Services for Students

The Rock Center offers a Student Resource Center to support students who are working on starting their own business. We maintain a collection of business plans and books relevant to the start-up process, as well as a collection focusing on search funds. Visit Rock Center 107 to access these resources.

Students can also take advantage of the vast resources of the new Harvard innovation lab. The i-lab is a new and innovative University-wide initiative that will foster team-based and entrepreneurial activities and deepen interactions among students and faculty throughout Harvard, entrepreneurs and members of the Allston and Greater Boston community.

Rock Accelerator

The Rock Accelerator Award is designed to help students who are using the lean startup methodology and developing a minimum viable product. To learn more about this set of ideas, visit Eric Ries' blog, Lessons Learned, Eric Ries' response to an Inc Magazine article on Minimum Viable Product and the article, The Minimum Viable Product Dissected. In addition, you may be interested in The Entrepreneur's Guide to Customer Development by Cooper & Vlaskovits. Available for the Kindle for $24. Or as a PDF download for $25.

Visit the Rock Accelerator Award page for complete details and information on how to apply.

Rock Center Loan Reduction for Entrepreneurs

HBS will offer one-time need-based awards of $10,000 each to this year's graduating MBA students who are committed to pursuing their own for-profit entrepreneurial ventures. Recipients will be selected by the Rock Center in consultation with MBA Financial Aid.

The program is competitive, and if we have more applicants than available awards, awards will be made on the basis of the viability of the venture, as determined by a review of your business plan and a progress report detailing progress towards funding and any other key milestones and your financial need.

When considering application for loan reduction, please keep in mind it is not intended for individuals who are still seeking employment; in volunteer positions or receiving only a nominal salary; or engaged in post-MBA studies of any kind. Ultimate discretion for eligibility lies entirely with HBS. Funds are distributed on an as-available basis. All determinations made by the School are final. HBS reserves the right to restructure or discontinue loan reductions at any time.

Applications are due - in hardcopy form - to Peggy Yu Rock 107 by 12:00 noon on Monday, April 29, 2013. Late applications will not be accepted. Visit myHBS for complete eligibility information and a list of application materials .

Early-Stage Feedback

The Rock Center organizes an Early-Stage Feedback program for current students on an idea you are seriously considering developing, either in conjunction with the HBS New Venture Competition or as a new venture to be launched in the near-term. This program allows potential participants in the New Venture Competition to get feedback on their ideas in the fall, prior to undertaking a spring field study and developing a full-fledged business plan. This is a great opportunity to receive feedback on your startup idea from investors and entrepreneurs in your space.

Applicants should send a pdf file consisting of a cover sheet and an overview of your business idea ( in memo form , not powerpoint) to the Rock Center (rockcenter@hbs.edu) and fill out this poll no later than Friday, November 1, 2013 to qualify for first round Early-Stage Feedback. You should expect to receive an email with feedback from an investor or entrepreneur in your industry by early December 2013. Please note, Early-Stage Feedback investors or entrepreneurs may choose to provide feedback anonymously.

Second round applications are due on December 11, 2013, with expected feedback by mid-January 2014.

  • Name your pdf file with your full name and the word feedback: firstname.lastname.feedback.pdf.
  • The cover sheet should include the name and email address of one primary contact.
  • For the overview of your business idea (in memo form, not powerpoint), please address the following questions:
    • What will your business do or make
    • What painpoints will your business address?
    • What is your value proposition?
    • Describe your target segment and the size of your addressable market.
    • Who are your major competitors?
    • What is your business's competitive advantage?
    • Please describe your business model.
    • Please describe current status of business and any milestones achieved (e.g., prototype completed, customers, revenue).
    • Please briefly tell us about each team member, their role, and each team member's relevant experience.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact the Rock Center (rockcenter@hbs.edu).

Entrepreneurs-in-Residence

The Rock Center oversees an Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EiR) program in which accomplished entrepreneurs spend a semester or year at the Rock Center. During this time, they try to be available to students to offer counsel on business venture planning as well as entrepreneurial career path questions.

The EiR typically give a number of informal talks that are sponsored by the Rock Center and advertised via our Events email newsletter for current students (login required) and through the Entrepreneurship Club. Contact the Rock Center (rockcenter+hbs.edu) for information on how to contact an EiR, providing as much information as you can about what you are trying to do and the kind of counsel you seek.

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Rock Summer Fellows

The Rock Summer Fellowship program, funded by gifts from Arthur Rock and the John F. Lebor Family, provides the opportunity for RC students to either work at a startup or work on their own startup during the summer between their first and second year of the MBA program.

Visit the Rock Summer Fellows page for complete details and information on how to apply.

Legal Advice

Legal advice for students who are involved in starting a new venture is available through New Venture Competition or by contacting the Rock Center (rockcenter+hbs.edu). Through the generosity of several local law firms, including Foley Hoag and Hinckley, Allen & Snyder, the Rock Center is able to offer HBS students who are working on a business plan some legal advice. This counsel is available to help students who are developing business plans for ventures they are seriously considering starting. These half-hour sessions – while no substitute for engaging counsel – can help identify legal issues and hurdles that may arise and point you to specific issues you need to worry about (or not). Interested students should email the Rock Center (rockcenter+hbs.edu) for more information on scheduling an appointment.

Additional legal resources can be found through the Harvard Innovation Lab. Contact the i-lab for details.

Information Research Support

Baker Library Services provides information research assistance to HBS students.