HBS Announces Rock Accelerator Teams For 2020-2021

Rock 100 Entrepreneurs’ Summit. HBS photo

Harvard Business School’s Rock Center for Entrepreneurship has announced 40 teams for the 2020-2021 Rock Accelerator.

Launched in 2010, the HBS Rock Center Accelerator is a highly immersive program uniquely designed for Harvard Business School student founders of early-stage startups. The focus is on building and validating a “minimum viable product (MVP)” that the teams can bring to market quickly, with a strong emphasis on developing plans for testing the MVP. The selected teams experience deep-dive coaching sessions and check-ins, feedback on their product pitches, and opportunities to pitch for seed funding. The goal is for teams to emerge from the program with a strong foundation for building or expanding a market-ready product.

Recent participants in the Rock Accelerator include Juno (formerly LeverEdge), which uses group buying power to negotiate student loan rates with lenders, technicbal workforce solutions company OnRamp, Stride Funding, which offers Income Share Agreements (ISAs) for student financing, education funding, student loans, and paying for college, and EmCasa, a real-estate startup based out of Brazil which offers virtual tours and sales assistance.

Two donors pledge $50 million to expand UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School


At his installation as UNC chancellor on Sunday, Kevin Guskiewicz announced new donations to the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School that will enable its significant expansion, as reported but Chapelboro.com.

Steve Bell, who graduated from UNC in 1967, has committed $25 million to support a new building for the professional school. The chairman of Bell Partners, a Greensboro-based apartment investment and management company, announced in May he’d make an $11 million gift, but has since increased his donation to bring about the expansion more quickly.

Additionally, an anonymous donor has committed to matching Bell’s gift of $25 million, said Guskiewicz. The two gifts are the largest ever made to the Kenan-Flagler Business School by individuals, according to the university.

Bell spoke to Chapelboro about his decision to increase his gift to the university.

“I love our state of North Carolina, I’m proud of our state,” he described. “I really believe we have a great long-term future. But I believe our future would be better and brighter if we could double the size of this business school.”

UNC says demand for a business degree exceeds the available space in the McColl Building, which opened in 1997. The university says Kenan-Flagler has approximately 1,000 undergraduate business, 400 master of accounting, 1,600 MBA and 70 PhD students. A new building, which would be named in Bell’s honor, could make it possible to increase enrollment in the school’s undergraduate business program by at least 50%.

London Business School and LocalGlobe launch new VC course aimed at women, Black, and Asian candidates

With the U.K.’s Black Tech Fest on this week, it’s timely that a new executive education course aimed at those wanting to enter the venture capital industry has been launched to serve previously under-represented groups, especially women, Black, Asian and other minorities, as reported in Tech Crunch.

London Business School and LocalGlobe, one of Europe’s leading seed investors, worked together to create two new programs to provide formal business education for roles across the VC world. The Newton Venture Program courses will cover the full spectrum of investment roles in the venture ecosystem, from VC investors to limited partners, angel investors, accelerators and tech transfer officers. The aim of the programs is to upskill the venture capital sector while broadening the routes through which people can join the industry.

The courses will aim for a gender split of 50/50, with at least 50% coming from Black, Asian or other minorities, and will be available to anyone just starting out or mid-career professionals.

Thunderbird launches new Chinese master’s online

Thunderbird School of Global Management has launched a new online master’s in management degree for the Chinese market. The Online Master of Applied Leadership & Management (MALM) is  designed to take Chinese students through a Mandarin- and English-based curriculum. Through Mandarin speaking faculty and cutting-edge technology, students in China can now have a high-touch, interactive experience earning a master’s degree from Thunderbird at ASU, with the option to attend commencement in person at the school’s new global headquarters facility, under construction now in downtown Phoenix, Arizona.

Sanjeev Khagram, director general and dean of Thunderbird, says the first class of the new master’s will be about 16 students, with plans to grow in size “exponentially” in future intakes.

“We are one of a kind,” Khagram tells Poets&Quants. “Our master’s program in English brings together global management, digital transformation, international affairs, and cross-cultural communication and negotiation like no other, and now it’s available in immersive Mandarin!”

As part of the school’s expanding presence in China and Asia more broadly, Thunderbird is planning a satellite Center of Excellence in Shanghai, which will join existing regional Thunderbird hubs in Seoul, Tokyo, and Jakarta. Khagram says the school has a long history with China going back to Thunderbird’s origins just after World War II.

“Indeed, Chinese pilots were trained at our original Glendale (Ariz.) headquarters, Thunderbird Air Force Base, in the 1940s,” Khagram says. “We have hundreds of Chinese alumni and thousands of non-Chinese alumni leading organizations, working, living, and engaging in China over the past 75 years, along with a robust slate of executive education programs for leaders of enterprises operating in China.

“Thunderbird is the most global and digital leadership, management, and business school in the world. We engage worldwide and certainly prioritize the most powerful countries and largest markets.

“We live in a G2 world: China and the U.S. China is undertaking the greatest global expansion agenda since the Marshall Plan with the Belt and Road Initiative.”


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