Jean-Jacques Degroof grew up in Belgium where he earned degrees from the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL). He later moved to the United States for his graduate studies where he earned a M.Sc. and a Ph.D. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Sloan School of Management. After starting his career in the financial services industry, he transitioned to academia, first at the MIT Sloan School of Management, then as a post-doctoral fellow at the MIT Industrial Performance Center (IPC) and as a BCG Fellow at the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at the John F. Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University. Jean-Jacques regularly teaches and lectures on entrepreneurship and innovation at various universities in Europe.
While conducting research on the commercialization of academic inventions, he had the opportunity to help scientists launch technology startups both in the US and in Europe, which initiated a new phase of his career in venture investment. His portfolio includes several companies that are now quoted on stock-exchanges and others that were acquired by larger corporations.
Philanthropically, Jean-Jacques is involved in two areas. The first one is ageing in which he promotes innovative solutions to improve the well-being of elderly people and supports research on the aging brain. The second one is entrepreneurship education through mentoring of young founders and supporting programs training aspiring entrepreneurs. Jean-Jacques has been an active MIT alumnus in a number of capacities, including as a member of visiting committees and advisory boards. He is the author of the book From the Basement to the Dome. How MIT’s Unique Culture Created a Thriving Entrepreneurial Community (MIT Press, 2021)