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. 

You should expect to receive feedback from a NVC Judge (Usually an entrepreneur or investor). Please note, Early-Stage Feedback providers may choose to give feedback anonymously. 

To Participate in the Early Stage Feedback oppurtunity: Register for NVC B-Track and follow the directions to submit your idea before the ESF Deadline (ReviewR is a third party website. Please read ReviewR's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy. When using this platform, you are agreeing to ReviewR's Terms.)

To prepare to submit an overview of your venture idea, please address the following questions in a word document or powerpoint format: (Recommendended: 3-6 written pages)

  • 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.

Business Track Experimentation Fund

To support students in their thoughtful and disciplined experimentation in building ventures.

How the Experimentation Fund Works
All teams preparing for the student Business Track of the NVC are eligible to take advantage of the experimentation funds, with a few key exceptions.  Please see below for exceptions.

Each team may be reimbursed up to $1000.00 of eligible expenses that were legitimately incurred in the course of preparing for the Competition and in the experimentation and testing of an idea.

Note: Only complete submissions with appropriate documentation listed below will be considered

Expense Policy Rules

1. Student Eligibility
  • The expenses must be submitted by the HBS founder or co-founder who officially entered the the New Venture Competition by the Experimentation Fund Submission deadline.
  • Students who receive a Rock Accelerator Award during this academic year are not eligible for this additional reimbursement.
  • The eventual Runner Up and Winner of this year's Business Track NVC are not eligible for the reimbursement.
2. Expense Eligibility
Only legitimate expenses incurred within the specified period of time provided will be considered.
  • Eligible Expenses include the following:
    • Market research
    • Hosting services for running a beta version of a website
    • Software/hardware tools and development required to build a product/service or other expenses related to testing or validation of cores assumptions
    • Payments to others for services performed (e.g. accounting) as long as the individuals performing the service are not relatives or other team member
  • Not Eligible Expenses include the following:
    • Travel
    • Photocopying expenses
    • Meals
    • Entertainment
    • Incorporation or trademark expenses. Legal fees (e.g. filing/trademark) are generally not approved unless required for running an experiment
    • Hardware or electronic equipment for team members (i.e. laptops, smartphones, etc.)

3. Required Documentation

Complete submissions are due to the Rock Center no later than the deadline. The following are required for the submission:
  • Completed Business Track Experimentation Fund Reimbursement Form
  • Original receipts showing payments for all items listed in above form and must include:
    • Date of payment
    • Method of payment
    • Amount paid
    • In general, invoices are not acceptable proof of purchase in place of receipts unless the invoice states the date of service completed, method of payment and shows a zero balance due.
  • For students who completed Early Registration, they must also participate in Super Saturday.
  • For students who completed Early Registration but did not participate in Super Saturday, a Memo of Non Participation must be included.
Only one submission is allowed per team.

4. Tax Liability

Any payment received under experimentation fund will be considered reportable income by the recipient. This is true whether the recipient is an individual (US citizen or foreign national) or any form of incorporated entity (LLC, S Corp, C Corp, etc.). The expectation of the US Internal Revenue Service is that anyone receiving these payments would report them as income on their annual tax filing.

U.S. citizens:The University is not required to withhold taxes on these payments to US citizens, nor to incorporated entities. The University issues 1099s to US citizens and incorporated entities when the sum of all annual payments (from any part of Harvard) to the individual or entity exceeds $600. Below that dollar amount, the University is not required to issue a 1099. 

Non U.S. citizens: The University is required to withhold taxes on these payments when the recipient is a foreign national. (This is why the foreign national recipients must route through the Glacier tax determination system). Foreign nationals receive a form called the 1042S. when the sum of all annual payments (from any part of Harvard) to the individual or entity exceeds $600. Contact the Harvard International Office (http://www.hio.harvard.edu/) for more information.