Today, the Harvard Innovation Labs announced that the university innovation center awarded more than $350,000 in Spark Grants to nearly 200 ventures during the 2021-2022 academic year.
“For founders that need a few hundred dollars to buy materials for a prototype, or a few thousand dollars to dedicate their summer months to building their ventures, Spark Grants provide the capital that can nurture innovative ideas and ventures at their earliest stages,” said Matt Segneri, Bruce and Bridgitt Evans Executive Director of the Harvard Innovation Labs. “Over the last year, we’ve doubled the number of Spark Grants awarded to ventures, and look forward to continuing to scale this incredibly valuable initiative in the years to come.”
For Harvard students with a demonstrated commitment and passion for a venture idea, Spark Grants enable them to reach the next stage of their development. These non-dilutive grants are distributed by the Harvard Innovation Labs in increments up to $5,000. Students use Spark Grants primarily for demand validation, through activities including low-fidelity prototyping, minimum viable product (MVP) testing, and customer discovery.
Recipients of Spark Grants include:
Free-Agency: Connecting businesses and athletes to facilitate endorsements in the NCAA.
Markita: A one-stop, AI-based digital marketing solution for Indonesian SMEs to help them digitize.
HarvestHaul: Building a digital marketplace for local farmers to sell direct-to-consumer, creating a fresher and more sustainable food shopping experience.
Juanita: End-to-end supply chain platform for the informal agricultural sector in Latin America.
Planet Bee: Making beekeeping with indigenous bees in the Amazon a collectively scalable industry to bolster a biodiversity-based economy.
Architecture, Construction, and Engineering
Buildoly: A two-sided marketplace that connects homeowners with architecture and engineering professionals.
Cardinal LCA: An early-stage digital tool for architects that analyzes the environmental impacts of design decisions.
Coastal Protection Solutions: Developing innovative structures that mitigate the effect of storm surge, sea level rise, and hurricanes.
Ghost Schools: An architecture nonprofit for developing schools in marginalized communities in Sudan.
Arts and Culture
Adaptive Art Technologies: Developing adaptive technologies with the purpose of providing alternative means of creative expression, particularly to people with disabilities.
Inlet: A web app to create and share interactive mood-boards with music, art, and writing to help people feel better.
Melody: An audio-based social media app that creates a space for small musicians to focus only on their music for music listeners to discover.
Speakden: Utilizing Natural Language Processing (NLP) to revitalize extinct or dormant American Indian and Alaska Native languages.
UAI: Bringing accessibility to artificial intelligence and machine learning for creatives through a streamlined, node-based stand-alone app.
Uncubical: Introducing arts programs to help companies reduce employee turnover, reduce stress, and improve productivity.
Biotech and Life Sciences
Acurasset Therapeutics: Developing a cure for Hepatitis B virus that could rid patients of the virus within months.
Blue Ocean Therapeutics: Developing therapeutics and diagnostics for an array of rare diseases.
COOLR: A cooling device wrapped around athletes’ temperature-sensitive spots to lower internal body temperature and thus avoid overheating.
DoriVac : Developing therapeutic cancer vaccines and preventive infectious disease vaccines using a DNA nanotechnology platform called DNA origami.
Eranostix: Introducing already existent tests and treatments to Bangladesh and beyond, before developing new ones.
Experiment: ResearchToDate: A place to find accurately curated summaries about research in one’s field and ideas of what could or needs to come next for medical discoveries.
FORAY bioscience: Creating a future where wood-based products can be generated without cutting down a single tree.
Ilios Therapeutics: Developing multi-target molecules to counter neurodegenerative diseases.
Limax Biosciences: Developing a degradable adhesive hydrogel to augment vascular reconstruction and serve as a hemostatic agent in advanced bleeding scenarios.
ling.ai: Using a language-specific speech processing algorithm to detect developmental language disorders for underserved, non-native English speakers.
Tula: A digital femtech platform that delivers personalized, actionable, and data-driven recommendations for women to balance their hormones.
Bambi: Providing a better toy experience to kids and their parents by renting educational toys on a subscription basis.
Tireswing: Addresses the lack of representative role models for much of American youth by offering inspiration from similar individuals via brief video messages.
Consumer Products and Packaged Goods
Belle House (fka Clean Bee): Offering truly clean skincare: clean, clinical formulations in clean, plastic-free packaging for Mother Earth.
CassVita Inc.: Inventing a novel technology for increasing the shelf-life of cassava, a nutritive but rapidly deteriorating tuber, from three days to 18 months.
Gravitas Innovation Labs: Creating an immersive VR app at the intersection of entertainment and education, immersing people into new worlds to explore, learn, and play.
Marble: Using barcode scanning and AI to empower consumers to make informed purchases by providing carbon footprint estimates for food products.
Muva: Sticking motors on sleek, personal grocery carts to transfer the effort of transporting heavy items from their shoulders to our product.
Swing Chair: Producing an affordable ergonomic chair for home offices for distribution over the internet.
Trove Market: Diverting excess shelf-stable, packaged food away from landfills and into consumers’ homes.
Apoth: A behavior change platform that improves mental health outcomes by facilitating client engagement, tracking behaviors, and analyzing trends.
BLiNK: A mobile app that aims to make eye care and ocular hygiene accessible, affordable, and personalized.
Care.Fully (Previously Hous): A digital health directive that helps families craft their long-term care plan so adults can safely age in place within their homes.
CBOH, Inc.: Share health statuses with those you choose: businesses, friends, and partners.
ClimateVision: Using sensor technology and data visualization software to visualize pollutants in real time and AI/ML to predict future concentration and flow patterns.
Feather Health: Providing a safe and accessible healthcare platform to people who battle chronic pain, by providing a community-driven and personalized treatment.
HEAL Innovations, Inc.: An interactive website that guides survivors of sexual abuse to heal with personal analytics, host videos, and expert testimonials.
Helthy: Helping people with prediabetes and diabetes grocery shop smarter.
Lightfoot: Using object recognition and machine learning to streamline product recommendations and adoption of aging-in-place home modifications.
LiveFully: Delivering holistic post-operative care service to improve patients’ quality of life and reduce readmissions.
Maisha Mema: A telehealth platform that will provide access to global quality healthcare services to Kenyans resulting in reduced morbidity and mortality.
MedAlly: A patient-centric health information platform that allows individuals to easily view, share, and manage their health records.
NuTree: Tackling the nutritional challenges faced by Mauritians suffering from diabetes by providing them with on-demand personalized nutrition information.
Octopus AI: Automated object segmentation and labeling for medical images.
One Therapeutics: A digital therapeutic for insomnia that allows patients to install a mobile app that guides them through a multi-week clinical program for better sleep.
Puzzles Health: An eldercare planning platform to help families plan their loved ones’ aging across medical, home care, financial, and legal responsibilities.
Sanitas: Connecting patients in emerging markets with doctors abroad for high-quality telehealth consultations.
Sound Medical Advice (SMA): Helping patients get answers to non-emergency health questions by connecting them to primary care doctors on a convenient app-based platform.
Appregator: Helping Shopify merchants maximize the potential of their stores through technology.
E-Deen: An online marketplace to facilitate B2C trading of Halal goods and services in north America.
Kleek: An online platform designed to make online shopping for coffee fun, informative, and social.
Metaphi: A low-code platform for developers to build Web3 products.
PRICE/WAR: Allowing merchants to give promotions to consumers based on their purchase history.
Reexpress AI: Providing enterprise software for AI safety and auditing, enabling teams to analyze, interpret, and update their deep neural networks and datasets.
Sunrise: A hassle-free digital platform to provide solar and storage for every house in Latin America.
Zesti: A social application that helps college students connect with each other, find things to do near campus, and save money at the same time.
Education and Learning
ARTivism Collective: Partnering with schools and organizations to implement liberatory and arts-informed programming.
COEUSTHOTH: Developing and supporting community and media-based learning enrichments, through excellence and innovation unto equity, diversity, and inclusion.
Fiera LLC: A fierce organization centered on girls and womxn of color; impacting through confidence building, uplifting their voices, and finding inner power.
Fihriya Foundation: Creating role models by enabling high performing girls in low-income Indian Muslim communities to access and navigate quality higher education.
Financial Inclusion Fridays: Empowering the next generation of ESG and impact-oriented diverse talent.
Futures of Education: Creating picture books that center global educational issues to promote students’ participation in creating solutions through the arts.
Karma Scientifica: Placing young scientists in research environments that fit them to reduce the number of talented students that leave science due to workplace toxicity.
Knowledge to Enable Your Success (KEYS): Developing Caribbean youth into change agents and leaders through innovative programs geared at achieving collective literacy and a sustainable region.
MAGIZ: Offering an AI-powered virtual assistant that personalizes workplace skilling and supports the performance of new hires and promotions.
Oboot: An online sustainability-focused education platform that curates unique virtual encounters between kids and today’s real-world changemakers.
PQ | Planet Intelligence: Supporting communities engaged in local climate change mitigation solutions.
Project X: A soft skills training platform that equips and empowers Chinese teens to become cross-cultural bridge builders.
Sanskrit Literary Heritage Project: Translating all branches of non-Buddhist Sanskrit texts into modern language and making this archive of human wisdom accessible to modern readers.
Slam Out Loud: Using the visual and performing arts to enable children from disadvantaged backgrounds to find their voice.
Spencer, the Imagination Bus: A nontraditional classroom designed to motivate students in underserved communities through experiential learning.
Spotlight Peru: Facilitating language acquisition and leadership development through performing arts training to youth in Lima, Peru.
Synses Designs: Providing 3D printed models perceptible by the sense of touch. These models are used to improve access to STEM education for students with disabilities.
Tropical Foundation: Offering personalized mentorship programs led by senior scientists around the world to STEM students from Latin America.
Archive DAO: A decentralized autonomous organization that sources, archives, and shares literature with zero access barrier, powered by Web3 infrastructure.
basys.ai: Using artificial intelligence for better chronic disease management.
Chrysalis Streaming Inc.: An educational streaming company that produces culturally relevant STEM videos that supplement classroom instruction.
Code Your Chances: Introducing young girls to the creative uses of computer science and how they can apply their unique creativity to tech.
Finterest: Providing middle schoolers with digital financial literacy learning experience by engaging them in interactive content and games.
FoodNiche-ED: A community-centric platform where students can engage, compete, and learn to create a healthier future through nutrition education.
Lucky Learning: An interactive arts-based mobile and web application that uses tap dance to build students’ literacy and math skills.
Mission: Mentor: Using data to empower people to make better decisions, starting with college admissions.
MOVZ: The first app that uses pose estimation computer vision to provide a game-like experience when learning popular dances.
PetterPaws: Empowering pet parents to train their dogs with ease and convenience by building a mobile-first training product that is customizable and bite-sized.
ProDream Education: Improving access to higher education for community college students.
Quidio: The knowledge marketplace where users can ask a question, add a bounty, and get a great answer.
Salmooc: Building an interactive, online platform to learn subjects with case studies relevant to your industry.
Schooltime Hairiette: A story-driven, mobile educational pilot program for low-income children, ages 5-8.
Space Academy: An EdTech platform to inspire and educate non-aerospace students and professionals with earth and lunar satellites and VR technologies.
SPARK (Sparking Possibilities in America through Relationships and Knowledge): SPARK is the GitHub of education curriculum that allows educators to collaborate across geographies in developing lesson plans and class materials.
Structal: An engagement toolkit for teachers.
Todaydream: Providing an online platform for schools, nonprofits, and families to enlist diverse leading professionals who share their stories and empower youth.
UCNLEARN: Empowering teachers to deliver reading intervention effectively using a tablet for learning one-on-one, in groups, and independently.
URecruit: A one-stop-shop for students to access and apply to college.
Xtory: A personalized and immersive platform for medical sale training.
Yas: A language learning app that uses AI to create brain-friendly and adaptive learning experiences.
Employment, Recruiting, and Workforce Development
The Arch: An adaptable career-management platform that optimizes individual and team productivity through better communication, engagement, and rewards.
Archnetwork: Assisting architecture students to prepare and find internships and the firms find the right fit.
Larsen: Facilitating feedback between co-workers and delivering dashboard for managers to gain visibility into their teams’ wellbeing.
Pathlight: Building an AI-powered hiring platform that helps jobseekers break into tech and helps companies source and vet that diverse talent.
R-Target: A professional social media platform with the aim of matching employers with employees in an innovative way.
Energy, Oils, Renewables, and the Environment
Beam: Offering an efficient heating solution for people in hard-to-heat places through a targeted, user-aware, focused beam of heat.
FirstGeo: Helping mining industry stakeholders research and monitor the sector with a live map of spatially referenced news, market, social, and technical data.
Madad, Inc.: Creating an avalanche early warning system to help save the lives of mountainous communities in southeast Asia that are at risk due to climate change.
Mineral Forecast: Drill hole targeting solution that dramatically improves drilling success for mining exploration teams using data they already produce today.
TechNotes: The central idea is to build an authoritative, collaboratively developed online library of detailed, practical information about engineering and tech.
Fashion, Beauty, Apparel, and Retail
Eclair: A sustainable, fashion-forward maternity brand designed for women that want to look and feel their best before, during, and after pregnancy.
Embody: A platform to help users understand their fashion behavior, consumption, and usage patterns.
Timble: A sustainable clothing app that provides a platform and network for designers, tailors, and fabric manufacturers, creating a circular fashion supply chain.
tys, LLC: Providing time-pressed women with the easiest way to book a manicure.
7Gen Bank, a native Community Development Bank: A pre-seed stage Native CDFI aimed at solving the 16.5% unbanked and underbanked problem in Indian Country through financial inclusion.
Agora: Aiming to digitalize physical items in order to efficiently transfer valuable assets.
aimie.ai: Predicting the success of an early-stage venture by using artificial intelligence based on millions of data points.
Alts for Retail: Providing alternative investments access to retail investors.
Astor: Aiming to help people better understand their investments and both consume and share investment ideas systematically.
BlockConnect: Developing technology to auto-generate smart contracts for minting NFTs and support for integration into web applications.
CashEx: A currency exchange platform that leverages AI to help migrants transfer money with zero fees.
CleanVille: Democratizing energy by empowering retail investors to access renewable energy and cleantech projects.
Cling: An app that allows the casual investor to manage a group securities portfolio with friends and family without forming an LLC or violating SEC regulations.
DebtPe: “Build Now Pay Later,” a fintech company disrupting the age-old, unorganized construction and building material industry by introducing easy EMI.
EarthQuake: Helping millennials investing in companies that fit their values.
Guidely: Building a tech-enabled marketplace for fee-only financial advisors.
Impact Advisory Network: Discovering, mentoring, and securing funding for entrepreneurs that operate early-stage, tech-enabled social impact businesses.
SAGA: The equity crowdfunding platform offering investors NFT-nested share certificates with enhanced liquidity.
Share Crop: Microlending and financing, social networking, education, and sales all centered around local plots of land, utilized similarly to a community garden.
Fitness and Sports
Hyaku: A sports debate app.
Spotr: Developing a social fitness app to make weight training and workout tracking simple, social, and fun.
WurQ: Combining wearable technologies and AI to seamlessly monitor strength training activities for personalized guidance and progress visualization.
Food & Beverage
1661 Schmid Family Vineyards: Producing sustainable wine.
Hotpot: An online marketplace that allows passionate cooks at home to open an “underground restaurant” at home and sell their food.
Jasper Cocktails, Inc.: Maker of zero-proof cocktails intended for drinkers and nondrinkers alike.
Snappea: A network of fridges located in convenient community locations that brings discounted produce to those experiencing nutrition insecurity.
Government and Civic Engagement
Aditum: Improving access to justice by providing unprivileged populations with access to data and information to navigate legal challenges.
City Voice: An e-democracy citizen engagement platform that enables governments for more inclusive, participatory, and data-driven decision-making.
Civic Roundtable: Reimagining the future of government collaboration, starting with the needs of frontline practitioners, through a social and expert network.
Design Kindness: Teaching and supporting NGOs to leverage human-centered design to amplify their impact to vulnerable populations and create more sustainable solutions.
Dunbar Amalgam: A social media platform that helps people build community in small groups based on their differences instead of their similarities.
Incubadora Míticas: An incubator for young women in Mexico to increase their political participation and the representation of their interests in decision-making processes.
Place AI: Combining human behavior analysis and civic engagement to help cities better manage their parks.
TUKA labs: An innovation hub using actionable data to empower innovators and promote investments in frontier markets, especially in Africa.
VRNE: Collecting publicly available, street-level data and applying artificial intelligence to transform the data into usable city governance applications.
Allo Health: Building a platform to simplify the complexity of caregiving at home, starting with the elderly and those with critical illnesses.
AugMend: A virtual metaverse platform using VR, blockchain, and clinical psychiatrists to create the next generation virtual mental health platform.
Bemlo: A healthcare recruitment platform.
Choice Care: An R&D psychotherapy clinic that delivers consistent, high-quality care while improving models of treatment.
Dear Mémé: A date-driven, semi-customized activity subscription kit service for seniors with dementia and their caregivers.
FollowUp Health, Inc.: Ensuring patients understand their visit and discharge plan.
Frontdoor Health: Curating health products for our users based on their unique health information, giving them the ad dollars healthcare companies spent to acquire them.
Homecare Connector: An AI-powered marketplace that matches patients seeking home nursing with qualified nurses who meet their specific needs.
Ken Health: Helping children take care of their aging parents.
MUSE Biomedical, LLC: MUSE Biomedical develops medical devices and data-driven diagnostic tools to prevent opioid addictions.
Myspeech: A marketplace connecting people who stutter with resources across speech therapy and community.
Otoll: Improving access to mental health and wellbeing services to university students in Bangladesh through leadership clubs.
RDonCall: A telehealth venture that provides online personalized nutrition and mental counseling for menopause management.
riinx: A digital platform that integrates patient and provider experience making it safer, simpler, and more affordable for patients to get facial injectables.
Symbiosis Health: Leveraging computer vision to augment and automate the decision-making process for ophthalmologists to improve outcomes for patients.
Media and Publishing
Ariya Labs: A video platform for learning in augmented reality.
Contaq.io: A web-scraping SaaS that allows B2B agencies to automatically find verified, direct decision-maker emails of relevant leads in any niche.
Coul: An event-orientated social platform for everyone to connect with “cool souls” through creating, joining, and evaluating events.
The NRI Nation: A news network catering to the Non-Resident Indian (NRI) population worldwide, covering the local and international NRI community.
The Referendum: A media brand that will curate arguments from across the web and allow users to vote on which side won the debate.
Privy: A digital solution that enables people to take, own, share, and protect their nude or semi-nude photographs from widespread dissemination.
SciQuel: Creating and publishing original content made by scientists—articles, podcasts, infographics, and videos—for non-technical audiences.
Personal Health and Wellness
Fairshare: A mobile solution for couples to improve relationship health and happiness at home by sharing chores fairly through planning, practice, and praise.
Freedom Cups: Getting reusable menstrual products to women through a buy one, give one model that allows us to work with underprivileged communities.
Somn App: Using sleep and performance tracking to help users get the most out of their day by building healthy habits and improving sleep hygiene.
Sonder: A truly social, social media that facilitates face-to-face conversations among strangers by lowering social barriers in public Sonder Zones.
Willow Health: A wellness-as-a-service software platform utilizing mood and biometric data to improve cognitive health and stress resilience in students.
Public and Global Health
DetoXyFi: Aiming to provide everyone with access to clean drinking water by commercializing low-cost, natural, comprehensive water filtration devices.
Residents Abroad: An online platform facilitating international rotations for doctors around the globe.
Real Estate and Housing
eHomeowner: Empowering first-time homebuyers with bias-free financial, legal, and informational tools.
Epterra: A proptech social enterprise that assists first-time homeowners with the capital and tools necessary to enter the real estate market.
The Factory: A curated clubhouse and collaborative co-living space for the creative community.
Gold Coast Homes: Making the process of homeownership accessible and easy for Africans of the diaspora by educating them on how to build a house.
RESE: Letting people invest in real estate just like in stocks, buying property shares from your phone with as little as $25 and earning from rent and appreciation.
Tangeble: Enabling homeownership by only purchasing a fraction of a home, making homeownership accessible to all.
Yay Victor: Allowing homeowners to receive an above-appraised value return on their properties by enabling qualified gamers to pay to compete to win the homes.
Confiance: A B2B services marketplace.
DeepInsights: An enterprise knowledge engine that unifies and comprehends disparate, disconnected, multimodal data and generates insights to assist PMs in decision making.
Dibs!: A platform for food sharing within trusted communities and small businesses.
MediFare: A search engine for healthcare prices.
SustainaCode: A platform that simplifies the buying process, creates trends, and increases overall consumption for sustainable products.
Vilij: Enabling financial access to underserved communities in Barbados, through micro-loans.
Transportation and Logistics
Garage Mobility: An online marketplace for auto parts and servicing in Africa.
Veikul: A mobility-as-a-service company that offers vehicle subscription plus community-based sharing, solving the first and last mile problem of many cities.
Travel, Tourism, and Hospitality
Raho: A hospitality chain that provides quality space and service by renovating and managing homes / apartments that have been leased from property owners.
Scout Massachusetts: Organizing outdoor adventure competitions emphasizing local exploration.