MIT Appoints Joichi Ito To Head Media Lab

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has named forty-four-year-old venture capitalist and college drop-out Joichi Ito as the new director of the MIT Media Lab.

The lab, which is known for developing and demoing cutting edge technology, decided to select an entrepreneur rather than an academic, The New York Times reports.

Joichi Ito has had an elaborate career spanning the US and Japan. Ito was previously a board member on ICANN and has made serious investments in Twitter, Last.FM and Flickr. He was also one of the co-founders of Japan's first internet service provider in 1994.

Ito has also played an important role in the open source community and is a board member of Mozilla Foundation which is responsible for creating the Firefox web browser. It is hoped that Ito will help bring an entrepreneurial edge to the Media Lab, which has had difficulty getting the high levels of funding it used to enjoy.

The Lab has successfully created Aspen Movie Map, a forerunner of Google Street View, a laptop that only costs $100 and is seen as an important education tool for students in developing nations and most importantly, the Lab developed the E Ink display technology which powers Amazon’s best-selling Kindle e-reader.