About

Startups are an increasingly important part of MIT’s innovation ecosystem, providing highly effective vehicles for testing the commercial viability of new technologies.


MIT-connected startups are based on licensed MIT technology, or are founded and/or led by MIT faculty, staff, or alumni.

MIT Startup Exchange actively promotes collaboration and partnerships between MIT-connected startups and industry, principally members of MIT’s Industrial Liaison Program (ILP). MIT Startup Exchange and the ILP are integrated programs of MIT Corporate Relations.

“MIT-connected” startups are based on licensed MIT technology, or are founded by MIT faculty, staff, or alumni. Currently, over 1,700+ startups are registered with MIT Startup Exchange and monthly additions are helping to shape and define an innovative and entrepreneurial community.

The industry side of the exchange is represented primarily by 260+ ILP member companies. Meetings between MIT Startup Exchange startups and industry are facilitated by program directors at MIT’s Industrial Liaison Program. Each program director manages a portfolio of ILP member companies, and their primary role is to match company research interests with relevant MIT faculty and researchers. Increasingly, on-campus agendas include MIT Startup Exchange startups, based on their potential to rapidly explore and assess new technologies.
 

Increasingly, on-campus agendas include MIT Startup Exchange startups, based on their potential to rapidly explore and assess new technologies.

Throughout the year, MIT Startup Exchange hosts numerous networking events, from half-day workshop events at MIT to full-day showcase events in Silicon Valley, London, Tokyo, and other global innovation hubs. Events provide a mix of startups, MIT faculty, industry managers, government leaders, and seasoned financiers, all discussing innovation and the future outlook for specific sectors. Each event features “Lightning Talks,” where 8-12 startup entrepreneurs rapidly share their experiences and give elevator pitches.

Disclaimer: MIT Startup Exchange provides introductions that ideally provides open ended discussions in order to share mutual interests and potentially create common ground that incite the parties to collaborate. MIT Startup Exchange intros may eventually lead to mutual partnerships, but that is in not in any way guaranteed by MIT, MIT Corporate Relations, MIT Industrial Liaison Program (ILP) or MIT Startup Exchange, which take no responsibility for the outcome of such discussions and takes no formal part in such discussions. MIT Startup Exchange and its activities and events are not for purposes of soliciting investment or offering securities.

Leadership

  • Karl Koster, Executive Director, MIT Corporate Relations
    Executive Director of Corporate Relations
    Karl Koster, Executive Director, MIT Corporate Relations
    Executive Director of Corporate Relations

    Karl F. Koster is the Executive Director of the MIT Office of Corporate Relations (OCR). The Office of Corporate Relations at MIT includes the Industrial Liaison Program (ILP), which celebrated 60 years of service to the Institute and its corporate partners in 2008. In that capacity, he and his staff work with the senior administrative and faculty leadership of MIT in developing and implementing strategies for enhancing corporate involvement with the Institute. Mr. Koster has been involved with faculty leaders in identifying and designing a number of major international programs for MIT. Many of these programs focus on institutional development and are characterized by the establishment of strong, international, programmatic linkages between universities, industry, and governments. Mr. Koster graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in geology and economics in 1974, and received a M.S. from the MIT Sloan School of Management in 1980. At the Sloan School he concentrated in international business management and the management of technological innovation. Prior to returning to MIT, Mr. Koster worked as a management consultant for seven years in Europe, Latin America, and the United States on projects for private and public sector organizations.

  • James Gado
    Senior Director of Corporate Relations
    James Gado
    Senior Director of Corporate Relations

    James E. Gado is Senior Associate Director in the Office of Corporate Relations.

    Mr. Gado comes to MIT after more than 25 years in the specialty materials and chemical industry. His experience spans the sectors of construction, microelectronics, automotive, and food/beverage packaging all on a global basis. The majority of his career was spent at W.R. Grace & Co., with positions also at American Cyanamid Company and Teradyne, Inc.

    Gado has held leadership positions at the director level for M&A, strategic planning and marketing, and R&D management. He has developed new business, both organically and via acquisition, across the globe including the emerging markets of China and recently India. His domestic investment experience includes collaboration with Grace/Horn Venture Partners.

  • Marcus Dahllöf
    Program Director, MIT Startup Exchange
    Marcus Dahllöf
    Program Director, MIT Startup Exchange

    Marcus Dahllof joined the Office of Corporate Relations (OCR) on December 13, 2016.

    Dahllof leads the MIT Startup Exchange, which facilitates connections between MIT-connected startups and corporate members of the MIT Industrial Liaison Program (ILP). Marcus manages networking events, workshops, the STEX25 accelerator, opportunity postings, and helps define the strategic direction MIT Startup Exchange. He is a two-time tech entrepreneur (one exit in cybersecurity), and has previously held roles in finance, software engineering, corporate strategy, and business development at emerging tech companies and Fortune 100 corporations in the U.S., Latin America, and Europe. Marcus was a member of the Swedish national rowing team and he is a mentor at the MIT Venture Mentoring Service.

  • Rebecca Xiong photo
    Program Director, MIT Startup Exchange
    Rebecca Xiong photo
    Program Director, MIT Startup Exchange

    Dr. Rebecca Xiong joined Corporate Relations as Program Director, Startup Exchange in October 2018.
     
    Dr. Xiong comes to Corporate Relations with more than 15 years of experience in the MIT Startup Ecosystem, having co-founded and worked at multiple MIT startups. Most recently, as Co-founder and Chief Scientist at SocMetrics, she leads product management, data science, and machine learning for SocMetric’s personalization and marketing campaign products. Before SocMetrics, Xiong co-founded Going.com. Going.com connected people via local events to enhance their offline social life, and through Rebecca’s leadership grew to 1M members, tens of millions of monthly pageviews, and finally its acquisition by AOL. Before these two entrepreneurial endeavors, Xiong held positions as Product Marketing Manager (DataPower, acquired by IBM), Senior Program Manager (Performaworks, acquired by Workscape), and Team Lead (Akamai Technologies). She also has research experience at Microsoft, Silicon Graphics, and Xerox Palo Alto Research Center.
     
    Dr. Xiong earned her B.S. in Computer Science at the University of California at Berkeley, and her Ph.D. in Computer Science at the Media Lab at MIT with her thesis “Visualizing Information Spaces to Enhance Social Interaction." She was a National Science Foundation (NSF) Fellowship Recipient. She holds multiple patents and is very involved in the community, as the Lead Organizer of the Cambridge Parent Summit.

  • Rodenstein photo
    Events Leader, MIT Startup Exchange
    Rodenstein photo
    Events Leader, MIT Startup Exchange