Today, the Harvard Innovation Labs announced that the university innovation center awarded more than $330,000 in Spark Grants to nearly 300 ventures during the 2022-2023 academic year.
“One of our team’s ambitions over the last year has been scaling the Spark Grants program, which is often the first funding that early-stage ventures at the Harvard Innovation Labs receive as they work on building their ventures,” said Matt Segneri, Bruce and Bridgitt Evans Executive Director of the Harvard Innovation Labs. “We’re thrilled to have increased the number of ventures that received Spark Grants grew this year by about 50%, and we look forward to continuing to expand the program in the years to come.”
For Harvard students with a demonstrated commitment to and passion for a venture idea, Spark Grants enable them to fund a range of activities, such as building prototypes, testing minimum viable products, and conducting customer discovery. Spark Grants are awarded three times per year, during the fall, spring, and summer terms. Eligible students are awarded an initial grant of up to $750, and grants are distributed in increments of up to $5,000 in subsequent rounds.
“The i-lab workshops and the Spark Grant program have been game-changing resources to improve the process of creating our next product,” said Agustina Ollivier, Harvard Ed.M. ‘23 and co-founder of edtech startup Divermente. “We have already used part of the funding to conduct some of the demand validation activities we had planned. Here you can see some images of the workshop we organized with kids and families, which gave us invaluable insights to improve the prototype we are working on!”
Select Spark Grant recipients include:
1001 LinguaWays: Creating a VR education experience for students learning Spanish, which takes them on a virtual pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, as well as other important Latin American landmarks.
Arkanum Inc.: Empowering people to start youth programs across Africa.
BallotBox: Providing organizations with secure and easy online voting.
Buildoly: Helping homeowners plan, design, and build their renovation projects via an all-in-one-platform.
CareBand: Giving family members a better way to take care of dementia patients through an integrated hardware and software device.
dData: Developing a proprietary AI learning model that forecasts how key macroeconomic policy indicators are performing in real time.
DetoXyFi: Building drinking water technology for individuals and families affected by disasters and in need of drinking water.
Divermente: Making fun educational games that promote the development of foundational skills.
Enlace: Developing a socially-oriented, long-term housing application for foreigners moving abroad.
GarboCarbo Inc.: Capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and converting it into valuable byproducts.
Growbie: Unlocking career success for first-gen immigrants.
Harvest Moon Eats: Creating an Asian-inspired, healthy, and affordable restaurant chain in the U.S.
HiSolver: Building a learning social media platform, powered by generative AI.
The NRI Nation: A digital media company reporting on the global Indian diaspora population.
Neos Energy: Providing businesses simplified access to lower-cost, utility-scale solar power through virtual Power Purchase Agreements (vPPAs).
PeriPeach: Preventing severe birth tears with a safe and long-lasting perineal warm compress.
Remy: Developing the world’s first pair of stylish and functional heated gloves.
Seeing Hope: A team of indigenous rights activists, scholars, technologists, and scientists working to empower indigenous communities.
Stressie: Combining smart-detection, insightful tracking, and personalized interventions to help people better cope with stress.
TAPP: Offering a new passwordless login method for enterprises that eliminates phishing, which is responsible for 90% of all cyber breaches.
Testasy: Developing AI-enabled sperm testing for doctors.
Zeph: Creating a remote pulmonary rehabilitation platform for people suffering from respiratory discomfort and disease.