RAPAGEPHOT.pngAre you an EC passionate about solving a problem and dedicated to building the best solution? Are you ready to take your business idea to the next level? The HBS Arthur Rock Center Accelerator is a highly immersive program designed specifically for HBS student founders of early-stage startups. The focus is on building and validating their MVP as well as a strong emphasis on testing plans. The chosen teams experience deep-dive coached sessions and check-ins, pitch feedback 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. 


One or more EC students from HBS who are currently working on a venture and who are part of the founding team. To be eligible, teams must be actively building and testing a solution beyond customer discovery. Their current focus is building the MVP and are acquiring beta customers.


The Rock Accelerator 2019-20 application window is now closed. Application deadline for the program was September 10, 2019 at 12 noon EST.

Please click here to view sample application template and here here to view the rubric used for reviewing the applications.

An applicant they must read ReviewR’s Terms and conditions and Privacy Policy before registering to submit their application with ReviewR, a third party website. When using this platform, a participant is agreeing to ReviewR’s Terms.

Please go through this Info Session presentation to learn more about the program.


Program Overview

The Rock Accelerator (RA) consists of two stages that allow for an increased level of access for all applicants and a review period for continuing teams.

Stage 1
During Stage One (S1), teams will be categorized by stage: Concept Exploration, Solution in Development, and Solution Testing. A team’s category may change at any time during S1 at the review of the Coaches, Rock Team, or RVPs. The time duration for this stage would be from September to December.

A final review and optional pitch day (required for a continuing team) in December will assess the current stage of the team and their readiness to continue on into Stage Two (S2). Teams may opt out of the RA programs; however, those who desire to continue will undergo scoring, demo day, and RVP assessment for additional funding.

Stage 2
In Stage Two, teams receive additional funding and heightened support from coaches. In addition to developing their business, teams are preparing for a state at which they can pitch to venture investors. The time duration for this stage would be from January to April.


The Rock Accelerator (RA) program is intended for HBS students who are serious about pursuing a business idea and are interested in taking it to the next level. This program offers a structured environment for you to build skills, receive feedback, and have the support you need to successfully progress through your entrepreneurial journey. Details include:

  • Community of HBS Founders - A select number of startup teams with at least (1) HBS student will be selected for this highly rigorous and rewarding program. 
  • Validate, Build, and Test - The RA program offers structured opportunities to students that allow them to make significant progress on their startup while in school. To be accepted, teams must be at the stage where they would like to test their business model assumptions and validate their value proposition or test their go-to-market strategy.
  • Pitch Practice - The RA program offers extensive pitch practice. There are opportunities to pitch to investors and gain valuable feedback on your idea, business model, go-to-market strategy, and your overall pitch.
  • Funding - Accepted teams may receive funding for their venture. Participants will have the opportunity to pitch for feedback and funding to validate their business model assumptions. Those who have already raised significant capital may not be eligible for the funding aspect of the program.
  • Coaches and Champions - Teams will be assigned a group of Rock Coaches  (alumni entrepreneurs, industry advisers or subject matter experts) and tech experts. 
  • Exposure- Teams demonstrating early traction will be selected to pitch at Demo Day.


Aikili Biosystems
Laura E. Kelley HBS‘19
A digital platform that gives individuals access to the most advanced and proven institutional investment model. Tailored to their needs.

Sud Murugesu HBS‘19
Will Rees
A digital platform that gives individuals access to the most advanced and proven institutional investment model. Tailored to their needs.

Kayla Lebovits HBS ‘19
Bundle is a platform that connects working parents with trusted, high-quality back-up and flexible child care as an employee benefit.

Ashley Shaw HBS’19
CareZooming is an online platform connecting clinicians to one another for technical expertise on their next healthcare delivery project.

Elios, Inc.
Tal Tchwella HBS ‘19
An alert service for early signs of risk, making companies proactive about their risk management, reducing costs of misconduct and incidents

Henry Liu HBS ‘19
A camera-based AI-empowered movement analysis system that helps physical therapists and athletic trainers better treat physical health.

Marie Caligiuri, HBS ‘19
Glenda is an online gifting experience that curates a set of affordable gifts for customers to personalize and send in beautiful packaging.

Scott Rosenshein HBS ‘19
Zander Sebenius HBS ‘19
Greener – a virtual energy manager for indoor agriculture to save dollars and polar bears. Save 50% using our software/hardware solution.

Adam Aisen HBS’19
Personalized restaurant recommendations for groups of diners.

Joe Kurtenbach HBS/HLS ‘20
LawCuts is a software-based solution that improves productivity for lawyers by cutting down the time it takes to produce legal documents.

Wil Eyi - HBS ‘19
Karthik Rao - Harvard College
MyToolbox is a platform focused on skilled, yet underserved labor pools; enabling workers to manage licenses, secure jobs and access financial services

Noodie Foods
Isabel Khoo HBS’ 19
Instant noodles reinvented. Now healthy, convenient and as tasty as ever. Fuel your body, without compromise.

Katie Spies HBS ‘19
Christine Busaba HBS ‘19
Noofood is a wellness company, for pets. We sell D2C, personalized food (Noofood) and vitamin bars (Noodbars) to urban, millennial dog moms.

Jeth Soetoyo HBS’19
Pintu is fixing finance in developing countries by offering mobile users stable cryptocurrencies and cash collection capabilities.

Lindsay McCurren HBS’ 19
Nathan McCurren
ReMana is reinventing breastmilk storage through a new sustainable system designed to support mom and baby from pump to store to feed.

Dave Anderson HBS ‘19
Seasoned is a platform that connects recent retirees to part-time work.

Pascal Kriesche HBS ‘19
We make employees happier and healthier by providing the first, fully automated machine for fresh and customized smoothies.

Zach Barrett HBS’19
TheFitLeague (TFL) takes the format of fantasy sports and applies it to your personal exercise.

Hans Furuseth HBS ‘19
Unless.me is an on-demand personalized childrenswear brand. Unless.me offers the best baby shower gifts and personalized clothing for your child.

Clare Simonis HBS ‘19
Josh Hoffman-Senn HBS ‘19
Want to do cool things but need a space? Venuefly finds cool spots and brings everything together for you to throw effortless, unique events.



Not everyone on my team is from HBS. Can they still participate?

We expect all HBS team members to attend the mandatory events. Outside team members are also welcome and encouraged to attend, but it is not mandatory. There will be one designated HBS lead per team. It is up to the lead to spread the word about events and opportunities for their team.

Can I be part of both the Rock Accelerator and i-Lab VIP program?

Yes, we encourage you to also apply to the VIP program to take advantage of the additional opportunities, resources, and workspace. While there may be some overlap with the program elements, our Rock Accelerator offers funding and is designed specifically for HBS MBA students.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us: rock@hbs.edu.