Ventures receive one-on-one specialized coaching.
Ventures are connected with a variety of in-kind services.
Ventures have an opportunity to apply for need-based funding.
Coaches serve as the connectors between ventures and IDEA's network and resources. Coaches are trained to use IDEA's Business Planning Guide to help ventures through the Ready-Set-Go stagegate process and help them utilize the tools provided to get past roadblocks. In order to make them as effective at working with ventures as possible, they are on-boarded with IDEA's Head Coach, then connected through coaching roundtables where they collaborate and learn tangible skills
Mentors are industry professionals with five or more years of experience who work with ventures starting in the Set stage. Where Coaches offer expertise over IDEA's process, Mentors use their experience to help ventures understand their industry and how to break into it. IDEA is connected with Mentors who are experts in biotech, consumer product, marketing, and everything in between.
BUSINESS PLANNING GUIDE
The IDEA Business Planning Guide is the backbone of the process that ventures use to help them create their venture and plans. The Guide maps out each step ventures need to take in order for their idea to mature. These steps, or milestones, may include adding team members, prototyping, marketing, and pursuing funding. The IDEA Business Planning Guide illustrates the entrepreneurial journey through the different venture stages of Ready, Set, and Go.
Coupled with intense coaching, the Business planning guide allows the business plan to continually develop as the venture develops, and prepares each venture to answer the difficult questions that will be asked by the Advisory Board during Gap Fund rounds, angel investors, venture capital firms, and beyond.
IDEA works closely with a number of different companies to provide in-kind services to our ventures. We have a number of service providers in different industries, including law firms, accounting firms, marketing and public relations, software platforms, and backend.
Connections are made through the management team and IDEA's faculty adviser to ensure an efficient use of the services and consistency of venture readiness. Overall, these strategic partnerships help ventures accelerate rapidly as resources are plugged in to meet their needs.
PARTNERSHIPS & RELATIONSHIPS
In addition to our service providers, IDEA also has built relationships with student organizations, companies, and programs in order to help our ventures grow. Through this network, we can provide resources and expertise that ventures would often times not be able to afford or access at an early stage of building their business. These resources include discounts, credits, and deals for various services, online platforms, and companies around the city of Boston.
With the help of our Entrepreneur-in-Residence, IDEA has build and selected a network of investors who are invested in working with and financing ventures in our program. Whether you are looking for an angel investor to give you your first round of outside capital or a venture capital firm to help you raise a Series A round, IDEA connects ventures who have made it all the way through our process to investors that are a good fit.
The Gap Fund is a non-equity educational grant that ventures can apply for once they are in the “Go” stage of IDEA's process. Each business plan is reviewed by IDEA’s Investment Committee, CEO, and faculty adviser before being selected to pitch in front of members of IDEA's Advisory Board.
Over the course of the year, we have approximately $250k to allocate in amounts up to $10k per venture in six rounds throughout the year. Each pitch involves describing the entrepreneur’s business and the milestones that the funding will allow the venture to accomplish. At the point of allocation, members of the Investment Committee work with the venture to solidify the spending plan and set check-in dates.
To apply for the Gap Fund you must first talk to your coach. When you are ready, submit your Business Plan and Milestones, per the Gap Funding Guide, to our Investment Officer Varun Tarapore at varun[dot]tarapore[at]gmail[dot]com. Applications are due before the 15th of every odd month.
The Prototype Fund is awards up to $1,000 at a time to promising prototype concepts at times consistent with our Gap Fund deadlines. You don’t need to be an IDEA venture to apply but we do hope that these concepts will one day develop into profitable ventures. The Prototype Fund is an effort spearheaded by IDEA, Northeastern Entrepreneurs Club, and the Northeastern University Center for Entrepreneurship Education in order to encourage students and recent graduates to take the leap and try to develop their own product.
To apply for the Prototype Fund, fill out this form. Applications are due before the 15th of every odd month.