Building Better Futures: Commencement 2024
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i-lab Stories

Building Better Futures: Commencement 2024

Meet five graduating i-lab founders from five different Harvard schools

Vivien Kocsis pitching at 2023 Shark Tank event

Cracking the code for girls

“In this day and age, digital literacy is literacy. If someone is not digitally literate, then they might as well be considered illiterate...every day, I am privileged to learn from amazing people, interact with fellow leaders in the social impact world and benefit from the insights of (Harvard's) wonderful faculty. Mission-oriented leadership is more important than margin-oriented leadership. When I think about the company, I think about it as myself: mission-oriented. From this perspective, the company is just one platform."

— Kavya Krishna, HGSE '24

Building a better system for transgender health care

“We are collaborating on a 3,000-piece puzzle set where everyone’s making good progress on select areas, but each group working on a cluster hasn’t necessarily seen the box with the big picture of what exactly we are building towards. That’s what Trans Health HQ is meant to be—a platform to amplify all this good work that has already been accomplished, and ensure that we move towards our goal of gender health equity as one team, as efficiently as possible. Systems-level change is crucial, because transgender people’s lives are at stake.”

— Ivan Hsiao, MPH '24

Making the most of community

"Fake drugs kill nearly a million people each year. Over 50% of drugs in some markets are substandard. People have no way of knowing the quality before they use thesis was, if I could take these benchtop spectrophotometers that are used for quality assurance in the lab and miniaturize them, they could be a tool for pharmacies to test medications themselves. Many of our pharmacists couldn’t get to their pharmacies to sell anything because the government had shut down the country and markets. Our clients were asking if we could help them build an e-commerce software product. That’s how we extended from drug testing to point-of-sale software."

— Adebayo Alonge, MC/MPA '24

Taking advantage of what Harvard has to offer

"Research and take advantage of all that Harvard has to offer; the amount and range of opportunities is mind-blowing. I was able to create and build my own opportunities by leveraging the Harvard (standout) experience was building a startup. I leveraged my data science skills acquired during my studies and used the resources offered by Harvard Innovation Labs. This led to fantastic opportunities, including exhibiting and pitching at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco."

— Vivien Kocsis, ALM '24

What good leadership looks like

"My whole life I’ve had this desire to help people. It started when I was growing up in my family and now has spread to the population at large. I feel like I’m in this really unique position where I have a PhD in biomedical engineering and I’m getting an MBA from Harvard. I feel like what I really want to do and what I’m compelled to do with that is to create life-changing drugs that are going to save the lives of millions of people, and find a way of doing that equitably, so that everyone has access who might need them.”

— Claudia Hill, MBA '24