APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED FOR THE 2019/20 COHORT
THE WIN LAB ACCELERATOR:
Created by the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (CWEL) at Babson College, the #1 school for entrepreneurship in the world, the Women Innovating Now (WIN) Lab provides women entrepreneurs with an inspiring community and a rigorous, experiential process that catalyzes innovative thinking and enables them to successfully scale and transform businesses.
WIN Lab is a different kind of venture accelerator, one that broadens the possibilities for women entrepreneurs capable of making a dynamic economic impact. Throughout the five month experience, “WINners”—iterate their businesses, test concepts, and scale their ventures. You also get:
5 months of business curriculum, including Babson faculty and world-renowned pedagogy
One-on-one coaching for at least 1.5 hours each month
Strategic help from Mastermind Experts who have decades of experience in the C-Suite and on boards of global companies
Access to experts in a variety of industries and subject matter though office hours and workshop sessions
Milestones to hold you accountable to the goals you establish on day one
A cohort of women entrepreneurs who are experiencing the entrepreneurial journey with you
Scroll down to read our frequently asked questions and learn about what we look for in our applicants.
What the Founders Say:
"WIN unites 2 crucial things for us. First, the quality of an accelerator built by Babson College is unquestionable. Second, they understand the intersection of being an entrepreneur and a woman, helping us leverage our unique qualities and circumstances to achieve as much growth as any other entrepreneur, no matter what their gender."
- CityCatt Founders, 2018-2019 Cohort
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Interested in applying to the WIN Lab? Below are some frequently asked questions that we get during our application process. We encourage you to read them through and use them as a guide to determine whether the WIN Lab is the right fit for you as you grow your business.
Do you have to be a Babson College student or alumnae in order to apply?
How much does it cost? And do you take equity?
Nope! No equity and no program fees. The Lab is entirely free because Babson College is dedicated to empowering women entrepreneurs of all kinds.
How long is the accelerator?
The Lab kicks off in September and consists of 5-months of programming, with a few weeks off between December and January. Each cohort meets once a week for three hours in the evening. Once each month, the Lab will meet for a full day where you will walk through your business strategy with a group of mastermind experts and get feedback to move the business forward,
How many companies are in the accelerator?
Each city, Boston and Miami, takes up to twenty companies per year. While we could accept additional teams, we feel that 20 or below is the magic number when it comes to creating a cohesive community of entrepreneurs.
Will I receive seed funding?
We don't provide seed funding but we do present the WIN Lab entrepreneurs with opportunities to participate in pitch competitions and surround them with investors so that when they're ready to go after funding, those relationships have been established.
What does the program consist of?
The program kicks off with an intensive, overnight, retreat in the fall, where you get to know your fellow entrepreneurs and begin to dig into the content. After that, we meet each week for content sessions to discuss, and learn about, business topics that range from Thinking Big to Customer Acquisition to Financial Projections.
At the beginning of the program you will be asked to set goals for your business that you want to achieve by the end. Along the way, you will be asked to hit those milestones that you created for yourself and present to Mastermind Experts who will give you feedback and advice on the best way to move forward. These milestones are how we keep you accountable and provide benchmarks on your progress. You have to successfully complete each of these milestones in order to continue participating in the Lab.
In addition to content and accountability, we pair each entrepreneur with a coach for the duration of the program. Those coaches spend at least 1.5 hours with the WINners each month and are meant to be there to guide you in the right direction. We also surround you with ecosystem stakeholders who provide office hours and connections depending on what your needs are while in the program. More on that below.
Do you provide any kind of coaching or mentorship?
Yes! Each WINner gets matched with a coach for the duration of the program who is asked to spend at least 1.5 hours with you each month. They are there to act as less of a consultant and more of a guide as you build your business. These relationships are established during a speed networking event where coaches and WINners spend a few minutes with one another and then both parties select who they think would be the best match for them.
During our milestone presentations, we bring in our Mastermind Experts who have over 230 years of combined leadership and business experience to work with you on your strategy and execution plans to move your businesses forward. These individuals have spent years in the C-Suite and on boards of major global companies like Reebok, PaintNite, and Talbots.
We also surround WINners with various experts in a wide range of industries. From taxes and legal to operations and SEO, each city brings in additional stakeholders who want to share their expertise with the entrepreneurs who are in need of it.
How do I apply to the WIN Lab?
Click the apply button above to head to our third party application platform - F6S.
Do I have to have an existing business or can I have an idea that I want to launch while in the Lab?
We require that you have some "skin in the game" in order to participate in the program. While we LOVE people with a lot of passion and a great idea, WIN seeks businesses that are in at least the beta stage with a functioning prototype, a strong go-to-market strategy, and are positioned to scale. This will enable them to best leverage Lab resources. We are open to candidates that are later stage if they have a clear idea on how they will leverage the WIN experience.
Can male co-founders participate in the program? No, male co-founders are not eligible to participate in the Lab as we seek to curate a space for a community of female entrepreneurs to create and exchange ideas. As such, male co-founders do not need to participate in the application process. They do need to submit anything for the online application or attend any applicable interviews or Pitch Days during the selection process.
My founding team is made up of both women and men. Can I still apply?
Yes, however, the company should be majority owned by a self-identified woman or women. We are willing to evaluate exceptions on a case by case basis where, for example, the woman founder does not own a majority stake, but holds a C-suite position and drives the strategy and growth of the company.
If our company has multiple women co-founders, can we all participate in the Lab? For capacity reasons, WIN Lab only allows two co-founders from each company to participate in the Lab.
If I have a co-founder, do we both need to fill out an application?
We don't need each of you to fill out a separate application, but if both of you are hoping to be involved in the Lab then we need answers from each of you inside of one application. When you are inside of the F6S application you will see notes indicating where we need responses from both of you. This is only applicable to female co-founders. As mentioned above, male co-founders do not need to complete the application as they are not eligible to participate in the Lab.
If I have a co-founder, can we trade-off coming to the WIN Lab sessions?
Because we're so focused on building a cohesive and consistent community, anyone who applies and is accepted into the Lab will need to show up for every session. If both co-founders cannot commit, we suggest that one of you apply and commit to participating.
Are there other requirements to participate?
Yes! We're so happy you asked. In order to participate in the Lab you have to be the majority stakeholder in the business and drive strategic decisions. We want to make sure that you can immediately apply what you have learned and developed as you move through the accelerator. We also require that you show up to every weekly session because the community of entrepreneurs is one of the most important aspects of the program and we can't build the community without you in the room.
APPLICATION DEADLINES & FEES:
Please note that you do not have to be a Babson student or alumnae to apply to the WIN Lab. If you are able to commit to attending each weekly session, and meet the criteria listed below, you are welcome to apply!
April 8 to June 1 (11:59pm EST)
April 8: Applications Open
Head here to apply.
June 1: Applications Close at 11:59pm EST
All materials must be submitted by the deadline. Don’t forget your executive summary!
Semi-finalist interviews: Mid-to-late June
Applicants selected to move to the next round of admissions will be invited to participate in a 30 minute semi-finalist interview with a member of the WIN Lab team.
Finalist Interviews: Early July
Semi-finalist applicants selected to move to the last round of admissions will be invited to pitch in-person to a panel of esteemed experts. The top applicants will be selected for the 2019 - 2020 cohort.
WINners Notified: Week of July 23
Notifications will be sent to the 2019 - 2020 WIN Lab cohorts.
$50 until April 30, 2019 at midnight
$75 from May 1, 2019 until May 24, 2019 at midnight
$100 from May 25, 2019 until June 1, 2019 at 11:59pm EST
*fees are waived for current Babson students
Have more questions? Want to get an in-person idea of who we are and what we do? Join us for one, or all, of our WIN Lab info and content sessions, built to both increase your business knowledge and understanding for the WIN Lab Program.
Click on the image below to learn more and RSVP!
Can’t make an in-person session? Check out our virtual info session here!
Power as SheO
The WIN Lab is dedicated to catalyzing women founders who are passionate, committed, and want to build scalable ventures! These women will form part of a diverse cohort that will build their business as they accelerate their entrepreneurial journey as peers. Their potential and drive may speak louder than their business concept. We look at the entrepreneur and their potential, not only their traction to date.
Think Big Ventures
WIN is industry agnostic and curates cohorts that include products and services from all sectors. The accelerator is looking for well-vetted, scalable ideas, with a clear secret sauce and strong positioning in the market.
Timing is Everything
WIN seeks businesses that are in at least beta stage with a functioning prototype, a strong go-to-market strategy, and are positioned to scale. This will enable them to best leverage Lab resources. We are open to candidates that are later stage if they have a clear idea on how they will leverage the WIN experience.
Applicants should be ready to join and contribute to an entrepreneurial community. We are looking for founders that are willing to fully engage by committing time and energy to the program and their peers. WIN Lab provides its entrepreneurs with an immense amount of expertise, coaching, and resources, and we ask for commitment and contribution in return. Participants (WINners) are required to show up to weekly sessions, meet monthly milestones, provide feedback to their fellow founders, and operate with openness and transparency during the program.
Research shows that start-ups with co-founders are more likely to achieve early success and scalability. We seek founders that are part of strong, women-led, teams with co-founders and/or employees that are committed to venture growth (founder agreements must be submitted before entering the Lab). Solo founders that are actively seeking team members or have a strong organizational plan in place are encouraged to apply.