Are you an early stage startup founder? Rock Incubator is a new program for founders of early stage startups to receive funding support and direct feedback on their testing plans from the expert panel of founders & faculty.


Key Highlights of the program:

  • Feedback from Rock Incubator Panel: Participants get to present to a panel of experts and receive direct feedback from them on their venture idea and testing plans. The panel will guide them in testing their business model assumptions and validate their proposition or develop & test their go-to-market strategy.
  • Funding: Rock Incubator teams are eligible for $500 in funding for their venture.

Rock Incubator focuses on supporting the broader EC and RC founder community at HBS through feedback and validation on their venture idea from our panel of experts.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Early stage startups with at least one HBS student founder will have the opportunity to apply to join and unlock funding as long as they continue to meet program requirements.
  • Most teams would not have raised money, but if a team has raised money more than $100K, then that team will not be eligible to receive any funding.
  • There will be two intakes for the program - Falll 2018 (For ECs) and Spring 2019 (For RCs).
  • Applicant must be a current HBS student.
  • Applicant can be a sole founder of the venture or can also apply as a team with their co-founder.
  • Founder or Co-founder of an Early stage startup.
  • A testing plan for your venture idea and commitment to validating our assumptions.

Spring 2019

The RC students interested in Rock Incubator can now register for the program using the registration link below. Please refer to the Rock Incubator registration template to create your own pitch deck for submission.The registrations for Spriong 2019 are now closed.

Funding Criteria:

  • Only a limited number of applications will be selected for the program on the basis of the application and pitch decks.
  • Participate in the Rock Incubator Panel on either of the assigned date - Feb 12th or Feb 13th, 2019.
  • Submit the complete Funding Paperwork alongwith the application by the submission deadline, January 31, 2019 @ 12 noon.

Fall 2018

The EC students interested in Rock Incubator must apply for Rock Accelerator 2018-19 before the deadline September 20, 2018 at 12 noon (EST). All the applicants will be either selected for Rock Accelerator or Rock Incubator, depending on the decision made by our selection committee.

The students selected for the Rock Incubator Program will receive a notification about selection and will have to respond with their confirmation by the deadline, October 17, 2018 at 12 noon EST).

Funding Criteria:

  • Confirm their participation for the Rock Incubator Program (an email would be sent to all the participants about it with the deadline to respond, Wednesday, October 17, 2018 at 12 noon EST)
  • Participate in the Rock Incubator Panel
  • Submit the Funding Paperwork by the deadline Wednesday, October 17, 2018 at 12 noon EST


Funding Considerations:

Each team is only eligible for $500. Checks will not be issued until a team meets all of the requirements and then the checks typically take 6-8 weeks to process, so please plan accordingly.

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.