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 11, 2015 @ 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 2016. 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, come to our team building mixer on November 3, 2015from 6:00-7:00 PM on the second floor of the Hives, Batten Hall. It will be an exciting opportunity for interested students to meet cofounders and discuss ideas. Or, 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:  November 16, 2015, 5:00 PM, Rock 105
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:  TBD, 2016
Topic: Intellectual Property
This session 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.  Students learned the central role IP assets play in the company’s valuation, and how this impacts fund raising and exits.

Date: TBD, 2016
Topic: Financing Deal Terms
This session will provide a deep dive into critical deal terms that arise in the context of raising capital in seed, angel and venture financings.  Convertible debt vs. preferred stock financings, pre- and post-money valuation, liquidation preference, anti-dilution protection, corporate control, information and registration rights, and other key features of these financings will be covered.  Actual term sheets will be used as a guide to the discussion.

Date:  TBD, 2016
Topic: Immigration
This session will address immigration challenges facing teams that include foreign nationals and/or expect to hire them.  Basic strategies regarding securing the proper visa status, traps for the unwary, etc., will be covered.

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