LaunchU is an intensive, three-week venture incubator designed to accelerate the development and launch of Oberlin entrepreneurs. Taking place during January’s “winter term,” the program includes a three-week bootcamp that guides students and alumni entrepreneurs through a business-model innovation curriculum and develops skills and understanding in preparation for launching their ventures. Participants are placed into one of three tracks based on their idea: Venture Track (looking for VC funding; Social Track (non-profits and social enterprises); and Small Business Track (i.e. musicians and design companies). The program culminates in a public pitch competition before a panel of potential investors. Prizes include funding, further mentorship, in-kind services, and a roadshow.
Since its inception in 2013, LaunchU has provided resources, training, advisors, connections and “investment capital” of all types – intellectual, technological, financial, philanthropic, and relationship-focused – to accelerate and grow dozens of student- and alumni -launched ventures in a range of sectors, including science and technology, energy and environmental sustainability, food and agriculture, healthcare/medicine, education, music and arts management, media and entertainment, social and philanthropic ventures, fashion/textiles and many more.
Congratulations to the winners of the 2014 LaunchU Pitch Competition:
2014 LaunchU Accelerator
$15,000 Venture-Development Award
Cole Hershkowitz ’11
Glen Gerbush ’12, Jakob Hochendoner ’12, Isaac Yoder ’13
2014 LaunchU IdeaLab
$1500 Ignition Grant
to support the next phase of business-model development and protoyping
Kyle Aungst ’13
$1000 MindCamp Scholarship
to an individual student demonstrating particular entrepreneurial proclivity and promise
Candid Music Group
Gabriel Simon ’17