A mentor and educator, Jean-Jacques Degroof earned degrees in organizational behavior and business administration from the Catholic University of Louvain and a Ph.D. in Management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Now teaching entrepreneurship to business students across Europe, Jean-Jacques Degroof has supported various student organizations such as MIT's chapter of Engineers Without Borders.
Founded in 2002, Engineers Without Borders owes its existence to Dr. Bernard Amadei, who visited Belize in 2000 and found a Mayan community living without adequate clean water. After discussing the best way to tackle the issue with his colleagues, Dr. Amadei returned to Belize with a team of students to construct a water supply system.
Now Engineers Without Borders continues to supply clean water to communities around the globe and assists with other development needs, such as installing solar panels for electricity. The organization relies on the efforts of countless volunteers who work to enhance living conditions in impoverished communities. Volunteers come from a wide variety of backgrounds and range from students to skilled professionals.
An experienced business management educator and administrator, Jean-Jacques Degroof is a self-employed venture investor and entrepreneurship and innovation teacher who splits his time between Brussels, Belgium, and Boston, Massachusetts. He has been involved with the Charité Entrepreneurship Summit in Berlin, Germany, for five years. From 2013 to 2015, Jean-Jacques Degroof helped to organize this event as a member of the Charité Entrepreneurship Summit Advisory Board.
In 2017, the event recognized the exceptional past and present support of the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) by officially becoming the Charité BIH Entrepreneurship Summit. Another highlight of the 2017 event was a special overseas collaboration with the business leaders of Israel. As an official partner country, Israel enjoyed a special place among the bevy of countries showcasing talented professionals and startups at the Charité BIH Entrepreneurship Summit.
The 2017 Charité BIH Entrepreneurship Summit took place from May 8 to May 9 at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Featured speakers at the event included Doron Abrahami, the minister for commercial affairs and head of the economic and trade mission at the Israeli Embassy in Berlin.
A mentor for young technology entrepreneurs, Jean-Jacques Degroof has enjoyed a successful career that spans the private and academic sectors. Graduating summa cum laude from the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) in Belgium, he later earned his MS and PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Jean-Jacques Degroof has served on various organization boards including that of the Centre of Technological Resources in Chemistry (Certech).
An independent nonprofit entity, Certech was founded in 1996 by UCL with financial backing from the Walloon region in Belgium and the European Union. UCL transferred to Certech, based in Seneffe, Belgium, three of its laboratories long known for ingenuity and industrial joint efforts in chemistry. Certect was primarily intended to assist in reviving chemical-related industries in Walloon and help in job creation.
As a contract research organization, Certech offers its expertise in problem-solving, analysis and measurement, and product and process development to small and large industrial companies. Aside from collaborating with chemical industry firms, it also provides its expertise to other fields including construction, personal care, automotive, and environmental. Over the course of 2016, it entered into 700 contracts involving 210 different enterprises and produced a 70:30 private-public income ratio.
An entrepreneur who advises young tech entrepreneurs, Jean-Jacques Degroof has taught entrepreneurship at several European business schools. A fellow of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management, Jean-Jacques Degroof takes part in the school’s mentoring program.
The MIT Sloan Student-Alumni Mentoring Program connects students with alumni in a diverse array of industries. Both alumni and students create user profiles by uploading information on careers, areas of study, and other interests. The program suggests matches based on the profile data, thereby expediting students’ search for a compatible mentor.
Students benefit from one-on-one contact with their mentors, who offer advice, answer questions, and share their experiences. Conversely, mentors benefit from contact with students who have access to the innovative educational environment on the MIT campus. In this way, the MIT Sloan Student-Alumni Mentoring Program helps establish mutually beneficial relationships between alumni and the next generation of leaders.
A professor of entrepreneurship at various European business schools, Jean-Jacques Degroof enjoys mentoring young entrepreneurs in the technology sector. Jean-Jacques Degroof is also a former teaching assistant at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management, and has remained affiliated with the MIT Industrial Performance Center (IPC) for many years.
Founded in 1992, IPC addresses and researches key questions facing firms, industries or regions related to building greater innovation capacity that can lead to benefits for all members of society. It regularly convenes key actors from the public, private and non-profit sectors to discuss those topics and their implications for the global economy.
IPC was created as part of the network of Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Industry Study Centers to further the research carried out by the MIT Commission on Industrial Productivity. This commission produced a widely distributed report titled Made in America: Regaining the Productive Edge (MIT Press, 1989), which laid out a blueprint for improving productivity in the U.S. manufacturing sector. Since its inception, the IPC has worked on a number of projects, including Unlocking Energy Innovation: How America Can Build a Low-Cost, Low-Carbon Energy System (2011) and Production in the Innovation Economy (2013).
Independent business venture investor Jean-Jacques Degroof teaches courses on entrepreneurship and innovation management at various European business schools. Jean-Jacques Degroof trained at the MIT Sloan School of Management and holds memberships with its Dean’s Circle as one of the school’s alumnus contributors.
The Dean’s Circle provides recognition to MIT Sloan alumni and friends for charitable contributions to the MIT Sloan Annual Fund made during any fiscal year. A flexible source of funding for many of the school’s foundational programs, the Annual Fund supports initiatives that focus on education, research, innovation, and programs such as student fellowships and Action Learning Labs. Members of the Dean’s Circle consist of alumni donors with a dedication to shaping the future, fostering innovation, and improving opportunities for MIT Sloan faculty and students.
In order to become a member of the Dean’s Circle, donors must contribute at least $2,500 to the Annual Fund each year. Members will receive a variety of benefits depending on the size of their gift, including access to MIT community events and exposure to research and through leadership. Additional benefits may range from invitations to speaker series to admittance to faculty and Dean’s Circle exclusive receptions.
A graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Sloan School of Management, Jean-Jacques Degroof earned a MS and a PhD in management. Jean-Jacques Degroof formerly served as a researcher at MIT and as a fellow at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government’s Center for Business and Government, now called the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business & Government.
The Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business & Government dates back to the late 1970s and is the brainchild of former Harvard President Derek Bok, former Kennedy School Dean Graham Allison, alumnus Frank Weil, and former Lamont University Professor John Dunlop. The center exists to further knowledge and policy analysis in relation to challenges at the intersection of the public and private sectors.
The center attracts leaders from both sectors and leverages the rigorous scholarship at both the Kennedy School and Harvard University in general to facilitate dialogue, conduct research, and develop policy-relevant, intellectually sound solutions to problems at both the local to global levels.
An experienced investor and entrepreneur, Jean-Jacques Degroof teaches entrepreneurship at several business schools in Europe. Jean-Jacques Degroof earned a PhD in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management, where he serves as a mentor.
The MIT Sloan Student-Alumni Mentoring Program fosters relationships between MIT Sloan students and alumni from a diverse array of industries. The program’s unique matching system streamlines the mentor search process by using participants’ career interests, areas of study, and common interests to assist students in finding compatible mentors who can help them reach their goals.
In addition to helping students develop valuable relationships with industry leaders, the MIT Sloan Student-Alumni Mentoring Program helps alumni stay connected to their alma mater. By participating in the program, mentors help students become strong leaders and encourage them to give back to future MIT Sloan students.
An experienced global entrepreneur, Jean-Jacques Degroof helps develop young technology teams and teaches at a number of European business schools. A few of his past academic positions include teaching assistant at the MIT Sloan School of Management, visiting professor at Audencia Business School in France, and lecturer at ESCP Europe. Jean-Jacques Degroof also engages with professional and nonprofit organizations, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) chapter of Engineers Without Borders.
Engineers Without Borders USA (EWB-USA) is a philanthropic organization that not only assists communities with meeting their basic needs, but also helps impart knowledge to local leaders which can be used to benefit future generations. With a membership of approximately 16,800, EWB-USA is able to provide support in areas of water supply, sanitation, energy, agriculture, and much more.
Engineers Without Borders connects a developing community that has a specific infrastructure need to engineers who can partner with the community to design a sustainable solution. At the same time, the volunteers and community members learn valuable leadership skills by finding solutions to complex challenges and achieving shared goals. There’s no “one size fits all” solution for a community’s water, sanitation and other basic needs. A water supply solution for one community in Kenya may look drastically different than a water supply solution for another community in Latin America or even only a few kilometers away. The engineering solutions must incorporate the geographic, cultural and political fabric of each community to make sure the project is built to last.
More information can be found at http://edgerton.mit.edu/clubs-teams/engineers-without-borders-0
Jean-Jacques Degroof is a venture investor who teaches entrepreneurship and other subjects at a number of business schools throughout Europe. Beyond his work, Jean-Jacques Degroof also supports initiatives such as MIT linQ that contribute to the common good at the intersection of science, technology, and entrepreneurship.
MIT linQ is a new collaborative initiative at MIT focused on increasing the potential of innovative medical research to benefit society and the economy. It comprises a portfolio of programs. Catalyst extends hands-on research and development, complemented by advanced technical and innovation training. Converter bridges the gap between proven technology and readiness for new business startup or more regular commercialization by established companies or non-profits. CIMIT's Accelerator provides innovators with expertise in intellectual property protection, patents and licensing, technology implementation, regulatory issues, fundraising, commercialization, etc.
Members of MIT linQ come from all communities of the healthcare innovation ecosystem, from university research, to healthcare, to entrepreneurs, industry, and the public sector. It also includes people at all professional levels, from student to senior leaders.