On Tuesday, Harvard Business School announced a $50,000 fund that will go toward 10 teams of students interested in building prototype models for their start-up businesses, Xconomy reports. The idea for the Minimum Viable Product Fund was pitched by three first-year students and funded by the Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship.
“For entrepreneurially-minded students at HBS, this fund alleviates the financial barrier preventing them from building initial prototypes or test products,” said Dan Rumennik, a student who proposed the fund. “This is the greatest challenge for people with an idea but no money.”
The funds will focus on the “lean” model of start-ups, a guideline that focuses on quick creation of prototypes to get the item on the market as soon as possible, HBS entrepreneur-in-residence Eric Ries told Xconomy.
Students who receive funding will be paired with a faculty mentor who will observe students’ progress on a monthly basis. At the end of the semester, students will debut their prototypes for a chance to earn awards up to $10,000.
According to AScribe, 50 percent of HBS graduates classify themselves as entrepreneurs a decade or more after graduation. Some of the world’s most recognizable entrepreneurs graduated from HBS, including New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and Tom Stemberg (founder of Staples).
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