Entrepreneurship

Do I need a specific idea already to join the Entrepreneurship Program?

Absolutely not. Some of the people attending the program have multiple ideas they are considering, but don't know which to pick. Some have no particular idea, but are passionate about something in their lives, and want to create a business around that passion. And, some just want to start a business and don't know where to begin.

So this is definitely not a requirement. In fact, it may be best to join with an open mind and see where it takes you.

Can I get funding for my idea?

If you have a truly “investible” idea, the InventiveLab Pitch Competition has investors funding the prize.

That said, InventiveLabs does not directly invest in the companies started during our entrepreneurship program. However, if your company requires funding to launch, we help you prepare a pitch deck for investors. For the right companies, we can also make introductions, but many of our teams work with friends and family for their initial round of funding. In the early stages, investors are investing in the individual(s) as much as the idea, so tapping your network usually makes the most sense. Once you have traction, angel investors will take notice.

What is the application process like?

We have a brief written application so that we can get to know you better. Spelling errors and typos are encouraged! Bullet points save us reading unnecessary fluff, but fluff if you must...

After reading your application, we will likely setup in person, or videoconference meetings to discuss potential goals while at the Lab. We want to make sure we can help you get to where you want to be or it is not in either of our best interests to have you join the Lab.

Is Housing Available?

There are various housing options within walking distance of the Lab. We have a relationship with the Residences of Riverwalk (http://bit.ly/2GPCNv3) where you can arrange short-duration leases (9 months, or in some cases 5 months). Riverwalk is a 0.6 mile walk making cars optional for those who are willing to use public transportation and walk in New England winters. Otherwise, a car is helpful.

In winter months, less expensive seasonal rentals are available in Salisbury and Hampton beaches. It is very quiet there in the winter and a car is required for that option.

How much does it cost for each session?

Program fees are charged for all programs except for the Pitch Competition. Contact us for pricing information.

For each program, if we help you start a business, we take a small "incubator-sized" equity stake in the business. We hope that you will someday be wildly successful and the lab will be able to continue to expand its offerings to continue with our social mission.

Is InventiveLabs accredited?

Interesting question. Being accredited would mean that we would have to offer scheduled classes with grades and evaluations. Our Inventives would effectively be students taking full course loads. That is what has not worked for many of them. Their learning here is guided personalized learning, not structured coursework. If we only offered a standard course offering, it is unlikely people would attend our programs in our demographic.

InventiveLabs will likely never be accredited - it simply does not match our mission. In fact, we believe it is part of the issue with our current educational system.  We could go on.... but we won't.

Can I use my 529 investment, or get a federally-funded student loan for InventiveLabs?

Unfortunately not yet. We are not an accredited institution and thus cannot qualify for student loans or 529 withdrawals. We will likely never be accredited (see the FAQ regarding accreditation) due to the conflict with our core mission.

There is legislation in the works that may allow people to convert their 529 plan to 529A plans for people with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act. ADHD, dyslexia and ASD qualify as a disability and would likely make InventiveLabs a fundable program. We are working closely with the State of Massachusetts on this legislation as it works it way through the approval process. It could be a long time though.