The Rock Summer Fellows program, funded by gifts from Arthur Rock and the John F. Lebor Family, provides an opportunity for students exploring an entrepreneurial path to focus on founding a new venture, working at a startup, or pursuing a role in venture capital.


The HBS Summer Fellows Program enables students to realize their unique career visions without being limited by the compensation levels of certain opportunities, regardless of industry or location. Funding is available for students joining existing organizations, as well as for those founding new ventures who have not yet raised significant capital.

The Rock Summer Fellows track is a competitive program in which students will be part of a select community through the Rock Center for Entrepreneurship. Founder applications will be evaluated based on the clarity and strength of the problem hypothesis, evaluation of current status and milestones, strength of customer discovery findings, clarity and strength of key assumptions, and evidence of commitment. You can lean more about how we evaluate applications through our rubric. ETA founders, please contact Rock@hbs.edu for application information.

Rock Summer Fellows will:

  • Engage in a peer exchange network of students committed to entrepreneurship.
  • Receive the additional benefits of access to the resources and expertise of the Rock Center for Entrepreneurship, including topical sessions, office hours, and opt-in coaching.
  • Attend a kick-off session in the spring followed by a wrap-up session in the fall to offer Fellows the opportunity to be active and engaged during and beyond the Rock Summer Fellow experience.

Rock Founders Forum

The Rock Founders Forum is offered to students in the summer between their RC and EC year, supporting student founders in the development of their startup. The program is for students who are serious about pursuing their idea and are committed to a structured program. Students will join a community of founders and commit to attending expert-led Advisory Board meetings and weekly meetings in addition to bi-weekly 1:1 coaching meetings during the summer. The forum will also have a $1.5K experimentation fund per startup. This program complements the Rock Summer Fellows program.

The decision-making criteria for admission into this program include the quality of the plan and application (clarity of problem hypothesis and strength of customer discovery findings), demonstrated commitment to a high-level of focus and a shared learning orientation within the exploration and pursuit of the venture during the summer, and considerations relating to the makeup of the overall cohort. Following the final RSF founder application deadline, we will review all applications for the Rock Founders Forum. Decisions will be communicated by Monday, April 15.

As a peer-to-peer learning community, participation in the Rock Founders Forum requires a commitment to full attendance within structured programming sessions including Advisory Board meetings and weekly meetings. The sessions below will be required for all those selected to the Founders Forum. The award of the additional $1.5K experimentation fund will be contingent on level of commitment throughout the summer and will be assessed and deployed in three $500 increments following each Advisory Board meeting.

All Founders Forum meetings will be virtual. Depending on the group makeup, there may be a possibility to offer some sessions in a hybrid format.

Introduction:

* Wednesday, 6/5, 11am-1pm: Founders Forum Introduction & Milestone planning

Advisory Board Meetings:

* Thursday, 6/20, 4-6pm: Advisory Board Meeting 1
* Thursday, 7/18, 4-6pm: Advisory Board Meeting 2
* Thursday, 8/15, 4-6pm: Advisory Board Meeting 3

Weekly All Hands & Peer Learning Sessions:

* Tuesday, 6/11, 11am-3pm
* Tuesday, 6/18, 11am-3pm
* Tuesday, 6/25, 11am-3pm
* Tuesday, 7/9, 11am-3pm
* Tuesday, 7/16, 11am-3pm
* Tuesday, 7/23, 11am-3pm
* Tuesday, 7/30, 11am-3pm
* Tuesday, 8/6, 11am-3pm
* Tuesday, 8/13, 11am-3pm

  • Founder Deadline: Monday, April 1
  • Joiner Deadline: Monday, May 13