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 (Technology driven and pursuing VC); Social Track (scalable non-profits and social enterprises); and Small Business Track (i.e. performing arts, design, and food ventures). The program culminates in a public pitch competition before a panel of potential investors. Prizes include funding, hands-on mentorship, and extensive in-kind services.
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.
LaunchU is a program of Creativity & Leadership at Oberlin College & Conservatory. For more information on Entrepreneurship at Oberlin visit www.oberlin.edu/creativity