Is there room for Hollywood in Kendall Square? Bill Aulet SM ’94, senior lecturer at Sloan and managing director of the MIT Entrepreneurship Center, thinks so. He’s proposed Cambridge sidewalk tributes to honor entrepreneurs that mimic those out West celebrating entertainers.
The purpose, Aulet says, is to recognize local entrepreneurs and visionaries from a variety of fields who have changed the world and inspired others to do the same. He offers up as an example Mitch Kapor, cofounder of Lotus Development Co., which revitalized the area, created millions of jobs, and served as a role model for other aspiring entrepreneurs. Celebration is an important—and lacking—component of successful entrepreneurship, Aulet says, and recognizing innovation is a way to encourage further entrepreneurship from others. Listen to Aulet’s interview with WBUR about the proposal.
The idea has already made its way to city hall thanks in part to support from Cambridge City Councilor and Sloan grad student Leland Cheung, who also chairs the Council’s Economic Development Committee. The committee will meet Sept. 15 at 4:00 p.m. in the main chamber of city hall at 795 Massachusetts Avenue and invites public feedback. The full Council could vote as early as October.
But there are some hurdles, one being a current moratorium on naming public spaces that includes the proposed Walk of Fame location around the Marriott hotel and Kendall Square T station. Cheung says his committee is working to establish new guidelines. Other potential stumbling blocks, as pointed out by Robert Buderi, founder and editor in chief of Xconomy, include selection criteria, funding, location, and administration.
Buderi also offered a list of Cambridge innovators he thinks could make the cut for any future Walk of Fame, including MIT’s Robert Langer ScD ’74, a prolific inventor and founder of numerous companies, and Dean Kamen, inventor and founder of the FIRST Robotics competition. Check out his list and see if you agree with his potential nominees.