Ken Zolot

Senior Lecturer, MIT Office of Open Learning

Professor of Creative Entrepreneurship, The Berklee College of Music

Founder, Innovation Teams Initiative, MIT Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation


Ken  Zolot

Ken Zolot leads The Founder's Journey (2.A16), for aspiring entrepreneurs in the MIT freshman class. Ken also teaches, in collaboration with Berklee College of Music and Harvard University:  2.S972 - "Making Viirtual Realizty and Immersive experiences. In partnership with MIT Solve, Ken created "SP.251, "How to Change the World - Lessons from Social Entrepreneurs." Ken co-created (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.

At the Berklee College of Music, Ken is a professor of creative entrepreneurship and serves on the steering committee at the Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship.

At the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, Ken serves as Senior Partner for Entrepreneurship and a member of the Olin President's Council.

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".

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

Ken's teaching and mentoring have guided numerous MIT-spawned companies. Ken has held full-time founding roles in several startups, including Rethink Robotic , 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 The Argosy Foundation, TechStars, The Deshpande Foundation, The Levin Institute of New York City, MassChallenge, hackNY, and FIRST Robotics. He serves on the board of the New England chapter of the American Technion Society. Ken served on the founding team of MIT's collaboration with Singapore University of Technology and Design, and also on the founding team of the MIT Portugal Program, launching Portugal's BioEngineering Innovation program.

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
32 Vassar Street, 32-G516
Cambridge, MA 02139