Be a part of StartUp Partners

StartUp Partners

Startup Partners (SUP) brings together entrepreneurs facing challenges with HBS Alumni with real-world experience to “crack the case” and put the startup on an accelerated path for growth

Over the course of two hours, entrepreneurs and HBS Alum dig into the business, discuss and debate approaches, and emerge with a clear set of recommendations and actions.

Startup Advisors

Are you an experienced but time-starved HBS Alum looking for a way to give back to the community and support startups?

Click the button below to learn more about being a SUP Advisor.

Entrepreneurs

Are you an entrepreneur with a challenge (or two) and want to getting outside perspective from experienced advisors?

Click the button below to learn more about how SUP can help

StartUp Advisors

Startup Partners is a high-touch, low commitment program embraced by HBS alums just like you who want to bring their seasoned business expertise to emerging business leaders and startups.

During SUP’s two-hour sessions, you’ll meet other HBS alums, connect with an entrepreneur, and share your industry knowledge and business-building experience.

SUP advises startups from various industries, including Healthcare, Finance, Real Estate and related services, Consumer Products, GreenTech, and more.

 

As an Advisor, you’ll help entrepreneurs:

  • Strengthen their business plans
  • Consider strategies for raising capitals
  • Focus their startup’s strategy & clarify customer pain points
  • Gain insights on product-market fit and scaling business
  • Refine their go to market plans

To be an Advisor, you must be:

  • A current member of HBSAB or willing to become a member before your first Startup Partners’ session
  • Available via Zoom from Noon to 2:00 pm ET Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday
  • Willing to do a bit of reading (usually a pitch deck) before your session
  • Excited to collaborate with and learn from up to 5 other HBS Alumni and members of a startup

To sign-up to be an Advisor and be notified of upcoming Startup Partners sessions

just click the “Become an Advisor” button below.

Entrepreneurs / Startups

Startup Partners is a high-touch, low commitment program embraced by entrepreneurs from various industries who want to tap into the expertise and wisdom of a highly experienced but temporary Board of Directors.

Startup Partners is open to all startups, not just those with a Harvard connection!

SUP advises startups from various industries, including Healthcare, Finance, Real Estate and related services, Consumer Products, GreenTech, and more. If you are in the early development stage (i.e., you have or can pull together a pitch deck) and seeking to build a scalable business, Startup Partners wants to help you!

As an entrepreneur, you can get help to:

  • Strengthen their business plans
  • Consider strategies for raising capital*
  • Focus their startup’s strategy & clarify customer pain points
  • Gain insights on product-market fit and scaling business
  • Refine their go to market plans

As an entrepreneur, when you sign-up for a SUP session, you commit to:

  • Submit a pitch deck, or similar document, with your application
  • Make yourself available via Zoom from Noon – 2:00 pm ET on a date that is mutually agreed upon by you and SUP
  • Meet with your session Facilitator at least once before your session to share the 1-2 challenges you would like to discuss during the session, review the session agenda, and align on expectations for the two-hour session
  • Send pre-read materials (e.g., updated pitch deck, other background info) to Jason Schrank at least 7 days before your session.
  • Show up and stay engaged and curious throughout the two-hour session.

To sign-up for a Startup Partners session,  just click the “Apply for a SUP Session” button below.

*Please note that SUP sessions are not for fundraising.  We are happy to advise you on a fundraising strategy, but these sessions are not for pitches and direct fundraising.

Entrepreneur Testimonials

Startup Partners was an incredible opportunity for us to test our thinking with a seasoned group of executives.

Especially for a founder in the climate space, it was helpful to test our assumptions with experienced leaders with diverse perspectives.

The mentorship that Startup Partners provides is a great resource for any entrepreneur seeking to sharpen their approach.

~ Sanchali Pal, Founder & CEO

This was a great time effective and high value use of my time. I recommend the program without reservations.

We worked with six relevant advisors, who read the materials ahead of time and we had a very collaborative working session on different go-to-market issues.

This was a great two hour working session on a top issue for the company.

~ Paul Baier, Founder

The advisors who joined our Startup Partners session offered valuable insight and feedback on our plans for growth.

The session came at the perfect time as Soofa is evaluating potential partnerships to scale existing markets and launch new markets.

Our leadership team found the session to be highly valuable – we came away with actionable advice and great connections.

~ Ed Krafcik, Co-Founder & VP

When the opportunity came to meet with a room full of HBS people to run our ideas by we jumped at the opportunity.

Making sure we had our messaging down was something that the Startup Partners helped set us in the right direction.

It’s a short two hours but a long version of what you can use to be successful in the future.

~Renee Fry, Founder

Startup Partners was a great opportunity to discuss our business model with a group of individuals from a diverse set of backgrounds and experiences

It was an excellent chance to better define our value proposition, examine our business model, and come away with concrete action items to implement as we continued to grow Patch.

~ Rachel Sanders, CEO

It was like having a high powered board meeting with 8 VERY smart people in 2 hours.

As an entrepreneur, it’s always good to get objective advice from a group who are not as close to the idea as I am.

I was also able to secure some connections that I’m confident will help move my business forward."

~ Robert Shapiro, Co-Founder

Startup Partners was an incredible opportunity for us to test our thinking with a seasoned group of executives.

Especially for a founder in the climate space, it was helpful to test our assumptions with experienced leaders with diverse perspectives.

The mentorship that Startup Partners provides is a great resource for any entrepreneur seeking to sharpen their approach.

~ Sanchali Pal, Founder & CEO

This was a great time effective and high value use of my time. I recommend the program without reservations.

We worked with six relevant advisors, who read the materials ahead of time and we had a very collaborative working session on different go-to-market issues.

This was a great two hour working session on a top issue for the company.

~ Paul Baier, Founder

The advisors who joined our Startup Partners session offered valuable insight and feedback on our plans for growth.

The session came at the perfect time as Soofa is evaluating potential partnerships to scale existing markets and launch new markets.

Our leadership team found the session to be highly valuable – we came away with actionable advice and great connections.

~ Ed Krafcik, Co-Founder & VP

When the opportunity came to meet with a room full of HBS people to run our ideas by we jumped at the opportunity.

Making sure we had our messaging down was something that the Startup Partners helped set us in the right direction.

It’s a short two hours but a long version of what you can use to be successful in the future.

~Renee Fry, Founder

Startup Partners was a great opportunity to discuss our business model with a group of individuals from a diverse set of backgrounds and experiences

It was an excellent chance to better define our value proposition, examine our business model, and come away with concrete action items to implement as we continued to grow Patch.

~ Rachel Sanders, CEO

It was like having a high powered board meeting with 8 VERY smart people in 2 hours.

As an entrepreneur, it’s always good to get objective advice from a group who are not as close to the idea as I am.

I was also able to secure some connections that I’m confident will help move my business forward."

~ Robert Shapiro, Co-Founder

Startup Partners was an incredible opportunity for us to test our thinking with a seasoned group of executives.

Especially for a founder in the climate space, it was helpful to test our assumptions with experienced leaders with diverse perspectives.

The mentorship that Startup Partners provides is a great resource for any entrepreneur seeking to sharpen their approach.

~ Sanchali Pal, Founder & CEO

This was a great time effective and high value use of my time. I recommend the program without reservations.

We worked with six relevant advisors, who read the materials ahead of time and we had a very collaborative working session on different go-to-market issues.

This was a great two hour working session on a top issue for the company.

~ Paul Baier, Founder

The advisors who joined our Startup Partners session offered valuable insight and feedback on our plans for growth.

The session came at the perfect time as Soofa is evaluating potential partnerships to scale existing markets and launch new markets.

Our leadership team found the session to be highly valuable – we came away with actionable advice and great connections.

~ Ed Krafcik, Co-Founder & VP

When the opportunity came to meet with a room full of HBS people to run our ideas by we jumped at the opportunity.

Making sure we had our messaging down was something that the Startup Partners helped set us in the right direction.

It’s a short two hours but a long version of what you can use to be successful in the future.

~Renee Fry, Founder

Startup Partners was a great opportunity to discuss our business model with a group of individuals from a diverse set of backgrounds and experiences

It was an excellent chance to better define our value proposition, examine our business model, and come away with concrete action items to implement as we continued to grow Patch.

~ Rachel Sanders, CEO

It was like having a high powered board meeting with 8 VERY smart people in 2 hours.

As an entrepreneur, it’s always good to get objective advice from a group who are not as close to the idea as I am.

I was also able to secure some connections that I’m confident will help move my business forward."

~ Robert Shapiro, Co-Founder

Startup Partners Alum Success

Former Startup Partner client, Joro, receives $2.5 million in seed financing

Congratulations to Joro, a March 2019 Startup Partner Alum, on their recent success! Joro is an app and community that helps people automatically track and improve their carbon footprints. We apply predictive analytics and AI to deliver tailored recommendations to reduce emissions, create a community to compare and share progress with others, and make it easy for people to buy carbon offsets and participate in the carbon economy.  Read the full article here!

Meet Our Advisors

More Advisors
Chesley Chen

Chesley Chen

MBA 1983

  • Healthcare, Life Sciences, Tech, Financial Services
  • Scismic, Benefunder, Good Measures,
    Warner Babcock, Gametime Media
Barbara Thornton

Barbara Thornton

MBA 1995

  • City Planning, Public Finance, Infrastructure, Local Government
  • Experience in ecommerce, fashion, retail, footwear, nonprofits
David Harris

David Harris

MBA 1984

  • Retail, Direct Marketing, Enterprise Software, Education, Nonprofits
  • Oracle, Symantec, Overland, Cambridge Sound Management
Robyn Bolton

Robyn Bolton

MBA 2005

  • CPG, Retail, Healthcare, Media & Cable, Innovation
  • Experience working with P&G, BCG, Innosight, multiple corporate startups
More Advisors
Stephanie Crimmins

Stephanie Crimmins

MBA 2000

  • CPG, Restaurant, Retail, Private Equity, Financial Services
  • Panera Bread, Fidelity Investments, Cocomama, The Dinner Daily
Ed Ellison

Ed Ellison

MBA 1991

  • Education expert
  • Experience working with Tufts University, St. Johns Country Day School, Roxbury Latin School, Milton Academy
Bern Bradstreet

Bern Bradstreet

MBA 1984

  • Software, SaaS, AI, Finance, M&A, Construction
  • BCB Consulting, ConstructSecure, Envox, Sonexis, Brooktrout Software
Charles Chassidy

Charles Chassidy

MBA 1983

  • Institutional Financial Services, Investments, Technology
  • State Street, Cambridge Associates, Lightkeeper, AlphaPipe, Adjoint