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MIT finishes second, again

Posted by Jason Keith  December 13, 2011 06:00 AM

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Boston is home to some of the best colleges and universities in the country. MIT, Harvard, Boston College, Boston University and Tufts all come to mind when thinking about the academic excellence the city has become known for.

All have their strengths and all produce academics that contribute to a number of industries. But when it comes to a "start up" culture, who do you think is at the top? As it turns out, MIT is No. 1, but came in second to the University of Utah - at least on a national level - at initiating start up businesses in 2010.

Recently, the Association of University of Technology Managers announced it's 20th annual licensing survey, which is a compilation of quantitative data about licensing activities at U.S. universities, hospitals and research institutions. They survey also measures start up businesses created by the universities for a given year. No. 1 on the list was Utah at 18, with MIT coming in second with 17. It was the second year in a row that MIT was edged out by the University of Utah.

How did some of the other universities in the area stack up when it came to start ups? Harvard, home to many famous start ups including Facebook, had eight for FY 2010, while BU had two, Tufts had one and the University of Massachusetts has two. Boston College had none. So while MIT finished second nationally, it was first by a wide margin locally.

Interestingly, Boston ranked highly for "invention disclosures," which occurs when a faculty member discloses an invention to the university. The national average was 113, but MIT led the local pack with 521. Meanwhile BU had 77 disclosures, while Harvard had 301, Tufts had 76 and UMass had 169. BC had just 15.

MIT also had 172 patents issued in 2010.

While it may not come as a surprise to anyone in the Boston area, these numbers back up the premise that Massachusetts traditionally attracts some of the brightest minds in the country year after year. These minds develop new ideas, technologies and frameworks for start up businesses, patented technology and licensing that yields millions each year for the institution they belong to. Overall, there's a lot for Massachusetts to be proud of in this study.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About this blog

Jason Keith has been working for and with small businesses in the New England area for more than 10 years, specifically small, micro businesses. Born and raised in Massachusetts and a former journalist, he provides a unique perspective on the issues facing small businesses locally and nationally.To reach him directly email

This is a personal blog. The opinions expressed here are the author's alone.

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