27 Feb 2020

Harvard Business School’s Rock Center Announces 20 Teams for Rock Accelerator Program


BOSTON—Harvard Business School's Rock Center for Entrepreneurship has announced 20 teams that have been selected for the Spring 2020 Rock Accelerator. Each spring, the teams receive financial grants from a pool of $125,000 for the 2019-20 school year. The teams and funding are made in close consultation with the Rock Venture Partners Program, which includes MBA students interested in the venture capital industry.

Launched in 2010, the HBS Arthur Rock Center Accelerator is a highly immersive program designed specifically for Harvard Business School student founders of early stage startups. The focus is on building and validating a “minimum viable product (MVP)” that the teams can bring to market quickly, with a strong emphasis on developing plans for testing the MVP. The chosen teams experience deep-dive coaching sessions and check-ins, feedback on their product pitches, and opportunities to pitch for seed funding. The goal is for teams to emerge from the program with a strong foundation for building or expanding a market-ready product.

The Rock Accelerator is run over two terms during the academic year, and is open to second-year Harvard MBA students and their teams. Sixty-one teams submitted entries this year for consideration. At least one member of each team must be a Harvard MBA candidate. Past participants in the Rock Accelerator include greeting card maker LovePop (lovepopcards.com), personal helpers Hello Alfred (helloalfred.com), and Getaway (getaway.house), which provides escapes to tiny cabins in the woods.

Since 1947, the study of entrepreneurship has been a vital part of the Harvard Business School MBA program, which includes a required course in the first-year curriculum, numerous electives in the second-year curriculum, and a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem that includes the annual New Venture Competition, the Rock Accelerator Program, Rock Summer Fellows, Rock Loan Reduction, and the Rock 100.

The Rock Center for Entrepreneurship, which has earned accolades as the top program for entrepreneurial studies in the nation, supports faculty and their research in the field of entrepreneurial management as well as spurs the HBS community with the energy and spirit needed for new ideas and innovations to thrive and grow. Through a community that provides support, access to content, and a gateway to entrepreneurial ecosystems everywhere, the Rock Center helps students and alumni create ventures that revolutionize in both the for-profit and social enterprise sectors.

The 20 teams in the 2020 Spring Rock Accelerator (with their founders) are:

Allspice (Kyle Dumont, MBA 2020; Valentina Toll Villagra, MBA 2020)
AllSpice is a git-powered software that enables hardware engineers to automate their development process and collaborate on their designs.

Borrow (Katie Peck, MBA 2020)
Borrow is a rental service for curated boxes of baby clothes. It's what baby clothes shopping should be—simple, easy, cute.

Breen Technologies (Mollie Breen, MBA 2020)
Smart security for new and legacy Internet of Things devices connected to critical infrastructure so you get the productivity from IoT, not the vulnerability.

Cloudstore (Cathy Han, MBA 2020)
CloudStore is a new retail distribution platform that connects brands who have product with stores that have space.

Finauta (Oscar Gonzalez, MBA 2020)
Finauta is your financial GPS. You tell us where you want to go with your personal finances; we tell you where you are and how to get there.

Found (Kait Stephens, MBA 2020; Deeksha Agrawal, MBA 2020; Zack Morrison, MBA 2020; Lena Ye, MBA 2020)
Found is a virtual lost and found solution that uses QR code tags to provide a seamless experience for returning lost items.

GRYPS (Dareen Salama, MBA 2020)
GRYPS is an AI powered platform that extracts information from construction documents to unlock its value for building owners and operators.

Heidi (Stan Chang, MBA 2020; Sabreesh Chinta, MBA 2020)
Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn are how everyone presents themselves to you; Heidi is how you see everyone else.

June Motherhood (Tina Beilinson, MBA 2020; Julia Cole, MBA 2020; Sophia Richter, MBA 2020)
June Motherhood is a virtual, group-based doula service with a mission to make high quality doula care more affordable and accessible for women across the country.

Koodos (Jad Esber, MBA 2020; Brandon Baraban, Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Koodos is building a curatorial layer on top of the internet to help people self-actualize themselves and find content that makes them more whole. They're starting by building a fun gen Z-native experience for content discovery and sharing.

Nom Pot (Zach Keeling, MBA 2020; Neha Mathur, MBA 2020; Kasey Le, MBA 2020; Ed Arthy, MBA 2020)
Nom Pot develops healthy one-pot meals for easy, at-home cooking.

Onramp (Ross Lerner, MBA 2020)
Onramp is the customer partnership platform, purpose-built to help B2B SaaS companies provide a world-class onboarding experience to new customers.

Jova Coffee Company (Jackson Shuttleworth, MBA 2020; Olivia vonNieda, MBA 2020)
Jova Coffee Company is passionate about building beautiful brewing devices that make the perfect cup of coffee. Every. Single. Time.

ShelfLife (Lillian Cartwright, MBA 2020)
For food and beverage manufacturers, ShelfLife makes ordering ingredients simpler while reducing costs.

Si Silk Scarves (Lily Wang, MBA 2020)
We're reinventing the silk scarf for the modern woman. Luxury fabrics with contemporary designs to become a timeless staple.

Steep't (Alison Nathanson, MBA 2020; Chloe Aucoin, MBA 2020)
Restaurant-caliber cocktails at home, in one easy step.

Stride Funding (Tess Michaels, MBA 2020)
Pay off your school in five years by guaranteeing a small percent of your income post-graduation! This makes funding flexible and affordable.

Thousand Deep (Carson Lee, MBA 2020)
Thousand Deep designs reflective wear and experiences inspired by the disco ball.

Treq (Michael Reidler, MBA 2020; Dominic Marrone, MBA 2020)
Software for organizations to manage group travel and events.

Village (Nicole Ivey, MBA 2020)
Village creates holistic, wholehearted, and inclusive family-care communities for a more kind, creative, and equitable world.


Cullen Schmitt


The Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship was created through the generosity of prominent venture capitalist Arthur Rock (MBA 1951), who donated $25 million to Harvard Business School in 2003 to support the entrepreneurship faculty and their research, fellowships for MBA and doctoral students, symposia and conferences, and outreach efforts to extend the impact of the School's extensive work in this field. HBS offered the country's first business school course in entrepreneurship in 1947; today, more than 50 percent of our alumni, 10 to 15 years after graduation, describe themselves as entrepreneurs, creating ventures in a quest to change the world. The Rock Center also works closely with the HBS California Research Center in Silicon Valley on entrepreneurship-related research and course development efforts.


Founded in 1908 as part of Harvard University, Harvard Business School is located on a 40-acre campus in Boston. Its faculty of more than 200 offers full-time programs leading to the MBA and doctoral degrees, as well as more than 70 open enrollment Executive Education programs and 55 custom programs, and HBX, the School’s digital learning platform. For more than a century, HBS faculty have drawn on their research, their experience in working with organizations worldwide, and their passion for teaching to educate leaders who make a difference in the world, shaping the practice of business and entrepreneurship around the globe.