Anyone who knows our firm well understands the special relationship we have with MIT. In addition to the amazing alumni we have in our partnership, Polaris has co-founded and funded more than 20 companies that were borne from the Institute’s labs. And we serve in a number of leadership positions with Partner Emeritus Alan Spoon on the board of the MIT Corporation, Managing Partner Amir Nashat as a catalyst at the Deshpande Center for Innovation, and Founding Partner Terry McGuire on the board of the Koch Institute. We value greatly our connections to MIT as we believe it is one of the most vibrant innovation ecosystems in the world.
Today we are proud to announce our involvement in another exciting MIT initiative that will create even more opportunities to invent, discover and improve the world.
Officially launched this morning, the MIT Sandbox Fund Innovation Program will offer pathways for all 11,000 students to explore their entrepreneurial endeavors fully through education programming, mentoring and funding. Led by the School of Engineering in partnership with the MIT Innovation Initiative, the program is fully integrated across the Institute and designed to be synergistic with classwork and research.
Polaris is honored to be a founding sponsor of the Sandbox LLC, which supports the program. However, we are especially proud of our involvement with Sandbox early on when Polaris Partners Alan Spoon and Amir Nashat discussed the concept with Chancellor Eric Grimson and Provost Marty Schmidt. Soon after we began working with School of Engineering Dean Ian Waitz who took on oversight responsibility. All MIT leadership, including President Reif were supportive in those early days. To see the vision, which celebrates and elevates the student entrepreneur in the same manner as the student athlete, come to life is something very special indeed. Sandbox is a truly distinctive program for “best and brightest” young entrepreneurs. It will be great for MIT, for the entire Boston start-up community, and for the world at large which needs more solutions to pressing problems.
A special thank you goes to our partners Alan and Amir who worked closely with MIT on developing this concept and helping to shepherd it through the creation process. We look forward to being a part of this incredible program.