Ken Zolot is a senior fellow for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, where he is working with senior Kauffman leaders to develop the Foundation’s new initiative, Kauffman Laboratories for Enterprise Creation. The mission of Kauffman Labs is to accelerate the number and success of high-growth, scale firms. Combining a wealth of experience teaching innovation and entrepreneurship in academic settings with first-hand, practical experience as a serial entrepreneur, Zolot is uniquely positioned for this role.
Zolot is the founder of MIT's Innovation Teams program—a partnership with MIT's Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation—where multidisciplinary teams of students collaborate with MIT lab directors, evaluating go-to-market strategies for breakthrough discoveries. He also co-teaches the X-Prize Lab class at MIT, in partnership with The X-Prize Foundation. Zolot's teaching and mentoring have guided numerous MIT-spawned companies, including A123 Systems, Arch Therapeutics, Brontes3D, HubSpot, Myomo, QD Vision, Robopsy, Saaf Water, Semprus Biosciences (fka SteriCoat), Vertica Systems, and Visible Measures.
In addition to his work at MIT, Zolot has held full-time founding roles in several startups, most recently Heartland Robotics, which he co-founded in 2008. In 2000, Zolot co-founded Egenera, Inc., which was named to Red Herring's list of "100 companies most likely to change the world." Zolot's previous startup, Geer Zolot Associates—a spinoff from MIT Project Athena—developed network security software for electronic trading and commerce, and designed the Internet security architecture for much of the financial services industry. Zolot's first startup was Spectra Communications, specializing in satellite telecommunications.
Zolot serves on the global Board of the MIT Enterprise Forum. He also is an advisor to the MIT Portugal Program and launched Portugal's BioEngineering Innovation program. He served as a research scientist at the MIT Media Lab, and was instrumental in the creation of the Center for the Future of Banking. Zolot also was a director of Yoga301, which focused on advancing the art, science, and practice of the timeless discipline of yoga. Zolot holds a Master of Science degree from MIT in management of technology. His undergraduate work was at Syracuse University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy.