Apply to the Venture Incubation Program

Harvard i-lab Spring 2019 Venture Incubation Program (VIP)

The Venture Incubation Program (VIP) is an intensive program designed to help the most motivated and committed Harvard student founders whose ventures have achieved a certain level of momentum. The spring term is unique in that accepted teams are automatically a semi-finalist for the President’s Innovation Challenge (PIC), our annual competition for $410,000 in total prize money. It’s an amazing opportunity to win some serious cash in support of your venture.

Ventures entering the program are able to demonstrate a combination of or all of the following:

  • Deep and intimate understanding of a problem or market need/opportunity
  • A compelling solution to said problem/need
  • Thoughtful and clear plan to achieve milestones
  • Ability among the team to build, test, and deliver
  • A desire to help other teams and contribute to the i-lab ecosystem as a whole

If you feel you are at an earlier stage of your entrepreneurial journey, we encourage you to attend one of the many events designed to help students think through your problem, customer base, and value proposition.

How to Apply:

Click here to start your Spring 2019 VIP application. The application is hosted through SlideRoom. Your team lead will have to create a free account and label it with your venture name. This allows you to complete the application directly on the platform and save your work as you go. Applications can only be viewed by judges once submitted.

Click here to read Frequently Asked Questions about the application process. If your question is not answered there, please reach out to Jocelyn_Krauss@Harvard.edu.

  • November 5, 2018 | Application form is live
  • January 2, 2019 | Application deadline (11:59pm EST)
  • Late January | Decisions emailed to team lead (these teams are automatically semi-finalists in the Challenge)
  • March 2019 | 20 finalists selected (5 per track)
  • May 2, 2019 | President’s Innovation Challenge Awards Ceremony

Please fill out this application carefully and honestly. We’re not looking for perfection, but we’re looking for evidence of deep thinking, thoughtful planning, and passion to make an impact. We’re very excited to see your great ideas!


Eligibility & Resources

The VIP is a 12-week commitment that provides a select cohort of eligible, hungry startups with a breadth of resources to help them take their ventures further, faster.

Participants in the VIP get access to:

  • An assigned Staff Advisor to guide your journey
  • Roundtables on skills development and industry expertise
  • Milestone-based and peer-to-peer learning sessions
  • Dinners with experienced entrepreneurs
  • Feedback sessions on pitch presentations
  • Our internal community platform for Q&A, recruiting, and networking
  • Perks, discounts, and guidance to external opportunities
  • Social events to celebrate the community
  • Priority access to our Maker Studio, Media Studio, and AR/VR Studio
  • Most importantly, a vibrant community of fellow entrepreneurs!

To be eligible for consideration, applying teams must:

  • Be founded or co-founded by at least 1 current, full-time, matriculated Harvard student or postdoctoral fellow, who will act as Team Lead. HUID status will be checked.
  • Have the Team Lead present at the i-lab and engaged with their Staff Advisor on a regular basis during the 12-week program.
  • Demonstrate through your application a commitment to active participation and utilization of the VIP resources during the 12-week period.