VMS History


Alec Dingee and Dave Staelin each approach Provost Bob Brown with similar proposals to remedy a gap in how the Institute supports emerging entrepreneurial ventures. Convinced of the need, the Provost charged the two with developing a program.


Prompted by Dr. Brown’s encouragement, Staelin and Dingee designed an organizational structure and rules of governance that would translate their vision into reality. VMS was officially launched in January 2000 under the auspices of the MIT Provost’s office with Dingee serving as its volunteer director.



Sherwin Greenblatt, the first employee and eventual president of Bose Corporation and former Executive Vice President of MIT, is named Director of VMS and Alec Dingee is named Chairman.

VMS receives a Presidential Citation (now known as the Great Dome Award) from the MIT Alumni Association (MITAA).  This is the highest honor the MITAA bestows on any organization. 

The first Entrepreneurial Edge Event is held and becomes an annual celebration of entrepreneurship at MIT.



VMS supplements team mentoring services with a new office hours program in response to repeated questions from entrepreneurs, initially offering General Business Law office hours supported by an attorney from a single law firm.  Since then we have added office hours for Intellectual Property, Immigration Law, Accounting, Accounting for Government Contracts, and Human Resources (HR) to the VMS Program Offerings



The MIT VMS Outreach Program is created to teach other organizations the VMS Model for Mentoring and discovers worldwide interest.

VMS holds the first Venture to Mentor (V2M) Event, a bi-annual networking event in which twenty VMS ventures showcase their ideas and products to the VMS mentors. 



The Sloan School of Management awards VMS the Adolf F. Monosson Prize for Entrepreneurship Mentoring.



The contribution of VMS to the MIT entrepreneurial ecosystem is cited in a report sponsored by the Kaufman Foundation.



The National Consortium for Continuous Improvement in Higher Education gives its Leveraging Excellence Award to VMS.  



VMS establishes an agreement to support Broad Institute staff.  

VMS holds its first Demo Day showcasing twenty VMS ventures before an audience of Boston-area venture capitalists and angels. This becomes an annual event.



TFP Program Partnership is established with the MIT Research Lab for Electronics to give postdocs an opportunity to explore commercialization of their research via a program based on the I-Corps curriculum. 



The MIT I-Corps site is established with support from the National Science Foundation to train researchers on the Lean Launch methodology and customer discovery, and to give them modest funding to explore commercialization of their research.



MIT News features the worldwide success of the VMS Outreach Program.

Roman Lubynsky of VMS coauthors "Are "Better" Ideas More Likely to Succeed? An Empirical Analysis of Startup Evaluation," which presents findings from an analysis of 652 VMS ventures.



The MIT Alumni Associations Daily blog, SLICE of MIT, features Demo Day.

MIT is selected as the Ninth Innovation Corps Node by the National Science Foundation to serve as an I-Corps innovation hub for New England.



VMS relocates to the MIT InnovationHQ in MIT building E38, a 25,000 square foot space for innovation and entrepreneurship activities.