HBS Launches RISE to Help Alumni Entrepreneurs

HBS and businessweek rankingIt’s a well-known yet unfortunate fact that most new ventures fail. Harvard Business School’s Rock Center for Entrepreneurship aims to change that outcome for the better for its alumni entrepreneurs with the launch of its Rise Program. The Rock Center Rise Program will help HBS graduates in New York City accelerate the growth of their new enterprises.

Among other benefits, the program will help entrepreneurs navigate through the challenges of building culture, hiring employees, developing leadership skills, managing boards, raising funds, optimizing sales and marketing channels, and growing from a handful of employees to hundreds. Participants in the program must have raised a minimum of $1 million in funding, and their company must be revenue generating.

“There is considerable anecdotal evidence regarding how to scale, but resulting advice does not apply across all companies equally,” says Professor Thomas Eisenmann, Faculty Chair of the Rock Center.

“In the RISE program, HBS faculty members, alongside seasoned entrepreneurs, will convey best practices and frameworks to help entrepreneurs address startup challenges that can make or break a company. The program has been developed to leverage extensive faculty research on what it takes to successfully scale an enterprise,” Eisenmann adds.

The first RISE cohort includes the following HBS alumni-founded companies:


Gamer Sensei


Orchard Mile

Rubicon MD

Show Score

The Plunge


Walden Local

“RISE will provide a focused approach for founders to learn from faculty and peers, discuss issues around scaling, and be inspired. Each session will consist of curated content led by our faculty and successful alumni entrepreneurs and investors. At the end of each session, the Rock Center will host a roundtable discussion, where founders can candidly discuss their challenges or offer guidance and advice to peers,” explains Jodi Gernon, Director of the Rock Center

“With this program, founders will be better equipped to handle the rollercoaster ride of entrepreneurship.”

Image credit: Michael A. Herzog (CC BY-ND 2.0)

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