MIT Logo Nuts and Bolts of New Ventures MIT Course 15.393
Nuts and Bolts of New Ventures - 2024
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Session 1 - Tuesday 1/23/2024
Session 2 - Wed 1/24/2024
Session 3 - Thurs 1/25/2024
Session 4 - Tues 1/30/2024
Session 5 - Wed 1/31/2024
Session 6 - Thurs 2/1/2024
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Course History

The Nuts and Bolts course has a long history in the development of the MIT Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

1988-1989 Student "Demand" Course
1990 - MIT $10K Business Plan Competition
1994 - Joost Bonsen Creates "For Credit" Course
2002 - Yonald Chery and Virtual Ink Case Study


1988-1989 Students "Demand" Course
The starting of the course is a lesson in entrepreneurial action. Joe Hadzima, a MIT Alum and practicing lawyer, had helped design and was teaching part of the Manager's Legal Function course at MIT Sloan School (now called "Law for Entrepreneurs"). The course was based on a real company and followed the company's journey from start to bankruptcy. Seeing the practical aspects of the course, students who were members of the M.I.T. Entrepreneurs Club (E-Club) asked Hadzima to be the faculty advisor to the Club.

As documented in Jean-Jacques Degroof's book From the Basement to the Dome - How MIT's Unique Culture Created a Thriving Entrepreneurial Community:

    "In 1989, a couple of members of the E-Club approached its advisor, Joe Hadzima, to teach club members how to write a business plan as a non-credit, club sponsored IAP (Independent Activities Period) offering. While Hadzima was considering the request, one of the students published an announcement of the seminar in the IAP catalog, which essentially forced Hadzima to teach it! In doing so, the students followed an informal but widespread moto at MIT: "Ask forgiveness, not permission!" .....The first session drew several hundred attendees, reflecting the growing interest in entrepreneurship among the MIT student community."
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1990 - MIT $10K Business Plan Competition
The 10K Business Plan Competition (now known as the 100K Entrepreneurship Competition) launched in 1990 as a joint venture of the E-Club and the student run Sloan New Venture Association in an effort to bridge the engineering side and management sides of MIT. It became clear from the 50+ entries that the student entrants would benefit greatly if they took the IAP seminar, which became part of the 10K schedule: IAP Seminar => Executive Summary => full Business Plan.
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1994 - Joost Bonsen Creates "For Credit" Course
In 1994 Joost Bonsen became the Lead Organizer of the $10K Business Plan Competition and undertakes to help make Nuts and Bolts a 3 credit For Credit Course. Additional topics and a writing requirement are added, the writing requirement being an Executive Summary suitable for entering the $10K. As a result Nuts and Bolts becomes one of the first for-credit courses at MIT Sloan School. Bonsen and the $10K team publicize the course resulting in the first cross campus entrepreneurship course bringing together undergraduate and graduate engineering, science and management students.

Lecturer - Media Arts & Sciences

Email: Website:
Joost Bonsen

Joost Bonsen is an innovation ecologist studying exponential technologies and new venture dynamics across multiple scales. He serves as Lecturer in Media Arts & Sciences at MIT, teaching the Media Ventures, Development Ventures, and Revolutionary Ventures classes as well as the Understanding MIT, Future Explorations, and Nuts & Bolts of New Ventures seminars.

A former lead organizer of MIT's $100K Entrepreneurship Competition, Joost helped grow the Competition by an order of magnitude, create the Emerging Markets / Development Track, and continues to serve on the Board. He has previously served as Board member of the MIT Enterprise Forum (both Cambridge & Global), the MIT Global Startup Workshop, and the MIT Muddy Charles Pub. In the mid-1990s Joost created and ran the MIT Founders Study, the first global census to quantify the economic impact of MIT-related entrepreneurs, findings later published by BankBoston as MIT: The Impact of Innovation.

Joost is co-creator of Howtoons, producer of educational cartoons which show kids everywhere "How To" build things using everyday materials and tools. For over a decade he hosted a weekly television show called Maximizing Progress (previously High Tech Fever) creating some 500 unique interviews with inventors, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, professional service providers, and more, and has run dozens of entrepreneurial networking VentureNights at the MIT Muddy Charles Pub since the mid-1990s, as noted in The Venture Café book and The Economist.

Joost earned his Bachelor's in Bio-Electrical Engineering at MIT as well as the Sloan Fellows (then MOT Management of Technology) Master's degree at MIT Sloan and wrote his thesis on The Innovation Institute: From Creative Inquiry Through Real-World Impact at MIT.
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2002 - Yonald Chery and Virtual Ink Case Study
In 2002 the Virtual Ink case was added to the course. Virtual Ink won the 1997 $50K Business Plan Competition. Yonald Chery subsequently launched the company, which ultimately raised significant outside funding and was acquired by Newell Rubbermaid. For a number of years Yonald provided the class with an insider's look at the roller coaster life of a first time entrepreneur.
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Serial Entrepreneur
Yonald Chery Mr. Chery has spent over 12 years as a high-tech entrepreneurial executive, mentor, and advisor specializing in identifying and launching early-stage concepts into running companies.

Yonald founded Virtual Ink in 1997 with his graduate school colleagues and served as CTO and as a Director until early 2001. He conceived the flagship product, Mimio, a portable retrofit pen-tracking system that records handwritten notes from a conventional whiteboard to a personal computer. The business was launched while at MIT and won $10,000 in 1997 in the prestigious MIT $50k Entrepreneurship Competition. Virtual Ink was acquired by Newell Rubbermaid (NYSE:NWL).  Download the Virtual Ink Executive Summary.

Mr. Chery currently holds 12 patents in the United States, 4 patents in the United Kingdom, with several more pending in the United States, Europe, and Asia.  See an IPVision Forward Patent Landscape Map of Mr Chery's patents.

Mr. Chery often speaks about technology strategy, team-building, business plan development, and entrepreneurship and has lectured on such topics at MIT's Sloan School of Management.  Mr. Chery holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and a M.S. in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, both from MIT.
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Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, One Amherst Street, E40-160, Cambridge, MA 02142
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