What do FastFloss, the “comfortable, easy and quick way to floss all your teeth at once” and Waypoint, a system that uses “augmented reality to train frontline workers on complex process using holographic workflows,” have in common?
The founders of these ventures are among 15 teams in this term’s Rock Accelerator cohort.
Overall, 44 teams applied to the accelerator program this year. To be eligible, teams must include at least one member who is a current HBS MBA student.
The entire process was student-led, with the finalists being chosen by students participating in HBS’s Rock Venture Partners program, which gives students hands-on experience with venture capital funding.
The teams chosen to participate in the Rock Accelerator Program will receive $5,000 in first-round funding each. They now set their sights toward developing a minimum viable product. Along the way, they’ll receive coaching and feedback – and they’ll have the opportunity to pitch for more funding.
Both the Rock Accelerator and Rock Venture Partners programs are part of HBS’s Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship.
The Rock Center also hosts programs like the New Venture Competition, which has a first-place prize of $75,000 for student ventures, and the HBS Entrepreneurs-in-Residence. As it turns out, last year’s winner of the New Venture Competition, Veho Technologies, began as a Rock Accelerator project.
Veho isn’t the only Rock Accelerator startup to go on to good things. Other Rock Accelerator graduates include Hello Alfred, which lets customers hire personal assistants on demand, and Lovepop, which makes three-dimensional greeting cards.
This year’s Rock Accelerator projects include a diverse range of startups.
Some of them have ambitious and far-reaching goals. For example, Coverd hopes to change “what it means to be an insurance company” by offering more flexible coverage. Myos, meanwhile, is “developing a new approach to cell therapy to treat muscular dystrophy.”
Other ventures are focused on more day-to-day concerns. Take Lazy Bear Tea, which makes tea from “the dried fruit of the coffee cherry, which is delicious, refreshing, and low in sugar.” Or Frank, which “helps undergrads navigate more successfully the internship/job search one step at a time.”
Whatever their goals, all these business will have a chance to grow as part of the Rock Accelerator Program.
Jodi Gernon, director of the Rock Center for Entrepreneurship, said she was looking forward to working with the teams: “It’s exciting to see these students apply the advice they receive, build their skills, network with investors, and gain confidence as they launch these new enterprises.”
Clearly, HBS is a school with many opportunities for entrepreneurs. It’s also a school with notoriously competitive admissions. If you’re applying to HBS, we can help you see your application through the adcom’s eyes and hone your personal brand – ask us for a free assessment!