MIT REAP launches new regional innovation and entrepreneurship acceleration program in Nova Scotia following profitable UK pilot


CAMBRIDGE, Mass., February 4, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Today, the MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (MIT REAP) announced the launch of its new Focus program in Nova Scotia after a successful pilot program in the UK. MIT REAP is a powerful global initiative that partners with communities to empower ecosystems for innovation and entrepreneurship, and transform the economy. The Focus program is the first new MIT REAP offering since the global program launched in 2012 that has had a measurable impact in regions around the world. Both the MIT REAP Global and Focus programs take an evidence-based translation approach WITH Framework, research and insights into practical, actionable and strategic interventions; Convening and training of teams of key stakeholders; and empower regional leaders to create meaningful, long-term economic and social impact. The framework of MIT REAP is based on a multi-stakeholder model. Participating teams include members from five key groups of actors in ecosystems for innovation and entrepreneurship: government, university, corporate, venture capital and entrepreneurs.

How does MIT REAP Focus differ from the global program?

MIT REAP Global teams participate in cohorts of up to eight teams in a two-year program to accelerate the Innovation-Driven Entrepreneurship (IDE) ecosystem and have the opportunity to collaborate with teams within and between cohorts from different parts of the world. The Focus program works with teams within a single region to use a more focused IDE ecosystem acceleration model that is different from global cohorts and has a custom timeframe. Focus teams adapt the frameworks developed by WITH Expand and deepen IDE within their respective region. “We understand that there is a need to deliver a different offering, in which we apply elements of the MIT REAP Global core frameworks in a tailored and accelerated approach with regions that have clear comparative advantages that are used at the local and collective levels can level “, stresses Travis Hunter, Director of MIT REAP.

MIT REAP Focus Nova Scotia aims to accelerate inclusive economic growth across the province

Nova Scotia He previously participated in the MIT REAP Global program, cohort 4 (2016-2018). Following the success of the MIT REAP Nova Scotia team, ONSIDE (Organization for Innovation Driven Entrepreneurship in Nova Scotia) was founded, a non-profit organization to empower IDE and leverage MIT REAP strategies. ONSIDE sought to broaden the MIT REAP experience by participating in the Focus program to support broader strategy acceleration and inclusive economic growth in its region. ONSIDE also believes the Focus program will help promote regional resilience and aid recovery from the effects of COVID-19. Learn more about the Focus Nova Scotia Program.

“The MIT REAP faculty is working with key regional stakeholders to develop solutions that are compatible with the region’s history, culture and key regional drivers of innovation and entrepreneurship,” he said Fiona Murray, Co-Director of the MIT REAP Faculty, William Porter Professor of Entrepreneurship, and MIT Sloan Associate Dean of Innovation and Inclusion. “We are excited to offer you a bespoke, local vision of MIT REAP’s mission Nova Scotia and future focus team regions. That pleases me very much WITH Colleague professor Scott Stern and Dr. Phil Budden will lead our work together with me and the employees of MIT REAP with the support of ONSIDE. “

“”Nova Scotia has a high potential for innovation, “said Alex McCann, Managing Director, ONSIDE. “The MIT REAP Focus program has brought together some of the most resourceful and dedicated members of our communities to translate that skill into strategies and actions that will foster real economic and social prosperity for our province.”

Successful Focus UK Pilot prepares the requirements for the program start

MIT REAP started the pilot of its new Focus program in the UK in March 2020. With support from Loughborough University, six teams from across the target region were brought together to drive the development and implementation of actionable MIT REAP strategies to strengthen innovation and entrepreneurship. Focus UK used the insights of the MIT REAP Core Cohort 6 team. Leeds City, UK – Graduated in October 2020 – Increase productivity, employment and returns on research in six other UK communities. Originally designed as an intensive six-month program, Focus UK expanded its involvement March 2021 to meet the new challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Find out more about the Focus UK pilot program.

An example of the impact is the Focus UK Team Leicester & Leicestershire, which aims to grow its regional economy by 5% above the national average within five years. They devised a two-pronged strategy: bootstraps for technology diffusion within the region’s existing manufacturing community and beacons, or commercial innovation and investment by leading companies and regional strengths. They then began mapping the stakeholders and assets in their region in order to identify the right actors to drive and build additional innovation and entrepreneurial capacity.

The Leicester & Leicestershire team had their first notable success in securing buy-in, investment and setting up an innovation committee within local government to drive the agenda. The team also focused on developing a business case for accelerators in manufacturing sectors such as textiles, logistics and food (bootstraps). and further develop an existing network of innovation accelerators in sectors such as space, life sciences and cybersecurity (beacons). The team will continue to work with the top three universities in their area to develop new skills development programs that will nurture the next generation of innovation and entrepreneurship leaders and accelerate their regional economies.

Sandra Wiggins, Entrepreneur, director of DPI UKand a member of the Leicester & Leicestershire team said: “The Focus program has fundamentally changed our region, our business and my personal and professional growth. The open, honest discussions helped our team understand all stakeholder perspectives and find solutions that make this possible. ” I am honored to have participated and look forward to further growth as our region’s MIT REAP journey has only just begun. ”

“Participating in the MIT REAP Focus UK pilot has been a dynamic experience for the Sheffield City Mayoral Combined Authority,” he said Paul Johnson, Senior Economic Policy Manager for the Executive of the Mayoral Combined Authority, Sheffield City Region, and a member of the MIT REAP UK team Sheffield City Region. “MIT REAP insights into how we can support our innovation-driven businesses have been invaluable as we improve our business support offerings and meet the inclusive innovation-driven growth targets of our recently published strategic business plan.”

Take part

Regions from all over the world are carefully checked for their acceptance of the MIT REAP Focus program and must represent a special “urgency for change” or a problem area in the overall system of their region that they want to address. MIT REAP faculty then works with Focus teams to address regional challenges that are hindering the growth of their IDE ecosystem by identifying the comparative advantages and acceleration mechanisms needed to fuel innovation and entrepreneurship.

You will receive more information about MIT REAP Focus by email [email protected].

Applications for the MIT REAP Global program are now open. Find out more and apply here.

About the MIT Sloan School of Management

The MIT Sloan School of Management This is where smart, independent leaders come together to solve problems, create new organizations, and make the world a better place. Learn more at

Media contact:

Paul Denning
Director of Media Relations, MIT Sloan
[email protected]

Shannon Farrelly
Communication and Media Relations, MIT Global Programs
[email protected]

SOURCE MIT Sloan School of Management