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The mission of the RLCIE is to help prepare students to be thoughtful, productive, and responsible business leaders and innovators. The RLCIE Fellows Program prepares students to become innovative entrepreneurs through experiential learning, mentoring and networking. We work with practicing entrepreneurs, Claremont alumni and investors to deliver real-world content and experiences via workshops and seminars covering key topics faced by founders and joiners at innovative companies of all sizes.
Students that successfully complete the program’s requirements earn the designation of RLCIE Fellow.
The program is open to all majors and areas of study, and to all undergraduate students at CMC, Harvey Mudd, Pomona, Pitzer and Scripps, with a particular focus on 1st and 2nd year students. We encourage all students interested in business, tech, startups and innovation to apply.
Info Sessions for the RLCIE Fellows Program will be held on:
●     Friday, September 9th - 2:30-3:30pm
●     Wednesday, September 13th, 7-8pm
●     Thursday, September 21st, 12:15-1:15pm
●     Friday, September 22nd, 1-2pm
The benefits of becoming an RLCIE Fellows Candidate include:
●     Access to exclusive RLCIE Fellows Candidate workshops
●     Priority access to campus wide RLCIE events
●     Regular networking sessions with alumni active in the innovation economy
●     RLCIE Mentor Program eligibility
●     Potential to receive a stipend to help support an approved summer internship or a comparable experience that advances the RLCIE’s mission 
●     Fast-track admissions process for the Silicon Valley Program
●     Input on future workshop topics or specific professional development and networking sessions
●     Opportunities for paid roles on the RLCIE Student Leadership Team
●     RLCIE swag and social events
New RLCIE Fellows Candidates entering the program in AY23-24 will be bound by the following requirements:
1st Year CORE Requirements:
●     6 session on-boarding series spread during the Fall and Spring semesters. Each session will combine high-quality video storytelling and online interactive decision-making with in-person cohort discussion and activity sessions. Sessions focus on problem and solution identification and optimization, crafting a value proposition, target market discovery and product market fit, pivoting, raising money and exiting a business. (Session details and dates are below in the Application section)
●     1st Year Cohort Pitch Contest
●     Office Hours with RLCIE Executive Director Ron LaPierre
Additional Experiential Requirements:
●     Participate in at least 4 additional RLCIE-sponsored workshops, training or professional development sessions prior to graduation.
●     Internship: Complete an approved internship related to innovation and entrepreneurship. We are particularly enthusiastic about internships involving tech companies, startups, and incubators. Internships taken through INT 30 in the Silicon Valley Program count toward this requirement. 
●     Mentoring: Upperclassmen participate in mentoring more junior Fellows Candidates.
Academic Requirements:
Complete at least four approved courses that prepare students to be a thoughtful, productive, and responsible business leaders and innovators. There are many classes that can fulfill this requirement, and each student will work with the RLCIE’s Director Professor Darren Filson to identify classes that line up with their interests while fulfilling the program’s objectives.
Capstone Requirement:
Prior to graduation, students must complete both a written component and an oral presentation demonstrating substantial knowledge of innovation and entrepreneurship. Options to fulfill the Capstone requirement include one of the following: 
●     A senior thesis related to innovation or entrepreneurship or a comparable academic capstone such as a Team Masters Project, Clinic Project, Fintech Practicum, or DS 180 project. 
●     Explore a business or innovation opportunity in a rigorous way, and provide appropriate analyses including ingredients such as a market study, a business plan, or a description of a new product 
●     Consult extensively for businesses involved in innovation and entrepreneurship. Provide a document that summarizes the activities involved and results obtained.
●     A major research paper other than the thesis. This might be a paper from a course, an independent-study, or an internship, but can also be a paper completed solely to meet the RLCIE requirement.
●     At least one semester working part-time with a startup (normally this will occur through the RLCIE Startup Database), and provide a document summarizing the experience, contribution, and lessons learned. 
Freshmen, Sophomores, and Juniors from the 5Cs may apply during the Fall semester to be accepted into the RLCIE Fellows Program.
For the 2023-24 academic year, the deadline for submitting an application to join the Fellows Program is Sunday September 24 , 2023 at 11:55pm PST.
Applications should be submitted through Handshake.
Application Deadline: September 24, 2023 (11:55pm)
To apply, students must be in good standing
The written application should include a statement of demonstrated interest in innovation and entrepreneurship
In line with CMC’s mantra of “learn by doing”, the RLCIE takes a unique approach to students interested in joining the Fellows Program. Rather than making decisions based on an interview, all students that apply prior to the deadline and are in good academic standing will have the opportunity to earn their way into the Fellows Program.
Interested students must participate in the following 6-session onboarding series during the Fall and Spring semesters. Each session combines high-quality video storytelling and online interactive decision-making with in-person cohort discussion and activity sessions. The sessions are:
  1. Problem Identification - Friday, October 6 - 1-3pm
  2. Solution Identification & Optimization - Friday, October 27 - 1-3pm
  3. Value Proposition & Target Market - Friday, November 17 - 1-3pm
  4. Product Market Fit - Friday, February 9 - 1-3pm
  5. Raising Money - Friday March 1 - 1-3pm
  6. Pitch Deck Prep - Friday March 22 - 1-3pm
In addition to the onboarding series, interested students must participate in a cohort Pitch Contest that will be held on Friday April 19th and attend monthly office hours with the RLCIE’s Executive Director Ron LaPierre.
All students successfully completing the above requirements will become RLCIE Fellows Candidates.
Feel free to email Ron LaPierre at with any questions