The Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship (BCE) Innovation and Entrepreneurship Scholars Program (IESP) is open to all first year undergraduate students, including transfer students, from any major or discipline who will be enrolling in classes at UMass Amherst in the Fall of 2020.
With support from the Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship and the UMass Innovation and Entrepreneurship (I&E) ecosystem, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Scholars will develop their startup from an idea on a napkin to a real business, or advancing a previously established venture. The IESP is a co-curricular (non-credit based) opportunity for advancement for first year students at UMass Amherst.
First year students are encouraged to apply! What’s in it for me? Funding, mentors and dedicated support.
Attend one (1) of the Berthiaume Center (BCE) New Student Orientation (NSO) sessions during the summer. Students can attend a live Zoom session OR watch the prerecorded session in the Online Orientation Course, Intro to UMass Community Values & Resources, in the Bonus Features section. Students who do not attend at least one of the sessions are not eligible to apply.
Be entering their first semester at UMass Amherst as an undergraduate Students from any academic area are encouraged to apply. First-semester transfer students are also eligible.
In August, a select number of applicants will be invited to virtual interviews with the Berthiaume Center staff and campus partners. Following these interviews, students will be notified of the committee's decision before the start of the fall semester.
Innovation and Entrepreneurship Scholars will be working with BCE staff and campus partners to develop a startup throughout their first year at UMass Amherst. To support their venture development, scholars are required to:
Attend at least six (6) Office Hours sessions with the Berthiaume MBA Fellows, CICS Ventures EiRs, and/or BCE Expert Office Hours per semester
Participate and/or compete in at least four (4) I&E programs or events per semester to advance your venture (Startup Bootcamps, Entrepreneurship Education Series Sessions, Innovation Challenge, Hult Prize Events, I-Corps, CICS Startup Recruiting Events, Valley Venture Mentors Community Nights)
Attend at least four (4) club meetings or events per semester (Entrepreneurship Club, Social Entrepreneurship Club, and/or Hult Prize) (Excused if the student takes a leadership role in the Entrepreneurship Club, Social Entrepreneurship Club or Hult Prize Campus team)
Speak in at least one class per semester about the Berthiaume Center (i.e. five minutes before class promoting an event or club meeting)
Pitch their startup idea to the BCE team for feedback and advice at the end of the fall and spring Semesters.
Complete the Business Model Canvas; Develop a draft business plan
Conduct documented interviews, using “Customer Discovery Process” (at least 10 customers per semester)
Incubate, develop and grow your startup
Each fellow is eligible to receive $250 in the fall and spring semesters ($500 total) in award funding should they complete all requirements
Become a part of an exclusive cohort of innovative and entrepreneurial students
Incubate your startup in the Berthiaume Center Incubator
24/7 access to the BCE Incubator Space
Open desk space to work on your venture; meeting space available
Exclusive access to BCE incubator member opportunities (i.e.office hours with experienced entrepreneurs and mentors)