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10 Student Startup Ventures Win $5,000 Awards from Harvard Business School

Harvard Business School recently announced the winners of the second round of its annual Rock Accelerator Award Program, which gives $5,000 apiece to ten selected teams of student entrepreneurs. The diverse winning startups include a website for on-demand fitness videos, a health care technology resource for at-home caregivers, and a sensor-based technology that tracks consumer shopping habits in real time.

The award, originally launched in 2010 as the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) Award, focuses on entrepreneurship ventures that use lean startup methodology, an approach popularized by HBS Entrepreneur-in-Residence Eric Ries. According to the press release, lean startup methodology emphasizes rapid prototyping in order to bring products to market as soon as possible.

The business school's Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship offers the awards, which are granted in two rounds during the academic year. The first round was open to second-year HBS students and their teammates from HBS or another institution. The school announced the eight round-one winners in October 2012. Round two, which saw 73 entries, was open to first and second-year HBS students and their partners from HBS or another institution. A panel of three students and three HBS faculty members determined the winners.

The winning teams meet with a program mentor each month, participate in monthly gatherings with other Rock Accelerator teams, and make presentations on the lessons they learn through the program.

"This is a very exciting time for entrepreneurship and innovation at HBS. The Rock Accelerator, which will be followed this spring by the New Venture Competition, is just the beginning of the entrepreneurial journey we encourage our students to undertake," stated Meredith McPherron, Director of the Rock Center for Entrepreneurship and a graduate of Harvard's MBA school.