About the Summer Venture Program
The Summer Venture Program is a 10-week intensive experience that builds entrepreneurial skills and accelerates the development of student ventures. The program focuses on three core areas: providing resources & tools, building entrepreneurial skills, and accelerating business ventures.
Teams receive free housing and 24/7 workspace in the heart of Boston, which maximizes real-world connections. Each year, various partners provide free or discounted services including:
- Consultations from business experts
- Amazon Web Services discounts
- Hubspot credits
- SOLIDWORKS® prototype lab access
In addition, all teams have access to the resources of the Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship and Babson’s Speech Center.
As the start of the program, each team is paired with a dedicated advisor that matches their needs. Throughout the summer, teams experience world-class training that starts with a broad foundation of entrepreneurial skills and knowledge, but quickly shifts into individualized 1:1 advice to address their key gaps. Session formats include expert-led presentations, group lunch & learns, interactive workshops, “Hot Seat” sessions to hone presentation skills, and on-demand office hours.
Past sessions include:
- B2B Sales
- Customer Discovery
- Fundraising Tactics
- IP 101
- Lean Canvas Workshop
- Marketing Strategy
As teams work to build their businesses, they make invaluable connections to potential customers, partners, employees, mentors, and investors. Students immerse themselves outside the academic world and engage with Babson alumni and EIR as well as supporters who are startup entrepreneurs, operators, and big company executives. Many students will experience the most impactful networking of their lives as they make direct connections with a growing pool of experts and industry influencers.
At the culmination of the program, teams present their ventures at the Summer Venture Showcase to an audience of over 400 members of the Babson and local startup communities. After the program, each team member joins a powerful network of hundreds of SVP alumni that span over a decade.
Update on 2020 Summer Venture Program
The new circumstances due to the coronavirus outbreak mean all of us have to adapt and pivot. In lieu of our in-person Summer Venture Program, we will be offering Summer Catalyst, a 10-week virtual program for our student entrepreneurs to accelerate their ventures.
Teams are hand-chosen based on a written application, interview, and potential references from faculty or fellow students. The selection criteria consist of four key aspects:
- Team—entrepreneurial potential, complementary skills, and commitment to the venture
- Business—big market/opportunity, broad impact, differentiated product/service
- Stage—product/service near launch or already in market, ability to make significant traction and hit key milestones during the summer
- Fit—ability to learn, eager to make the best use of SVP resources and contribute to the community
In order to apply, student applicants must meet the following requirements:
- Currently enrolled at Babson, Olin Engineering, or Wellesley College.
- 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.
- Have a viable business concept that has potential to make significant progress during a 10 week summer intensive.
- Able to commit full time effort to their venture and the SVP Community during the 10 weeks. Participants must be present for all core work hours: Monday-Thursday, 12:30-4:30 p.m. at the SVP Boston location.
- Able to attend all weekly meetings (team updates, lunch and learn, Hot Seat, advisor meetings, and other sessions).
- Prepare for, and participate in, Summer Venture 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 SVP Community and active, full-length participation in the program by every member of the team. The SVP 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.
Do you want to apply to the Summer Venture Program? Engaging in employment (including self-employment and some entrepreneurial activities) without specific authorization is a serious violation of F-1 student/J-1 exchange visitor immigration status. While many entrepreneurial activities (such as research, feasibility studies, and business planning) are permissible, activities that directly result in income generation are not allowed without the proper authorization. Babson strongly advises all international students to seek independent professional legal advice from an attorney who practices immigration law exclusively (in addition to any other legal counsel) to avoid accidentally engaging in unlawful activities. Contact the Glavin Office of International Education for information about immigration attorneys and for work authorization guidelines.