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.
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.
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.
An educator and mentor, Jean-Jacques Degroof was a fellow of the Center for Business and Government at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. In addition to his work at Harvard, Jean-Jacques Degroof was a Sloan Fellow of the MIT Sloan School of Management.
MIT Sloan’s mission is “to develop principled, innovative leaders who improve the world and to generate ideas that advance management practice.” In line with this goal, the school launched LearningEdge in 2009. LearningEdge is a collection of case studies and management simulations appropriate for teaching business and management. The materials were developed by the school’s faculty and students and have a creative commons license, meaning they can be downloaded and used by anyone in the world.
The case studies cover various topics including entrepreneurship, operations management, leadership and ethics, strategy, and sustainability, all areas where MIT Sloan faculty have shown exemplary expertise. The studies highlight how business managers make decisions, and are designed to elicit class debates rather than promote a certain view.
The management simulations are virtual re-creations of real-world problems. Students come up with solutions for these problems and get to see how the actions they propose play out in the virtual world.
Engineers Without Borders USA
As a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management, Jean-Jacques Degroof has engaged in venture investment for over 17 years. Acting as both an investor and teacher of entrepreneurship and innovation management, he has helped young entrepreneurs refine their business projects. In 2010, Jean-Jacques Degroof also sponsored the MIT chapter of Engineers Without Borders.
Engineers Without Borders USA (EWB-USA) is a non-profit humanitarian organization that partners with communities to meet basic needs in developing countries through sustainable engineering. To accomplish this goal, EWB-USA provides several programs. One such program is the Community Engineering Corps which brings together engineering professionals and students to design solutions for communities in need within the United States.
In union with the American Waterworks Association and the American Society of Civil Engineers, these volunteers provide communities with free services in rural and urban municipalities. Community Engineering Corps volunteers have also worked with shelters, community gardens, and other groups and organizations that are striving to improve quality of life.
Jean-Jacques Degroof earned a master of science in management and a PhD from the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In recent years, Jean-Jacques Degroof has focused on mentoring young technology entrepreneurs to help them refine and improve their business projects.
According to research from the website MicroMentor, businesses that receive mentoring during the pre-launch stage succeed at a 13 percent higher rate than the average new business. Mentors can increase manager accountability by providing third-party neutrality, as well as offering valuable networking opportunities to help young professionals advance their careers. A business mentor can give valuable feedback in areas such as employee morale and company culture, while offering encouragement when business owners face setbacks. Business mentors can also advise on specific tasks, such as bookkeeping and payroll. Overall, a business mentorship can be a mutually beneficial connection that improves the skills and strategies of both mentor and mentee.