Ken Zolot

 

Senior Lecturer, MIT School of Engineering

Founder, Innovation Teams Initiative, Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation

Biography

Ken  Zolot

Ken Zolot leads The Founder's Journey (6.933), for aspiring entrepreneurs in the School of Engineering. Ken co-teaches (with Hal Abelson) 6.083, "Building Mobile Applications". At MIT's Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation, Ken created the Innovation Teams ("I-teams") program, where multidisciplinary teams of students collaborate with lab directors, evaluating go-to-market strategies for breakthrough discoveries.

In 2009, Ken was named a Senior Fellow at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, to advise the Foundation on its new initiative "Kauffman Labs for Enterprise Creation".

At the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, Ken serves as Senior Partner for Entrepreneurship.

At the Berklee College of Music, Ken serves as a founding steering committee member of the Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship.

Ken is a Distinguished Fellow at the Jack Welch Management Institute.

Ken's teaching and mentoring have guided numerous MIT-spawned companies, including Arch Therapeutics, Brontes3D (acquired by 3M), Hipmunk, HubSpot, Myomo, Rest Devices, QD Vision, Robopsy, Semprus Biosciences (fka SteriCoat), Stripe, Vertica Systems (acquired by HP), and Visible Measures.

Ken has held full-time founding roles in several startups, including Rethink Robotics (fka Heartland Robotics), which Ken co-founded in 2008 with Rod Brooks, former Chief Technology Officer of iRobot and Director of MIT's Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. In 2000, Ken co-founded Egenera, Inc., along with Goldman Sachs' Chief Technology Officer Vern Brownell. Egenera was named to Red Herring's list of "100 companies most likely to change the world". Ken's previous startup, Geer Zolot Associates, was a spinoff from MIT Project Athena. Geer Zolot developed network security software for electronic trading and commerce, and contributed to the early internet security architecture for much of the financial services industry. Ken has also held positions at MIT Project Athena, and at Digital Equipment Corporation's Innovative Technology Research Center in Cambridge. Zolot's first start-up was Spectra Communications, specializing in satellite telecommunications.

Ken is an active advisor to numerous organizations involved in advancing innovation and entrepreneurship, including TechStars, The Deshpande Foundation, The Levin Institute of New York City, MassChallenge, hackNY, and FIRST Robotics. Ken partnered with retired Harvard Business School professor James Cash in launching "The Cash Catalyst" , a program for fortune 100 Chief Information Officers to promote peer-to-peer exchange and learning. Ken served on the founding team of MIT's collaboration with Singapore University of Technology and Design, and also on the founding time of the MIT Portugal Program, launching Portugal's BioEngineering Innovation program. Ken also served as a director of Yoga301, which focused on advancing the art, science, and practice of the timeless discipline of yoga.

Mr. Zolot holds a Master of Science degree from MIT in Management of Technology. His undergraduate work was at Syracuse University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy.

 


Contact Info
Office:
32 Vassar Street, 32-386
Cambridge, MA 02139
Tel: 617-253-6481
Email: zolot@mit.edu