How MIT became the most important university in the world

Last November, with great fanfare, Harvard celebrated the opening of its sparkling new $20 million Innovation Lab, Boston Magazine reports. A soaring 30,000 square-foot testament to contemporary architecture built right into the heart of the Harvard Business School, the I-Lab represents something profoundly new for the university: a full-throttle effort to transform itself into a leader in the increasingly important world of tech entrepreneurship. The goal, both simple and ambitious, is to bring together the world’s best and brightest young entrepreneurs, to nurture them in a stimulating and collaborative environment, and to help them transform their ideas into real-world businesses. “Gathering great minds under a single roof” is how Harvard’s president, Drew Gilpin Faust, described the mission of the I-Lab at the opening ceremony, “so that they can become great together.” …  Everybody’s suddenly sweet on MIT. This past July, speaking in Boston at the Global Business Travel Association, Bill Clinton described the university as having the “best technology-transfer program in the country,” tops at turning student ideas into blockbuster businesses. It’s hard to disagree.

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