When Harvard Business School’s Startup Tribe formed two years ago, founding member Andrew Rosenthal admitted there was one reason why the club flourished: “There’s a clear hunger among HBS students to engage in creating new products and companies.”
To help fulfill that need, the School encouraged the Startup Tribe, allocating $100,000 a year for the “MVP Fund,” now called the Rock Accelerator Program. Focused on the Lean Startup methodology popularized by HBS Entrepreneur-in-Residence Eric Ries, the program supports student teams focused on rapid prototyping—a process that helps bring products to market as quickly as possible.
Each entrepreneurial-minded winning team is awarded $5,000 courtesy of the School’s Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship, and is required to meet with a mentor on a monthly basis, as well as attend a monthly gathering of all MVP teams. Winners were selected by a panel of three faculty members and three students, yet for those not lucky enough to be dubbed victorious this semester, applications are already open for the second round of funding.
“We continue to be impressed by the high level of creativity our students have shown in planning and developing these business ventures, which span a wide variety of industries,” said Meredith McPherron, director of the Arthur Rock Center, in a press release. “Our students’ dedication to making their business ideas a reality demonstrates how passionate they are about entrepreneurship.”
Just check out the creativity for yourself. Here’s a look at the eight winning entries—and their founders—with descriptions provided by HBS.
ActivePepper — (Yasi Baiani, HBS 2013, Ramsey Abouzahra, Sean Beck and Andrew Jambor) Active Pepper is a platform that helps people find sports partners and sports activities nearby. With ActivePepper they can locate, for example, tennis partners, local pick-up basketball games, or running or cycling groups and then easily schedule their participation in these activities.
adtime — (Nikhil Sachdev, HBS 2013) adtime is a mobile platform that rewards users for engaging with ads and providing high-value consumer data to potential advertisers.
ChillBaby — (Joseph Blair, HBS 2013) ChillBaby is a subscription service that provides parents with packages of children’s clothing specifically geared to a child’s age, style preferences, and the season.
Cryoocyte — (Dmitry Kozachenok, HBS 2013, Alex Stimpson, Allen Torng, James Webb, and Avi Wolfson) Cryoocyte aims to revolutionize the aquaculture industry by developing a technology to cryopreserve fish eggs.
DATAPiXY — (Nadav Benbarak and Rotem Iram, both HBS 2013) DATAPiXY connects laptops, tablets, and phones to the internet when people are abroad for only $10 per day, thus eliminating roaming and other charges that lead to big bills.
The New Academy — (T. Nguyen Duc, HBS 2013) The New Academy develops globally-competitive high school graduates through high-quality and affordable online education.
Outbreak — (Eric Chernoff and Mike Schutt, both HBS 2013) Outbreak provides an online platform with which businesses can implement a brand or product awareness campaign by hosting crowdsourced competitions.
Vorsorge-Wird-Vorfreude — (Sebastian Legler, HBS 2013) Vorsorge-Wird-Vorfreude is an online brokerage for financial products in Germany that aligns product distribution with consumer interests.