Harvard has tremendous resources in its schools, institutions, students, and alumni. We believe there is no better place to study the liberal arts, business, design, law, medicine, engineering, and almost anything else. On our Cambridge campus you are one, at most, two degrees away from a world-class expert, field-defining faculty member, or soon to be an industry re-inventing founder.
There’s just one problem. Our schools, institutions, students, alumni, faculty and founders can live in silos around the school. We can all collaborate more and build proverbial and literal bridges across the river. Harvard’s leadership knows this, and so created the One Harvard vision and campaign (video), as well as various interdisciplinary centers and initiatives, like the i-Lab, Berkman Center, and Stem Cell Institute, to name just a few. We want to help accelerate this grand unification and cross-pollination on the ground by connecting schools and students and inspiring growth mindsets. In fact, we’ve been building bridges together for more than 5 years.
Xbootcamps bridges the intersections between schools, students, and faculty. It’s an experiment to accelerate “One Harvard” and increase the connective tissue between all of us by designing faculty and founder-lead, skill-building workshops and communities for entrepreneurial leaders. We aim to have Harvard graduates question default assumptions, take risks, and become entrepreneurial leaders in the private, public, and academic fields to improve the world, for this generation, and the next.
We see a future where Harvard graduates can embody and champion both a liberal arts mindset and an innovation mindset.
Xbootcamps can build bridges, share skill-sets, and change mindsets. This will not be easy and we need your help. We promise to:
1) Get out of the way. We help connect and design Xbootcamps, but they are all faculty and founder lead. After all, we can learn a great deal from experts who have mastered knowledge and skills through research and startup journeys, just like we can learn other skills from our peers..
2) Focus on quality and resourcefulness. These Xbootcamps, like Harvard, will be small, and demand dedication. Margaret Mead said it best: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
3) Evolve, and once we get it right dive head first into the unknown intersections. This is just a start and we will be heeding the advice we give our portfolio companies: to listen and learn carefully, and then evolve to solve the problem of our “users”; in this case the thousands of current and future students who pass through these gates to “Better thy country and thy kind” (link).
We are piloting the first iteration of an Xbootcamp, Building your Entrepreneurial Toolkit with HBS Professor Thomas Eisenmann, renowned for his pioneering teaching, research, and mentoring of Harvard founders. Tom will be joined by our team, HBS MBA Instructors, and distinguished guests from the world’s of venture, engineering, design, and entrepreneurship. Harvard Juniors and Seniors, please apply here.