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.
Charite Entrepreneurship Summit in Berlin
A former Sloan Fellow at the MIT Sloan School of Management, Jean-Jacques Degroof teaches entrepreneurship at several business schools in Europe. Jean-Jacques Degroof is also a former member of the advisory board of the Charité BIH Entrepreneurship Summit.
The 10th Charité BIH Entrepreneurship Summit took place on May 8 and 9 in Berlin. The event brought together more than 415 medical entrepreneurs, physicians, scientists, and investors. This year’s event also featured over 65 speakers, including, Siegfried Bialojan, head of the Ernst & Young Life Science Center in Mannheim, Germany, and Emmanuelle Marie Charpentier, director of the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology.
The 2017 summit included a special emphasis on Israel and showcased Israeli medical and life science start-ups. Attendees also enjoyed the opportunity to hear from prominent speakers from Israel, including Anya Elda, vice president of the Start-Up Division at the Israel Innovation Authority, and Doron Abrahami, the Minister for Commercial Affairs and Head of the Economic and Trade Mission in the Israeli Embassy in Berlin. Finally, the summit’s LifeSciences VentureMarket featured talented entrepreneurs from Israel, Germany, Denmark, and the United States.
Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics
Venture capital investor Jean-Jacques Degroof mentors teams of young entrepreneurs in the technology sector. Additionally, Jean-Jacques Degroof has authored research papers on subjects related to entrepreneurship, one of which he presented at the 2003 conference of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE).
SASE is an international organization that brings together academics, business professionals, and government officials from more than 50 countries to explore and advance the understanding of economic behavior within a wide array of academic disciplines. Each year, SASE hosts a conference in a different city. The most recent conference, which was held at the University of California, Berkeley, in June 2016, featured panels, paper presentations, and mini-conferences with the theme of “Moral Economies, Economic Moralities.”
Along with an invitation to attend the annual conference, members of SASE receive a subscription to the journal Socio-Economic Review and access to a range of exclusive online resources available through the organization’s website. Members also have the opportunity to participate in the exploration of socio-economics within a network of other scholars on the subject.
Educational Counselor at MIT
An alumnus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Jean-Jacques Degroof is an investor and educator who teaches entrepreneurship to business students across Europe. Outside of his professional life, Jean-Jacques Degroof serves as an educational counselor with the MIT Educational Council.
MIT educational counselors have a responsibility to serve as representatives of the university in their own communities. They also conduct interviews with MIT applicants to identify potential candidates for admission and to serve as a source of support for those who eventually become students at the institution. In order to become an educational counselor at MIT, an individual must meet certain requirements.
The primary requirement to become an educational counselor is that one must have earned an undergraduate or graduate degree at MIT. In addition, the university prefers to recruit individuals who have demonstrated enthusiasm about their own experiences as students at the university. Those who wish to become educational counselors must also commit to becoming familiar with events occurring at the university and be able to maintain positive relationships with young people.
MIT’s Educational Council
Jean-Jacques Degroof is a private investor and researcher with academic ties to Harvard University and MIT, as well as multiple leading institutions in Europe. As part of his ongoing commitment to MIT, from which he earned his PhD, Jean-Jacques Degroof volunteers his time as an educational counselor for the school.
The is a collaboration between dedicated alumni, known as educational counselors (EC), and staff in the Office of Admissions. They work together to seek out and recruit the most promising young people for each year’s new freshman class.
ECs serve three main functions within the program. First, they serve as an accessible community resource, acting as a liaison between MIT and local youth. Ergo, ECs become the human face of MIT.
Second, though interviews are an optional part of the MIT application process, most candidates choose to participate in an interview with an EC, whose job it is to evaluate each candidate and submit a report to the Office of Admissions.
After students are admitted to MIT, the EC’s final role is to help them decide which school within MIT is right for them. The EC then continues to offer useful advice to students during this often stressful time.
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.