11.066J / 15.2371J / 11.366J / 15.237J
China’s Urbanization, Digital Technology and Innovation Market

Applications for Spring 2020 due Friday Dec 6th, 2019
Entrance to the class is by application only. Applications are due by Friday, Dec 6th at 11:59PM. Access the application here. Questions? Email urbantech@mit.edu

The stream of digital technology (i.e. GIS, ICT, IoT, data analytics, AI, blockchain, mobile, social, API, etc.) has brought rapid and profound changes in urban planning, development, operation and governance. Technological innovation and the urbanization are converging to enable new approaches, business models, and entrepreneurial participation to address urban challenges. Capturing these opportunities, however, will require significant innovation and knowledge of innovation ecosystem, market, policy context. What does it take to bring urban innovations to the world’s biggest urbanization market and to scale? The course aims to bring together students of architecture, planning, computer science, civil engineering, and business to gain insights and entrepreneurial skills in the digital transformation of our urban systems. New pedagogy is introduced to educate future change makers to make cities more vibrant, resilient, and livable via innovation and entrepreneurship. This course has a special focus in the urbanization of China, which is also world’s biggest digital market. The depth and breadth of the China’s digital innovation, market and ecosystem cultivated new generation of innovators who is looking beyond boundaries with a disruptive business mind set. While Chinese innovators are making their mark globally, what can one learn from China’s under-the-radar, globally competitive innovators?

Enrolled students need to participate in theChina trip Jan 4th- 11th 2020 in Beijing. Students can apply with or without startup ideas/projects. Enrolled students from different schools will be formed into teams during the course to encourage multi-disciplinary action learning. Course will prepare these teams with the most relevant knowledge then develop strategies to leverage that knowledge into venture growth. We explore the challenges, tradeoffs and issues associated with venture entering China’s urban and digital market, we guide teams to establish key connections with local partners, customers and other stakeholders. Each student team will work towards launching pilot experiments, and ventures in China. At the conclusion of the course, student teams will have opportunities to apply for Future City Innovation Connector Grant to further develop their venture ideas.