Early-Stage Feedback

Early-Stage Feedback allows potential participants in the New Venture Competition to receive guidance on their venture. This is a great opportunity to get feedback on your startup idea from VCs, entrepreneurs, and industry experts. 

Applicants should complete the following by December 2, 2016 @ 12:00pm to qualify for Early-Stage Feedback:

  1. Register for feedback by completing this poll.
  2. Send a pdf file consisting of a cover sheet and an overview of your venture idea to the Rock Center. You should expect to receive an email with feedback from an investor, entrepreneur, or industry expert by mid January 2017. Please note, Early-Stage Feedback providers may choose to give feedback anonymously.
  • 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 venture idea, please address the following questions:
  • What will your venture do or make?
  • What pain points will your venture 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 venture'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 


Set up personal 1:1 meetings with our Entrepreneurs In Residence (EIRs) to discuss your idea further. Sign up now for an appointment with an EIR.


Team Building

Whether you are looking for cofounders or looking to join a team, join our New Venture Competition facebook group to connect with potential team members.


Legal Advice

Need advice on what business entity to form? How to protect your intellectual property? Through the generosity of several local law firms, including Foley Hoag, Wilmer Hale, Hinckley Allen, Brown Rudnick, and Goodwin Procter, the Rock Center is able to offer legal advice to students developing business plans for the New Venture Competition. These half-hour sessions — while no substitute for engaging counsel — can help to identify legal issues and hurdles that may arise and point you to specific issues that might be of concern. To set up an appointment time please email the Rock Center.


Legal Workshop Series

In preparation for the New Venture Competition, the Rock Center hosts a series of workshops on critical legal issues facing entrepreneurs and startup companies generally. Each of these sessions are given by one or more Foley Hoag lawyers experienced with working with startup companies and specializing in the particular issues being addressed.

Date: October 12, 2016, 5:00 PM, Hawes 101

Topic: How to Efficiently Use Your Lawyer

Working with corporate counsel is a necessity as you look to finance and grow your business and your team. The efficient use of counsel is not always obvious, but there are a few key things you can do to create a productive relationship that won't cost you an arm and a leg. In this presentation, local tech attorneys and entrepreneurs from Shoobx will discuss the best way to use counsel and technology to manage your legal needs the smart way. To review the deck from the presentation please click here.

Date: November 2, 2016, 5:00 PM, Aldrich 209

Topic: Incorporation/Entities

This session will cover why and when to incorporate, choice of legal entity, optimizing corporate structure for later investments, allocation of equity among co-founders and other early stage equity holders, and other threshold legal issues confronted when starting a business. Please click here to access the deck from the session.

Date: February 20th, 2017

Topic: Intellectual Property

Need advice on how to protect your Intellectual Property? This NVC Legal Seminar will cover IP basics, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets, methods of developing and protecting IP, strategies for building an IP portfolio, and the role of IP in corporate transactions. Come by The Rock Center and learn the central role IP assets play in a company's valuation, and how this impacts fundraising and exits. Please click here or here to access the decks from the session.

Date: March 13th, 2017

Topic: Financing Deal Terms

his session provides an in depth look into critical deal terms that arise in the context of raising capital in seed, angel and venture financing. Convertible debt vs. preferred stock financing, pre- and post-money valuation, liquidation preference, anti-dilution protection, corporate control, information and registration rights, and other key features of financing will be covered. Actual term sheets are used as a guide to the discussion. Please click here to access the deck from the session.


Funding Seminar

Date: March 6th, 2017

Topic: Venture Capital Math and Early Funding

Are you thinking about how to approach seed funding and want to understand how to think about the different options? Are you interested in creating your cap table but have questions about doing so? Join Jason Furtado, CEO/Founder of Shoobx and Matt Rowe, General Counsel for Shoobx, as they explain what you need to know about Bridge Notes, SAFEs, KISSs, and more. Please click here to access the deck from the session.


NVC Baker Bootcamp

Date: February 15th, 2017 Session 1: 5:00-6:00 pm Session 2: 6:00-7:00 pm Stamps Reading Room Annex, Baker Library

Topic: Baker Bootcamp

Arm yourself with data and research to make a compelling case to investors and move your venture forward. Drop in either session to get a one-on-one guided tour of the databases and how to approach your specific research needs. Uncover valuable insights around your target customers, potential market size, competitive landscape, industry stats and trends. Bring your business idea along with any questions, assumptions or research needs you may have.

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