Launching an innovation factory with a distinctive method to sustainably solve pressing large-scale problems and make technology tools broadly accessible.
Luis is the originator and Faculty Director of MIT’s Innovation Teams Enterprise (iTeams), MIT’s flagship joint enterprise between MIT Engineering and MIT Sloan to put the Institute’s deep tech advances to work to solve real-world problems. Since 2007, Luis has helped nearly 200 MIT technologies find a path to impact, leading to the formation of some 40 new, enduring deep tech companies across all industries. Through his experience advising private sector labs and investment funds on revamping their approach to commercialization, Luis has come to realize that the traditional innovation model, though productive and financially honed, is significantly deficient in solving society’s problems.
Over the last 15 years, Luis has conceived and tested a system to bridge from fundamental insights to new organizations set on solving pressing problems. His system for combinatorial innovation has been adopted by next-generation venture capital firms and several collaborations with industry have tested and proven the system further. Luis has shared the underlying principles as a best-selling, peer-reviewed book (Innovating, MIT Press 2017) and been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the BBC,Bloomberg News, and many other national and international media.
Luis is now launching S1 Industries, a public benefit corporation, to move his practice beyond MIT. S1 is an “innovation factory,” conceived to explore and eliminate entrenched problems by building robust, trailblazing organizations; recycling innovation waste; and empowering tinkerers to innovate freely. This affords S1 a view of technology as a tool that allows it to double as a company that conceives and builds companies that solve problems and as an instrument producer that curates tools that make technology accessible, playable, and discoverable by problem.
Over time, S1 expects to empower a new kind of innovation professional with instruments that significantly lower the cost of solving real-world problems, creating a “society of tinkerers” that Luis describes in this Epsilon Theory piece.Luis has refined the business model to create an evergreen structure so that it will be financially sustainable and not singularly focused on winnowing down to profitable products, at the expense of broader innovation and impact. Initial areas of exploration include decentralized and local manufacturing models, carbon economy and currency, alternative fuels, and other breakthrough technologies and ideas.
UP is supporting Luis to launch S1 by bringing together an initial team and establishing several key partnerships and contracts with innovation clients. Learn more about Luis P. Breva here or here.