Harvard’s Minimum Viable Product Fund

Harvard Business School recently announced its Minimum Viable Product Fund (MVP Fund). The fund is run through the Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship and will award $50,000 to student teams that want to start a new businesses and work on a ‘minimum viable product’. From the HBS Startup Tribe website:

The Fund will make up to $50,000 in total awards to student teams. It will target ten $5,000 awards; teams may request more or less funding, but in no case will an award be greater than $10,000. The first deadline will be January 28 at 4:00. If there are a sufficient number of outstanding proposals, then all the funding will be awarded in this cycle. If not, we will announce another cycle some time later in the winter semester.

We expect that most proposals will come from teams entered in the HBS Business Plan Contest. However, you are not required to enter the Business Plan Contest to apply for this funding.
The first round of applications was taken in on January 28th and I haven’t heard yet on the teams chosen. This MVP approach is based on the work and writings of Eric Ries. His book, The Lean Startup Book will be published in Fall, 2011. HBS points us to Eric’s Minimum Viable Product Guide.
Glad to see more and more seed models be used at business schools, I wish they would hop across campus and to other schools. When I went through business school there was a distinct bias towards venture funding and models preferred by Silicon Valley and wannabees. There is a place for that, but bare bones start-ups and ‘feasibility’ testing a vital and much more the norm.

Minimum Viable Product Fund MVP Fund – HBS Startup Tribe.


2 thoughts on “Harvard’s Minimum Viable Product Fund

  1. Thanks for sharing. Are there any news on Harvard’s Minimum Viable fund – what they have invested in so far?

    Btw, is there anywhere I can find more about your research on campus entrepreneurship?

  2. Pingback: Rejecting Wall Street, Business School Graduates Turn to Entrepreneurship – NYTimes.com | Campus Entrepreneurship

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