Massive open entrepreneurship
New MITx MOOC brings the expertise of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship to the Web.

Stephen Carson


Every year, between 900 and 1,000 companies are started by MIT alumni and students. Many of these entrepreneurs have taken the class 15.390 (New Enterprises), offered to all MIT students, including the founders of such companies as Ministry of Supply, FINsix, Lark, OsComp, and Hubspot — which had revenues worth $52.5 million as of 2012.

This spring, MIT will offer this course online as an MITx massive open online course (MOOC) “15.390x Entrepreneurship 101: Who is Your Customer?” starting March 18 and now open for enrollment on the edX site.

Bill Aulet ’94, a senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management and managing director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, will teach 15.390x. While there are no prerequisites for the course, Aulet intends it for “people who have an interest in innovation-driven entrepreneurship … people who want to be very efficient at solving customer problems in a holistic way.”

While those who wish to start small businesses will learn something from the class, 15.390x will deal with startup issues on a grander scale. “They have to be looking to make a big company,” Aulet says. However, people working in government, nonprofits, or large existing corporations may gain insight on how to become more “customer-oriented,” and are welcome to join the class. Read more.