 years, and is no longer well adapted to this new economy. Our model of education was built when we needed to produce clerks and workers in the food factories, so basically people who repeated mechanically day after day what they were told to do. Nowadays, we need another profile of workers that have more initiative [and] creativity, but the educational methods and models have not much changed. So I think young people are indeed bored at school. So that could be one explanation, but just one small part of the story.”

The Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference

Jean-Jacques Degroof holds a PhD in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is currently an independent venture investor and teacher of entrepreneurship in Brussels, Belgium. As part of his prior academic research career, Jean-Jacques Degroof presented a paper entitled “Academic Spin-Off Processes and Types of Ventures in Regions outside High Tech Clusters: the Case of Belgium” at the Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference.

The conference is an annual event that has taken place at Babson each year since 1981. The purpose of this event is to provide researchers with a platform through which to share their ideas about entrepreneurship with colleagues and other academics. Over 350 professionals attend the conference each year, and over 220 papers are presented. After the conference ends, the college archives the top 40 papers makes them available on the institution’s website.

Alongside the conference, the college holds a workshop for doctoral students in the field of entrepreneurship in order to allow established and future professionals the opportunity to openly communicate, network, and unite for future endeavors. The next conference will take place June 8-11, 2016, in Norway.

The Sloan Business School’s Fellowship MBA and Mentoring Programs

Dr. Jean-Jacques Degroof, an education and business professional with over 20 years of experience, is a venture investor and entrepreneurship teacher based in Brussels, Belgium. Previous to his role as a business instructor, Dr. Jean-Jacques Degroof attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he was a Sloan Fellow between 1992 and 1993.

A Sloan Fellow is a member of the exclusive MBA or MS program at MIT’s Sloan Business School. The program’s curricula promote three pillars that the Sloan School finds crucial to the development of powerful leaders. These pillars include innovation, global perspective, and the practice of leading. Sloan Fellows earn the opportunity to learn and network with peers from multiple continents, facilitating a broad understanding and view of global business.

Upon graduating from the program, alumni Sloan Fellows also have the opportunity to work with current Sloan Fellows in a mentor capacity. Through a database of online user profiles, students are provided with contact information for the alumni who best align with their career goals and interests. Mentors are given the opportunity to choose which students they want to work with, and the mutually advantageous relationship provides students with guidance, while providing mentors with the opportunity to maintain an active relationship with the Sloan School of Management.

2016 BCERC

Founded by Babson College in 1981, the BCERC, short for Babson Conference on Entrepreneurial Re-search (Columbia, MO), is considered by many to be the premier entrepreneurship research conference in the world. It was established to provide a dynamic venue where academics and real-world practitioners, through spirited dialogue, could link theory and practice. Each year, the Conference attracts more than 350 entrepreneurial scholars who come to hear the presentation of more than 220 papers. A Doctoral Consortium is held in conjunction with the Conference and was created as a means to unite future entrepreneurship educators and scholars with established leaders and researchers in the field.​

Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research papers contain the proceedings of the conference and are the most comprehensive collection of empirical research papers on entrepreneurship.

For more information about submissions and the 2016 BCERC, visit

Babson College Holds World-Renowned Entrepreneurship Conference

Holding a Ph.D. from the prestigious Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Jean-Jacques Degroof is a venture investor who also mentors founders of technology start-ups. He previously shared his business expertise in this domain by delivering a paper at the Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference (BCERC). Established in 1981, BCERC is widely regarded as the world’s leading entrepreneurship conference.

To ensure the highest-quality content, potential paper submissions for the BCERC undergo a rigorous review process. Prospective presenters must first submit an abstract detailing the principal topic, method, and results for a double-blind review. After authors receive notification that their paper has been accepted, they must submit a short summary along with a six-page abridged paper. A review board evaluates all submitted abridged papers and selects 40 for full inclusion in the BCERC proceedings.

At Babson College, entrepreneurship studies are a key part of its business curricula and activities. The college aims to foster entrepreneurial skills that are important in every business setting.

Certech Services and Student Programs

Formerly an associate researcher at the Center for Research in Entrepreneurial Change and Innovation Strategies, Jean-Jacques Degroof also served as an affiliate researcher for MIT Industrial Performance Center. Given his strong background in both research and business, Jean-Jacques Degroof was invited in 2012 to join the board of directors for Certech.

Founded in 1996 by the Catholic University of Louvain, Certech, also known as the Center de Resources Technologiques en Chimie, is situated in Seneffe, Belgium. The nonprofit organization is led by its academic founders as well as select public and corporate professionals. The company offers a variety of services that impact technology and science, including product and process development, contract research, patent evaluation, and custom analysis.

In addition, Certech provides training courses to help professionals develop their expertise in their specific field. For students, the organization has internships for undergraduates as well as doctoral research programs for individuals pursuing their PhD. These opportunities provide hands-on experience in research and project management and execution. Furthermore, Certech seeks out motivated graduates to join its nonprofit full-time and help in the advancement of research and development programs.

To learn more about Certech, visit