FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Summer Catalyst Showcase

What is Summer Catalyst?

Summer Catalyst is a 10-week online accelerator program that will build your entrepreneurial leadership skills and knowledge, provide resources, tools, and expert connections, and help you accelerate your business. It shares many similarities with the Summer Venture Program and incorporates many of the same elements like Hot Seat pitching sessions, office hours, and dedicated advisors, but is delivered online.

PROGRAM DETAILS

What are the dates for Summer Catalyst?

Summer Catalyst will begin on Monday, May 17 and end on Friday, July 23. 

Will Summer Catalyst offer an option to earn academic credit?

Yes, we will offer an option for Babson students to earn academic credit. This is a great opportunity to advance your venture and earn credit in the same summer. You can earn four undergraduate credits or three graduate credits as an advanced elective. For more information, please see the course booklet.

Accepted applicants are also welcome to participate in the program not for credit.

Will Summer Catalyst be free to me?

If you take Summer Catalyst for credit, we will submit your name to the Registrar and you will be responsible for the corresponding tuition. For further details, please contact Student Financial Services.

If you do not take Summer Catalyst for credit, the program is free for you.

How will I be graded if I am taking Summer Catalyst for credit?

Your grade will be based on:

  • Milestone deliverables
  • Your participation as an active community member in the Summer Catalyst cohort
  • Your completion of readings, videos, and other coursework, if applicable

Will housing be offered?

Because this is an online program and you can participate in Summer Catalyst from any location, we will not be offering housing.

What can I expect to do during Summer Catalyst?

Throughout the summer, you will work with your dedicated advisor, learn from expert speakers, engage with your peers, and participate in skill-building workshops, Hot Seat pitching sessions, office hours, and much more.

We will hold our required programming Monday - Thursday, between the hours of 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. ET. You are expected to be available during that window to attend required programming sessions. Start times and durations will vary, but expect no more than 2 hours a day of required, synchronous work.

There will be optional programming sessions that will greatly enhance your Summer Catalyst experience, expand your network, and allow you to delve into areas and topics that are relevant for you and your venture. There will also be asynchronous content, resources, and tools made available.

Outside of our programming, you are expected to be actively working on your venture. Past participants have shared that they spent about 30% of each week engaging in Summer Catalyst programming and opportunities. The remaining 70% of the week, the entrepreneurs focused on making progress on their businesses.   

Will there be a showcase or demo day?

Summer Catalyst Showcase will be held online and open to the public to watch on Thursday, July 22. The audience has traditionally been drawn from the Babson community and the greater Boston entrepreneurial ecosystem.

APPLICATION PROCESS

Who is eligible to apply?

Undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled at Babson, Olin Engineering, or Wellesley College are eligible to apply to Summer Catalyst. As well, Babson students who graduated December 2020 are eligible to apply.

All students looking to apply to Summer Catalyst must be in good disciplinary standing with Babson College and the community. The Blank Center staff reserves the right to request information from the Office of Community Standards to confirm that this is the case and may disqualify any applicant who does not meet this requirement.

I am an international student - am I eligible to apply and participate, if accepted?

Yes, you are eligible to apply. If you have questions about your F-1: Optional Practical Training (OPT), we encourage you to reach out directly to International Student and Scholar Services.

What is required of me if I am accepted into the program?

  • Applicants must be able to commit full time effort to their venture and the SC Community during the 10 weeks. You must be available, engaged, and on time for all required programming that will be scheduled Monday - Thursday, between the hours of 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. ET.
  • Applicants must have a viable business concept that has potential to make significant progress during a 10 week summer intensive.
  • Applicants must prepare and complete any pre-program deliverables and must prepare for and participate in milestone check-ins.
  • Applicants must prepare for and participate in the Summer Catalyst Showcase at the end of the program.
  • Upon acceptance, applicants must agree to sign and abide to a binding participant agreement that confirms that the resources being provided are contingent upon the applicant's commitment to the Summer Catalyst community and active, full-length participation in the program by every member of the team. The Summer Catalyst Director has the right to dismiss a team from the program at any time if the team is not meeting the requirements in the signed commitment of participation.

What is the application deadline?

The application will open on Monday, March 1 and close on Friday, March 19 at 12 p.m. ET.

How can I learn more about Summer Catalyst and ask questions before the deadline?

We encourage you to join our online info session on Monday, March 1 at 5 p.m. ET.

When I will be notified if I am invited to interview? 

You will be notified on Friday, March 26.

When will interviews be held, and how?

Interviews, by invitation only, will be held online on Friday, April 2 and Monday, April 5.

When will I be notified of my acceptance status?

You will be notified on Friday, April 9.

How many teams will be accepted?

Historically, we have accepted 15 to 16 teams. We remain flexible, but we keep the total number of teams in mind as we prioritize a strong 1:1 relationship between each team and its advisor and a strong sense of community amongst the cohort.