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Joost Bonsen: Boston's Venture Catalyst

Nominated by Catlin Powers and Scot Frank

Howtoons.pngThe mind behind MIT social entrepreneurship, Joost Bonsen has brought some of Boston’s best development ventures to life. Joost works his magic from one of the corner tables in the Muddy Charles, a small riverside college pub.

His own early ventures included Howtoons, a comic book series aimed at inspiring children to learn by engineering fun and useful things from everyday materials; High Tech Fever, a television show highlighting key players in social entrepreneurship; and the MIT 100K entrepreneurship competition.

As a visiting scientist at the MIT Media Lab, his impact among the students of Boston (whether from MIT or otherwise) goes beyond the lecture hall, competition stage, or pub. He is willing to lend his ear and his creative mind to ventures no matter what their state as long as he sees that they are backed by passion. His guidance has nurtured countless student ideas, including award winning start-ups Click Diagnostics and Assured Labor. As a ‘venture catalyst,’ Bonsen has played a silent, behind-the-scenes role, but, to the Boston social entrepreneurship crowd, he is a true hero and change maker.

This piece is part of Worldchanging's Attention Philanthropy campaign. All week long, the Worldchanging Network will be delivering "attention grants" to worthy projects, individuals, resources and more. You can learn more about these gifts of notice and find other entries by clicking here.

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