The Rock Summer Fellows program, funded by gifts from Arthur Rock and the John F. Lebor Family, enables students to continue to explore their entrepreneurial path, both as founders and as those interested in joining early-stage startups, during the summer between their RC (first-year) and EC (second-year) year.

Through a 10-12 week summer fellowship that provides substantial financial support as well as a peer network and community, RC students are able to work on their own venture idea or work at an early-stage startup.


Key Steps

  1. Plan early

    This is a competitive program and those interested in applying, should begin working on their startup idea or meet with potential early-stage startups as early as possible.

  2. Attend the Info Session on Summer Fellowships

    Learn all about the Rock Summer Fellows program, HBS and the key information needed to submit a strong application. Keep an eye out for the info session date in the Rock student newsletter.

  3. Review our selection preferences

    We are excited about the energy around entrepreneurship. However, only the strongest applications with well defined plans and goals for the summer will be selected. As such, we’d like all applicants to thoughtfully consider these selection preferences.

    Founders, please read more below

    • Will dedicate 100% of time to startup over the summer
    • Favor operational startups vs. consulting, research, brokerage, or investment funds/companies
    • Stage: Founders should not apply until they have completed customer discovery. In your application, Indicate what primary and secondary research you have conducted and what insights did you gather. Be sure to include if you conducted any surveys, focus groups or interviews and how many potential customers participated in each.
    • Thoughtful and detailed plan for the summer (roadmap for development, experimentation, accomplishing other key milestones)
    • Have not yet raised significant capital ($500k or more in funding)
    • Not participating in another accelerator program that provides funding (to be eligible for the RSF funding)
    • Maximum of 2 fellows fully funded per startup (i.e. a maximum total of $15,600 to any startup); If 3 fellows apply, total allocation will be divided by three ($433/ea per week)
    • Note that students working for or starting a non-profit/social enterprise are generally encouraged to apply for a Social Enterprise Summer Fellowship. Students may not apply to both programs.

    Those looking join an early-stage startup, please read below for more details.

    • 10-12 week internship
    • Operational and funded/financed startups, with:
      • Less than 50 employees;
      • Less than $5 million in revenues (general guideline)
    • (Consulting, research, brokerage, investment funds/companies, well-established SMBs are generally not favored)
    • Generally, a maximum of one fellow per startup per summer;
    • Student responsibilities should be clearly defined by the startup;
    • A senior executive internal mentor should be assigned by the startup to work with the student on a regular basis;
    • Operational function or exposure to operational functions preferred;
    • Internship work should not be based solely on research/analysis, and should be articulated carefully and thoroughly in both the application and the startup letter.
  4. Read through program’s commitment

    Before students apply, we want them to understand the commitments we ask of our Rock Summer Fellows:

    The Rock Summer Fellowships are reserved for those who have a desire to participate and share in the peer exchange network and community. In addition, in order to crystallize learnings and receive Rock leadership support, we ask all Rock Summer Fellows to participate in the RSF kick-off, submit a final report, complete a survey, and commit to a fall RSF wrap-up session. RSF founders are also required to participate in checkins to update us on their progress.

    The final report will submitted through the HBS Summer Fellowship survey and should be 1000 words in total across the following sections:

    • Reports
    • Accomplishments
    • Challenges encountered
    • Goals for your EC year
    • How the experience will influence your career and professional goals
  5. Note application round due dates

    Incomplete applications will not be reviewed until all information is submitted.

    Students may only have one application in review at any point. Funding is provided to a student for a specific opportunity and cannot be transferred to a new opportunity.

    Applications received on or before… … will have a decision on or before
    Monday, February 4 at 9am Wednesday, February 13
    Wednesday, February 27 at 9am Tuesday, March 12
    Wednesday, March 20 at 9am Tuesday, April 2
    Wednesday, April 10 at 9am*** Tuesday, April 24
    Wednesday, May 8 at 9am**  Tuesday, May 21
  6. *** Last date to apply as a Rock Summer Fellow Founder.
    * Last date to apply as a Rock Summer Fellow Joiner.

  7. Prepare application

    All RCs in the MBA program are invited to apply to the Rock Summer Fellowship program via the general HBS Summer Fellowship online application.

    If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact or