MIT REAP: Enhancing Innovation Ecosystems Worldwide

The MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (MIT REAP) is a global initiative designed to help regions around the world accelerate their economic growth and job creation through innovation-driven entrepreneurship (IDE). Selected partner regions form multidisciplinary teams and commit to a two-year learning engagement with MIT. During the engagement, teams work with world-renowned MIT faculty and the broader REAP community in a series of action-learning activities to draft and implement strategies to enhance their IDE ecosystems. To date, MIT REAP has collaborated with teams in Andalusia (Spain), Istanbul (Turkey), Veracruz (Mexico), Qatar, Hangzhou (China), and Rio de Janiero (Brazil).

Founded in 2012 as part of MIT Sloan’s Executive Education program, MIT REAP admits between 8 and 10 regions each year. Headed by a regional “champion”—a local leader deeply committed to accelerating IDE—each team includes representatives from five major stakeholders: government, the corporate sector, academia, risk capital, and the entrepreneurial community. The teams perform a systematic data-driven regional assessment, evaluate their region’s potential comparative advantages in innovation, and finally, develop and implement custom regional strategies to create more favorable conditions for economic growth and job creation. The program not only leverages MIT’S expertise in developing entrepreneurial ecosystems, but also allows MIT faculty and staff to engage deeply with regions worldwide, share cutting-edge research and best practices, and learn and disseminate lessons learned.