Harvard Business School’s (HBS) Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship has announced nine winners of Minimum Viable Product (MVP) Funding, a new pilot program offering $50,000 in total awards to student entrepreneurs working on projects during the School’s winter term.
The MVP Fund is based on the premise of the Lean Startup methodology, which focuses on rapid prototyping, a process that brings products to market as quickly as possible.
Eighty-eight teams, each with at least one current Harvard MBA student, submitted entries. Written proposals were due at the end of January, and finalists presented their ideas to the MVP selection committee in mid-February.
The nine winning entries are:
Adiply : A self-serve tool that executes online advertising direct deals (that is, instances in which an advertiser works directly with a publisher–the Web site selling ad space) to buy ad inventory on that site.
AfterSteps: An online end-of-life planning platform with educational resources and tools to create a plan, store it, and transfer it to designated beneficiaries.
Children’s Stories for American Muslims : A children’s entertainment and education brand for the underserved North American Muslim population. The business will start as a subscription service delivering monthly stories and will later expand into toys, books, games, videos, and licensing.
MatchLend : A tool to improve loan underwriting accuracy by incorporating data often missed by traditional methods.
MyDayz : A web application that allows women to keep track of their health data, focusing on period and fertility monitoring.
Rewardly : A rewards program that works with the customers’ existing credit cards wherever they make purchases.
UpStart : A program that seeks to do for entrepreneurship what Teach for America did for teaching by creating a well-branded path for young talent to work at promising startups and learn entrepreneurial skills.
Vinamea: A platform that allows people to rent a portion of a vineyard, follow an online wine production process from grape to bottle, and ultimately receive their share of the year’s vintage in a customized package.
Zumper : An online real estate market in which students and others can bid on and secure properties in a more efficient and transparent manner.