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 Spring of 2021.
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 and transfer students are encouraged to apply! What’s in it for me? Funding, mentors and dedicated support.
Applications open October 1, 2020 and close February 5, 2021.
Applicants must be entering their first or second semester at UMass Amherst as an undergraduate student from any academic area. First or second semester transfer students are also eligible.
Preference is given to students who are engaged with the Berthiaume Center’s Fall 2020 programming.
In December, applications will be reviewed by a committee of Berthiaume Center staff and campus partners. Following the application review, students will be notified of the committee's decision before the start of the spring 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 spring fellow is eligible to receive $250 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)