Interested in our Tufts Marketing Projects for spring, 2014?

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Mon, Oct 28, 2013

Why do I teach?

Why do I teach marketing?You would think that that between my day job of running Derby Management, being a board member of six companies and working with a superb team of partners as the Chair of Common Angels, I just might have enough to do. 

But not really. 

I've been lecturing about business planning and marketing at MIT in Dr. Chun's seniors and grad student mechanical engineering class for 16 years now.  Jung-Hoon's idea, which has proven to be very successful, was to have his student teams of engineers create a mechanically-engineered product supported with a complete business and marketing plan.  The process supported by two professors, me, and two gifted TAs works very well and provides these students with the fundamentals of business planning and marketing. Each semester, a number of our student teams also work through the MIT $100K Business Plan process and some like recent, Liquid Glide, form successful startups as a result.

When I had the opportunity six years ago to lead my own class at Tufts, where I'm a professor of Marketing, I took what we had been doing at MIT and brought it to another level by using real companies in search of answers to their marketing needs.

Tufts Marketing
Each semester at Tufts, over a period of 13 weeks, I engage 30-35 students in a unique, hands-on, tools-based experience of preparing them for the real world of business in general and specifically the complexities of working in today's environment of Marketing and Sales.  As a result, I...

  • teach marketing as tools: SWOT, Value Props, CMS, segmentation, pricing, and so on
  • wrap in four HBS case studies to support both marketing strategies and tools
  • take road trips to Brainshark and HubSpot since we use their platforms in class
  • accept complex, semester-long marketing projects from six real companies
  • assign those company projects to teams of five juniors and seniors
  • blend class content into each of the company projects

Which leads me to look for 6 new companies each semester. 

Right now, I'm taking applications for the spring, 2014 semester.  If you're interested, please email me at, and I will send you an overview of what's involved and instructions.  Last June, we had 32 companies request information, and we accepted 6. 

A truly unique opportunity for both the companies and the students.

...which is the primary reason why I teach.  The other reason is that the process of teaching a subject like Marketing, that changes dramatically every year, hopefully keeps me on the competitive edge.  And finally, it's a lot of rewarding fun!

Good Selling...and good teaching !


 Jack Derby 
 Head Coach

Linked In and Sales



Tags: marketing projects, ELS105, Tufts university