Paul Graham apparently doesn’t sleep. He has followed some of his recent musings on the venture industry and entrepreneurship with an idea: How about a summer camp for entrepreneurs? If you apply and are successful, you would move to Cambridge MA for the summer where you would work on your own company:
We give you enough money to live on for a summer, as with a regular summer job. You get to work on real problems, as you would in a good summer job. But instead of working for an existing company, you’ll be working for your own; instead showing up at some office building at 9 AM, you can work when and where you like; and instead of salary, the money you get will be seed funding.
It’s a blissfully nutty idea. After all, while it might be fun for the summer, what happens to your company when summer ends? Is it “Summer dreams ripped at the seams,” as Danny and Sandy said in Grease?
Well, Paul has an answer:
What happens at the end of the summer? That’s up to you. If you want, you can mothball or dissolve your startup, and no harm done. If you want to keep going and we think your company is promising, we’ll probably be able to help you get more funding.
Succeeding as a Summer Founder does not imply dropping out of school. If this summer’s experiment works, we may fund promising groups through several successive summers. Perhaps one day, instead of working at a series of unrelated summer jobs, ambitious undergrads will spend their summers building themselves a company, which they can then plunge into year-round when they graduate.
Will it work? I have no idea, but there is nothing else quite like it out there, so if it appeals to you then it’s worth a look.