MIT Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Lab
CSAIL has been an engine of innovation since the founding of its predecessor, Project MAC, in 1963.
Its researchers, alums and students – who have brought the world time-shared computing, public key encryption, and the World Wide Web – have spawned hundreds of companies, including Akamai, Dropbox, iRobot, OKCupid, Rethink Robotics and RSA.
A sample of CSAIL spin-offs can be found below. This list is being continuously updated.
companies founded by MIT alumni
A distributed computing platform that serves upwards of 30 percent of all web traffic. It was founded by CSAIL graduate student Danny Lewin and professor Tom Leighton.
3.3 million people
employed by MIT-started companies
A robotics company founded by former MIT professor Marc Raibert. Bought by Google in 2013 for $500 million and then acquired by SoftBank in 2017, it develops advanced mobile robots and works with such organizations as Sony, DARPA and the Navy.
Cambridge Mobile Telematics
An IoT company founded by MIT professors Hari Balakrishnan and Sam Madden to improve road safety. Developed DriveWell, which uses mobile sensor data and AI techniques to infer risky behavior (distraction, speeding, braking, etc.), and uses behavioral incentives to make drivers better. Currently active in 20 countries.
A file-hosting service started by grad student Drew Houston, who had the idea for the company on a Chinatown bus after realizing that he had forgotten his USB drive. Dropbox is now valued at $4 billion.
annual revenue generated by MIT spin-offs, producing the equivalent of the 11th-largest economy in the world
iRobot develops commercial hardware like the Roomba vacuum cleaner, as well as robots for use in law enforcement and national defense. iRobot was founded by former CSAIL director Rodney Brooks and his then-students Colin Angle and Helen Greiner.
ITA Software is a Google-owned travel company whose airfare-search systems are used by websites like Kayak and Orbitz.
A virtual-reality company that develops sensor-less hand-tracking and was bought by Facebook for its $2 billion Oculus Rift platform
One of the US’ most popular dating sites, with more than 30 million active users. It was co-founded by MIT alum Max Krohn.
Co-founded by MIT professor Ron Rivest, RSA uses encryption algorithms that serve as the underpinnings that make modern e-commerce possible.