Teams of 3-4 first-year HBS MBA candidates will self-assemble during the Fall and must apply as a team to the Bootcamp on or before October 28. Before then, we will run a matching process whereby students without a venture concept can connect with those who have one and who wish to recruit more team members; see Team Assembly for details. For additional program details, please review this recording of the Bootcamp Information Session, held on Monday, September 24th, 2018.
Subject to a capacity constraint of 180, all teams who meet the criteria listed below will be admitted to the Bootcamp. If teams encompassing more than 180 students meet the listed criteria, and if we cannot expand capacity, we will use a lottery to admit teams. On Oct. 29, we will inform applicants of the total number of applications received, so that if a lottery seems likely, they can decide whether to proceed. We will waitlist teams not accepted via the lottery process. Life happens, and we often have spots open up for waitlisted
November Design Workshop. To participate in Bootcamp, first-year HBS MBA candidates must attended a Design Workshop on Nov. 2 (stay tuned for a backup date later in Nov if we have a critical mass of students with unavoidable conflicts on Nov. 2). First-year MBAs who attend the November Design Workshop will be allowed to attend the Bootcamp morning sessions in January. First-year MBAs who did not attend a workshop are welcome to work with a Bootcamp team during afternoon studio time, as are second-year MBAs and non-MBA teammates.
Team Size. Teams must be comprised of 3 or 4 first-year HBS MBA candidates who attended a Nov. 2 workshop. Individuals working alone or in pairs on a venture will not be admitted to the Bootcamp, nor will teams larger than four.
Concept Stage. Bootcamp teams will work in a synchronized manner, with everyone learning a specific skill and then applying that skill to their venture concept on the same day. Given this format and the Bootcamp's focus on pre-seed ventures, concepts must be at an early stage of development. Students who have already launched their product would probably lack the patience to retrace the steps required to get to that stage. If students have questions about whether their concept meets this criterion, they should email Prof. Austin before applying.
Deliverables. Teams will only be admitted to the Bootcamp if, by Jan. 6, they have: 1) submitted a specified set of deliverables (described immediately below) of acceptable quality; 2) meet the other criteria listed above. The November Design Workshop will provide training in how to create and leverage the deliverables, which will include:
Notes from at least ten customer discovery interviews and other research sessions.
At least one persona developed from the customer discovery research.
One or more "paper prototypes" that represent possible solutions to personas' unmet needs.
Notes from prototype reviews by at least five individuals in your target market.
Deliverables should conform to guidelines in this document. Teams will be notified a day or two after they submit deliverables as to whether their work met quality standards and whether they have been admitted to the Bootcamp.
Students should only apply to the Bootcamp if they are comfortable with the following additional requirements:
Participation. Admitted students must commit to attending all Bootcamp sessions and to participating fully. If the Bootcamp is oversubscribed, accepting admission then failing to attend would deny a peer a learning opportunity.
IP Protection. Since Bootcamp concepts will be at an early stage, we do not expect that many teams will bring proprietary intellectual property to the Bootcamp. Those that do and wish to protect their IP should make suitable arrangements. Students who wish guidance on such issues should consult legal experts at the Harvard i-Lab.
Disclosure. During the Bootcamp, teams will frequently be asked to present work-in-progress to peers, instructors, and mentors—including Boston-area investors and entrepreneurs. We will ask all Bootcamp attendees to respect confidentiality, but teams who are not comfortable disclosing their venture plans to peers and guest instructors should not seek admission.