Although quantitative evidence is lacking to support this assertion, an overwhelming amount of anecdotal data argues that the general environment of the Greater Boston area, beginning during the postwar period, and in particular the atmosphere at MIT, have played a strong role in affecting "would-be" local entrepreneurs. The legitimacy of "useful work" from MIT's founding days was amplified and directed toward entrepreneurial expression by prominent early actions taken by administrative and academic leaders like Compton and Edgerton. Policies and examples that encouraged faculty and staff involvement with industry and, more important, their "moonlighting" participation in spinning off their ideas and developments into new companies, were critical early foundation stones. MIT's tacit approval of entrepreneurism, to some extent even making it the norm, was in my judgment a dramatic contribution to the Greater Boston culture. Key individual and institutional stimulants like Stark Draper and the MIT Enterprise Forum reinforced the potential entrepreneurial spin-off that derived from a wide variety of advanced technology development projects in MIT labs and in the region's industrial firms. These actions fed into a gradually developing positive loop of productive interactions with the investment community that in time created Route 128 and beyond.
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