This spring, the Harvard Innovation Labs is welcoming more than 1,300 student innovators and entrepreneurs from across all 13 Harvard schools. Approximately half of these students are working on 674 ventures, while the other half are at the idea stage of their innovation journeys. Today, the Harvard Innovation Labs is also announcing the 134 ventures selected as semi-finalists for the 2023 Harvard President’s Innovation Challenge.
“From reimagining water filters to addressing generational poverty to improving patient care, the breadth of ideas and array of challenges our students are tackling is astonishing,” said Matt Segneri, Bruce and Bridgitt Evans Executive Director of the Harvard Innovation Labs. “Our staff and global network of advisors are truly honored to work with these 1,300+ extraordinary students from across the University as they move their ideas and ventures forward this spring.”
The Harvard Innovation Labs student members have access to a range of supports — including expert advisors, workshops, social events that encourage connection and community building, and resources for ideating and building products and services. Members can participate in one of three offerings:
- Explore for individuals at an early stage of ideation or venture formation, as well as those interested in joining an existing venture.
- Test for founders who are at the stage of customer discovery, working on MVPs, and validating their product or service.
- Propel for ventures that are focused on their business model, customer creation, team growth, and fundraising.
Of the 674 student-led ventures participating in the Harvard Innovation Labs spring membership programming, 134 were chosen as semi-finalists for the President’s Innovation Challenge, a call to action for students and select alumni pursuing ventures that push boundaries in their fields. In May, finalists will compete for part of $515,000 in prizes, funded entirely by a generous gift from the Bertarelli Foundation.
Below is the list of 134 President’s Innovation Challenge Semi-finalists across four student tracks (Health & Life Sciences; Open; Social Impact; and Ingenuity).
Health & Life Sciences
The Health & Life Sciences Track is open to any team improving the efficacy of healthcare services, including therapeutics, devices, healthcare, and digital health. Projects may address a wide range of issues, from improving access to care to realizing the potential of personalized therapies.
AiNaDoctor Inc.: Building AI-assisted cloud services for dentists to manage patients’ diagnoses and treatment designs, documentation, and insurance information.
Alvus Health: Developing a target identification and drug discovery platform by AI and high-throughput patient-derived organoids.
ARTyx: Developing an innovative RNA therapeutic platform for cancer treatment with an initial focus on breast cancer.
AugMend: A data-driven virtual reality therapy platform leveraging bio-feedback and AI to unburden clinicians, prevent relapses, and increase the standard of care.
BonePixel: Leveraging existing clinical data to assess hip health for personalized diagnosis and treatment planning using AI and 3D simulation.
BRIDGE: An AI-powered matchmaking service connecting patients ready for discharge from hospitals with care providers in their communities.
Cell BioEngines: A therapeutic platform pioneering off-the-shelf, cell-based medicine by massproducing highly potent immune cell states.
COLLOGH CARES INC: Helping healthcare providers, patients, and payers to improve the management of chronic kidney disease and prevent (or delay onset of) kidney failure.
Dart Biosciences: Developing personalized gene therapies for an array of rare and common diseases.
DoriVac (DNA Origami Vaccine): A biotech startup developing novel cancer treatments using DNA nanotechnology.
eyeMage: A handheld device that allows for noninvasive, quantitative assessment of potential corneal surface disease or injury.
Go Healthy & Co: Combining psychology and artificial intelligence to deliver tailored psychological interventions through a smartphone application using a chatbot.
HEIO Biotechnology: Building a human immune organ-mimicking system as a platform for therapeutic antibody discovery.
Ilios Therapeutics: Creating molecular, Trojan horse entities optimized to cross the blood-brain barrier and target multiple pathways involved in neurons’ death.
InConfidence: A smart patch technology that delivers at-home posterior tibial nerve stimulation to treat urinary incontinence and overactive bladder.
Kiikter: A low-cost snack fortified with key micronutrients to improve children’s nutrition and reduce anemia.
Mansarover Inc.: Using multiscale deep learning methods to design and validate novel, longevity-promoting drugs.
MEDICIPHER: AI-enabled clinical billing automation and data mining.
miniDia: A portable device quantifying multiple biomarkers for precise disease diagnosis and monitoring via smartphone imaging and analysis.
Minka: A tech-enabled staffing marketplace matching allied health professionals with the right role and the right employer.
Mobile Memory: Harnessing the power of AI to detect early signs of dementia via speech analytics.
Modulate Bio: Developing innovative therapies for patients with central nervous system (CNS) disorders, by applying novel drug design concepts to validated targets.
NeoDrain: Developing a medical device that prevents accidental dislodgement of drainage catheters.
neumind ltd: Helping digitize neurorehabilitation for people living with neurological conditions or injuries such as post stroke, brain injury, and dementia.
Neurobionics: Neural interfacing technology that seamlessly bidirectionally connects muscles and nerves to devices for control and therapy.
PeriPeach: Improving the comfort and care of birthing people.
Prompt eCare: A virtual oncology platform improving patient survival by rapid evaluation, treatment, and enhanced care coordination at a lowered cost.
Renal regenerative therapy: Using plasma and stem cells to regrow kidney tissues in patients with chronic kidney disease.
Rheoxtech: Creating a patent-protected platform that acts as an adjunct to enhance coronary flow and recovery of the heart during serious heart attacks.
SomaCode: A high-throughput, in vivo platform technology helping deliver therapeutic cells to their targets within the body.
Willow Health: A precision brain health monitoring (digital biomarkers from mobile devices) and intervention platform.
Zeph: A device and remote pulmonary rehab platform for training respiratory function and enhancing disease management.
The Open Track is open to a wide array of enterprises, selling to businesses and/or consumers. Popular industries include but are not limited to: education technologies (whether selling to government, schools, or families), finance, e-commerce, information technology, Web3, consumer products, food and beverage, and virtual and augmented reality applications.
Accessible Bio: Building a B2B platform that enables industry biologists to run machine-learning workflows at a low cost and without being AI experts.
AllStreet: Providing access to private funds — private equity, venture capital, real estate — for the currently excluded retail investor.
Amble: A mid-term rental platform for curating novel, flexible housing for tenants and providing landlords with greater profitability and security.
Anemone: An alternative to LinkedIn dedicated to cultural and creative industries.
Archnetwork: Providing architecture students and new graduates with a virtual interactive platform to connect with firms for internships.
Astor: A community-based portfolio monitor helping retail investors understand their portfolio and create their own investment theses.
Autoguardias: Automating the allocation of medical shifts at hospitals based on requirements and individual preferences.
Autumn Labs: A data platform helping hardware engineers collect, organize, and analyze test data.
Bard Books: Creating more inclusive and personalized content through artificial intelligence.
Blend: Connecting influencers with brands to create more lucrative partnerships.
bloss.m: Combining community, education, and technology to empower women and girls to discover and achieve purpose.
BoldShapes: Designing and selling plus-size wardrobe staples.
Buildoly: An all-in-one platform helping homeowners plan, design, and build their renovation projects.
Calypso: A simple, conversational recruiting solution for automating, screening, scheduling, and onboarding new recruits via WhatsApp.
Cambridge Terahertz: Securing schools and other vulnerable locations with portable radar imaging.
Cherish: A subscription kit service designed to educate and provide a lifeline to caregivers, families, and loved ones with dementia.
Coastal Protection Solutions, Inc.: Designing easily deployable and affordable systems that mitigate the effects of climate change (flooding and storm surge) on coastal communities.
DeepInsights: An AI-first meeting intelligence platform making meetings more efficient and productive.
DetoXyFi: Building next-generation household drinking water filters that are sustainable, affordable, and highly effective.
dGo-on: Providing organizations a unique digital voting solution that makes ballot secrecy unhackable and helps voters gain trust by self-verifying their counted ballot.
Earthbond: Taking retail energy demand and coupling it with a user’s financial profile to qualify and offer financing for top quality solar in Nigeria.
ENABL: A knowledge-sharing mentorship platform that automates a significant amount of the mentoring and learning process.
FanCoin: Enabling sports teams in developing economies to increase fan engagement via tiered membership benefits such as fractional ownership of teams.
Focus Debate Academy: Teaching students public speaking and debating.
Girlboss Gatekeep Gaslight: The Game: An engaging and self-aware card game for parties and playing with friends and folks you are just getting to know.
Growbie: The first personal development platform for immigrants in America that teaches power skills like networking through courses, coaching, and community.
Guise Medical: Producing customizable, toy-like syringe covers (e.g., turtle, butterfly) to alleviate children’s fear of needles.
HiSolver: Offering Gen Z students a platform to build learning communities powered by an oracle AI helping them share knowledge and learn faster.
Hydra Pops: Making healthy, hydrating electrolyte popsicles without all the nonsense (added sugars, dyes, and harmful ingredients).
idTeach: Quantifying the impact of emotions and interactions in the classroom and offering tailored feedback and coaching for a better education.
iN2DEGREE: Using sustainable materials that minimize the impact to the environment and embrace the power of natural material.
Inclusively.ai: The first AI enterprise communication tool that roots out biased language by providing real-time actionable insights for teams.
Kismet: Discovering novel materials for carbon capture and inventing the perfect molecules for removing CO2 from our air.
Klexion: A marketplace that digitalizes the reselling process of physical, valuable items.
Lawyers Near Me PH (“LNM PH”): Using online platforms to connect potential clients to competent lawyers based on their legal needs and location.
Ledger Research: A marketplace for researchers to connect with participants across language and cultural barriers.
M7 Health: Building a workforce management platform for hospitals to make nursing jobs more sustainable and attractive amid record nursing shortages.
Mercor: Recruiting and connecting talented students at globally underutilized engineering schools with midsize companies and startups.
MintStars: Helping creators and models earn more, protect their content, and reduce burnout with the world’s first NFT subscription platform.
Northwood Space: A hardware product significantly expanding the orbits and frequency ranges available from the ground for satellite communications.
Nuzzle Technologies, Inc.: Helping veterinary clinics get, process, and manage patient electronic medical records in a software-agnostic manner.
Oban Market: A microfinance marketplace and education platform empowering microfinance borrowers in Nigeria with the best loan plans and financial literacy.
Order Zone: A one-click, template-based, customizable solution for SMBs in India to easily transition to technology for operations (inventory, orders, payments).
Pears: Enabling remote workers to live in different cities throughout the year at cheaper rates than their typical lease.
Penguin.ai: Helping creative marketing teams generate unlimited visual assets (e.g., images and videos) using generative AI models.
Ream: Enabling authors to monetize their readers through a monthly subscription in exchange for early access to their stories and an exclusive community.
Saafwater | TechXcl India Pvt. Ltd.: An Al-loT platform monitoring water quality in real-time to forewarn anomalies and suggest purification recommendations to improve them.
SideStreet: Enabling healthcare’s next labor force — Community Health Workers (CHWs) — to care for patients.
StartMyName.com: Building fast, simple, and affordable template-based websites via automated tech for SMEs in developing regions that otherwise would not go online.
Stochastic: Building a software platform that enables access to the most difficult AI models for enterprises.
TAPP: Offering a new, password-less login method for enterprises that eliminates phishing — which is responsible for 90% of all cyber breaches.
Taste of Kenya: Disrupting the supply chain and bypassing five levels of middlemen, by directly linking Kenyan coffee farmers with coffee buyers.
The NRI Nation: A digital media company focusing on journalism for and about the global Indian diaspora population.
Twenty Team, Inc.: Giving young adults the mentors, skills, and resources they need to navigate their twenties — in work and in life.
Uncubical: Providing a pause for overworked employees to recenter with step-by-step breathwork and wellness programs.
Urbane: A talent platform connecting senior operators to high-growth companies starting with project-based work.
Veritel Energy Decarbonize: Providing multi-family properties with renewable energy to provide a healthier environment in at-risk communities.
Vocadian: A voice-based circadian diagnostic and management platform for better sleep, performance, and holistic health.
Youth Investors Corp: Bringing access and educational equity to financial literacy and strengthening economic outcomes of youth.
The Social Impact Track is open to teams that want to make our planet safer, more equitable, sustainable, and beautiful. The critical issues they address include social equity, the depletion of finite resources, support for artists and cultural traditions, and more.
Agora: A virtual after-school space democratizing great after-school programming.
Alokito Teachers: A data-driven teacher development platform providing personalized services to make teaching effortless and effective.
ArchEPI: Bringing real estate developers, community groups, and local government together to create green buildings that improve community health.
BlockCarbon: A remote sensing and AI technology-driven marketplace selling Asia-based carbon credits to the global market.
Blossom: Bi-Lingual Story Switching Method: Ebooks empowering K-6 students to read children’s beloved stories in two languages (e.g., 25% English and 75% Spanish, or 50% English + 50% Mandarin).
Body Empowerment Project: Decreasing eating disorder risk in marginalized youth through a 10-week, evidence-based prevention program for middle and high school students.
Catching Joy, Inc.: A youth-led, 501(c)(3) nonprofit promoting youth service in order to share the responsibility and joy of giving.
Chrysalis Streaming: Creating culturally responsive STEM animated stories and partnering with prominent role models to empower K–12 black and brown students.
Chula: A certified cooks-to-consumer segment where local users and certified cooks connect, list, order, and process payments.
Civic Roundtable: Securing a collaboration platform for the 22.5M public servants on the frontlines of state and local government.
Connect-Ed: Bridging the digital divide by collecting and distributing used equipment and teaching digital literacy skills to low-income communities.
CovEducation: An educational non-profit providing free virtual tutoring to students in underserved school districts around the country.
DonorSpring: A platform connecting nonprofits with new donors and increasing donations from existing donors.
EarthQuake: Helping retail investors meaningfully grow wealth, investing in sustainable portfolios, and pushing companies for change.
First Gen Empower (FGE): Supporting first-generation, low-income, and undocumented CA high school students with college and career readiness resources, training, and mentorship.
Flare Education: Tackling generational poverty by providing low-income high school students with a 36-month paid workforce development program.
FoodNiche-ED (GrubEasy Interactive Lab Inc): Empowering teachers to introduce nutrition education to K–12 students in an engaging way without increasing teacher workload.
GarboCarbo Inc.: Capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and converting it into valuable byproducts (e.g., precipitated calcium carbonate, or PCC).
GoYogi: Triangulating data from smart devices to provide custom mental health resources for students experiencing smartphone addiction or apnea.
Inqui-Lab Foundation: Nurturing problem-solving capacity among first-generation learners.
Ivy League Mentoring: A nonprofit group of Ivy League students providing mentoring, tutoring, coaching, and study strategies to students.
Jamii Life: Empowering marginalized professional and family caregivers of color with tools and training to deliver high-quality, home-based care.
KAARI: Handmade for the metaverse, Kaari provides artisan enterprises a platform to build and sell nontraditional, digital products to XR enterprises seeking highly differentiated assets.
KRISHI NEER (Agri-Elixir): An indigenous product that acts as a sponge and optimizes water levels in the soil and aligns with the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 6, 11, 12, and 13).
Melanin Doc: A nonprofit supporting minority students interested in medicine with scholarships and mentorship opportunities.
MetaForest DCAR (Decentralized Crowd Afforestation and Reforestation) Protocol: A carbon offsetting project using a crowd-tree-planting model.
MSCE Model Answers Q&A App: Developing a mathematics app to reach students in rural areas.
Officina: A fellowship program offering young people the opportunity to work in public administration while developing a well-rounded profile.
Prod: Recruiting the most talented college seniors and helping them build viable, impactful startups to pursue full-time after graduation.
Project FUEL: Developing life skills in children aged 8–18 for lifelong learning and holistic wellbeing.
Puentes Community Translators: Training bilingual youth from low-income immigrant areas to become career translators, bridging economic and language barriers in their communities.
Purple Point Neurodiagnostics LLC: Addressing the gap in epilepsy diagnosis in low- and middle-income countries.
RockFix: Helping the critical minerals industry decarbonize, unlock waste (tailings) value, and increase operational safety through rock mineralization.
Sage: A platform for non-profit green banks, community development financial institutions, and private investors to collaborate on climate finance.
Seeing Hope: Combining technological innovation and sustainable community development to fight the extinction of indigenous languages and cultures.
SeerLit Duolingo for College Admissions: Providing first-gen, low-income students with a structured, supported, and gamified college admissions process.
Spiritual Care Project: A movement and online app to grow accessibility to contemporary resources for spiritual health care.
The Ameliorating Health in Africa Initiative (A.H.A. Initiative): Transforming unused spaces in existing community institutions into free primary healthcare centers for low-income residents.
The Arc of Change LLC: Training diverse progressive leaders in the transformative craft of community organizing to create real-world change and restore democracy.
TrustChain: A human powered Web3 verification system for social impact projects that builds and abridges trust between donors, NGOs, and communities.
Ukraine Global Scholars Foundation: Helping Ukrainian high school students from modest backgrounds get accepted at the world’s best boarding schools and colleges.
UMA Peru: Offering handicrafts made by Peruvian artisan women in conditions of socioeconomic vulnerability and violence to international markets.
The Ingenuity Track celebrates high-potential ideas within the Harvard Innovation Labs and provides funding to early-stage ventures.
Assignment Inc.: Organizing the world’s climate change plans into solvable assignments on a mobile application — the Pokémon GO of climate change.
ClearSky: Serving as a crucial tool in assisting people with vision problems while helping improve safety and efficiency.
e-Rehri: Building affordable, electric, modular, and sustainable carts for street vendors in Indian cities.
EmbedX Bio (formersly uPOROS Bioprinting): A novel bioprinting method for applications in disease modeling and the scalable generation of human tissues and organs.
Halo Braid: An automated hair braider that saves time and money for the 180 million women who get their hair braided regularly.
NoLo: Simplifying the student loan forgiveness process for public service — think TurboTax for student loans.
Pacto Medical: A compact, pre-filled syringe that expands medical access at a reduced cost and environmental impact by lowering the packaging footprint by 40%.
SALTech (Sustainable Architecture Landscape Technology): Developing and implementing plant-based products to mitigate climate change.
Rehydrate, Inc.: Redesigning fuel cells for maximum water production.
Webquity: Providing accessibility tools to students with visual dyslexia and minor visual impairments in order to enable equitable access to online education.