“This MIT Bootcamp shook everything upside down and has given me the spirit of innovation”

Cynthia Breazeal, co-faculty director of the Abdul Latif Jameel World Education Lab (J-WEL) and dean for digital learning at MIT Open Learning, is principal investigator for a new MIT Bootcamps hybrid programme, the Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Ventures programme, supported by a grant from the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA).

Cynthia says: "The programme connected substance use disorder knowledge and resources, including funding opportunities, to entrepreneurial competences and multifaceted skills of the learners. We have delivered a dynamic learning experience, sensitive to the root causes behind the innovation deficit in this field.”  


A new MIT Bootcamps hybrid programme recently convened 34 innovators to tackle substance use disorder from multiple perspectives. Together, they built and pitched new ventures with the goal of bringing life-saving innovations to the field.

The Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Ventures programme featured workshops, case studies and interactive sessions with researchers, entrepreneurs and doctors who brought a multidisciplinary approach to tackling early detection, access to care and health equity, dual diagnosis, treatment and relapse prevention. Through a rigorous selection process, the programme cohort was chosen for their complementary, diverse backgrounds along with their passion for solving problems related to substance use.

Hybrid by design, the first three months of the programme consisted of foundational work online, including a new asynchronous SUD 101 course led by Brown University Professor Carolina Haass-Koffler and live online sessions focused on topics like intellectual property and technology transfer. The programme concluded with a five-day MIT Bootcamp on campus, where learners built and pitched a new venture to a panel of judges.

MIT News