MITdesignX selects 2020 cohort

Ten multi-disciplinary teams join MIT’s design entrepreneurship accelerator.

Ten teams seeking to launch highly innovative ventures ranging from technology to connect bicyclists in safety “swarms”, to bespoke classrooms-in-a-box, to reimagined retail solutions for transit stations have been selected for the 2020 cohort at MITdesignX, the entrepreneurship accelerator of MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning (SA+P).

Seventeen finalists together with dozens of students, faculty, and guests gathered in Studio 10-485 on November 21 and 22 to pitch their ideas to a selection panel drawn largely from outside MIT. The teams included students, researchers, and alumni from across SA+P as well as participants from Sloan and the School of Engineering, the City of Boston, and Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.

Of these, ten teams were chosen to join the next MITdesignX cohort starting in January 2020.  They will be supported with two courses customized for developing design-based ventures, dedicated workspace, external mentorship, $15,000 in equity-free seed funding, and a robust network to help these new startup founders take their ideas in the areas of architecture, planning, art, media, and real estate from the studio to the marketplace.

Introducing the MITdesignX 2020 cohort teams are: 

Preconstruction intelligence for procurement for architects and manufacturers

Enhancing the sustainability, safety, and harmony of urban streets with peer-to-peer synchronized technology for micro-mobility 

Web-based platform to support community-led adaptation to flood risks and damages 

Digital housing search tool to expand neighborhood choice for cost-constrained families

Design learning in a box 

Community sharing platform to match people who have stuff with people who need stuff

Reducing the urban heat island effect in Paris by developing and enabling access to unused rooftops

Modular, mobile classroom-in-a-box product with companion digital applications to provide quality education for pre-schoolers

Streamlined art procurement to foster better public art and community engagement

Above image: (L-R) Manny Velazco, MSRED Candidate, 2020 and Daisha Martin, Harvard GSD, MUP 2020.

Unlocking value in underground transit stations by improving the physical space and experience through innovative retail and design concepts 

The new ‘startups’ will start work in just over a month at a two-week boot camp during MIT’s Independent Activities Period (IAP) in January. The training will encompass business fundamentals, successful team dynamics, and elements of design thinking in preparation for a Spring course in which the team fully design and develop their ventures.