Harvard Innovation Labs: 2022 Year in Review
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Harvard Innovation Labs: 2022 Year in Review

2022 Year In Review

Since the Harvard Innovation Labs opened its doors in 2011, we’ve brought together more than 10,000 students, alumni, and faculty from across disciplines to learn from each other and work on solutions to some of the world’s most challenging problems.

In 2022, the Harvard Innovation Labs has provided both virtual and in-person advising, programming, and resources to hundreds of ventures across its three-lab ecosystem: the Harvard student i-lab for ventures across all 13 Harvard schools, Launch Lab X GEO for alumni-led ventures, and the Pagliuca Harvard Life Lab for biotech and life sciences startups. We've also observed incredible achievements from hundreds of former Harvard Innovation Labs ventures. Collectively, these ventures have raised more than $5 billion in capital, and have introduced ground-breaking products and services into the world.

Below is a selection of more than 100 extraordinary 2022 accomplishments from the more than 3,700 current and former Harvard Innovation Labs ventures.

student i-lab, Harvard Innovation Labs

Student Venture Updates from the Harvard i-lab

In 2022, the Harvard Innovation Labs announced record participation in Harvard student i-lab programming during the spring, summer, and fall semesters — supporting nearly 1,000 ventures during the last calendar year. In October, the Harvard Innovation Labs also introduced a new membership model, which aims to better serve students from all 13 Harvard schools at every stage of their innovation and entrepreneurship journeys.

Notable venture updates from 2022 include:

  • Acurasset is building a therapeutics company devoted to curing chronic liver disease. This year, it completed the Nucleate program, hired its first consultants, and advanced its lead asset.
  • ADAPT, an automated sustainability reporting platform for Fleet Operators with the aim to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions in the transportation industry, was named a Porsche Data Cup winner.
  • BEAM is developing an efficient heating solution using a targeted, user-aware, focused beam of heat. The company is finalizing manufacturing for its pilot run and preparing to deploy pilots at five restaurants in San Francisco. Recently, the company won $60,000 from Foundation Capital as part of a Stanford pitch competition.
  • Bite Scized Education aims to engage secondary school students in science through food and cooking. The venture has designed over 30 lessons and is planning to expand to an Allston-area school for after-school programing.
  • CashEx, a fintech company helping African migrants send money with zero fees, was a $25,000 winner in the 2022 Harvard President’s Innovation Challenge, and a $75,000 winner in the Harvard Business School New Venture Competition.
  • CassVita uses proprietary technology to foster prosperity for smallholder farmers. This year, the venture was a $25,000 winner in the 2022 Harvard President’s Innovation Challenge and Forbes 30 Under 30
  • Coldpress AI built out its MVP for reliable data annotation.
  • Hue, an e-commerce company helping people find the best beauty products for their complexion, was a $75,000 award recipient in the 2022 Harvard President’s Innovation Challenge and Forbes 30 Under 30 The company also announced partnerships with Credo Beauty and Lawless Beauty.
  • Limax Biosciences is developing a stretchable adhesive hydrogel to treat internal and external injuries. Limax was a $75,000 award recipient in the 2022 Harvard President’s Innovation Challenge.
  • Madad is building an avalanche early warning system. Recently, the company installed its first tower in Kazakhstan and raised $250,000 in funding.
  • Mentor Labs, an edtech nonprofit building a free, virtual college counselor for high school students, was acquired by Crimson Education. Mentor Labs Founder Robert Wachen was named one of BostInno’s 25 Under 25.
  • Myspeech, a venture enabling access to high quality speech therapy through a technology platform, was a $75,000 award recipient in the 2022 Harvard President’s Innovation Challenge. President Joe Biden sent a letter of congratulations to the winners, with a special recognition of Myspeech.
  • Oban Credit launched its phone-collateralized, low-interest loans in Nigeria, and was featured in the Boston Business Journal. Founders Matt Mengtrakool and Hikeamlak Yitayew were also named to the 2022 BostInno 25 Under 25.
  • NovaXS Biotech is a medical technology company dedicated to helping patients with injectable medication to get better, more pain-free care. This year, the company was featured in Forbes for raising $1 million.
  • The NRI Nation documents news and information that concerns India and the Indian diaspora worldwide. This year, the company received funding from Google News and the International Center for Journalists.
  • ProtectED Rooms makes easy-to-move furniture that serves as physical and ballistic barriers to protect people against active shooter violence and domestic terrorism. This year, the company reported that it would install hundreds of its bookcases in schools across the U.S.
  • Residents Abroad, an online platform facilitating international rotations for doctors around the globe, was featured on Boston’s NPR.
  • StructureX designs and manufactures wood structure buildings. This year, the company was the first company in Quebec, Canada to get the green building accreditation, and will be building the first entirely wood-built building in the province of Quebec in the summer of 2023.
  • Skew the Script offers free curriculum that makes math what it already is: relevant. The venture has launched the “Skew U” teacher training and announced the first training will be hosted at Phillips Exeter Academy with teachers coming in from all over.
  • Slam Out Loud uses the transformational power of the arts to build Creative Confidence skills like communication, critical thinking, and empathy in children aged 8–16 from underserved communities in urban and rural India. Their in-person programming now impacts more than 75,000 children, and their open-source resources have reached over 4.7 million children around the world during the pandemic. This year, Slam Out Loud Founder and CEO Jigyasa Labroo was named one of the Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia.
  • UNcubical brings wellness programs to people working in corporations. This year, the venture streamlined its product offering and now has a number of clients.
  • Vatara, a company dedicated to providing low-cost, negative pressure wound therapy for everyone, was a $25,000 award recipient in the 2022 Harvard President's Innovation Challenge.
  • Wove makes custom engagement rings with a home try-on experience. This year, the company raised $3.85 million in funding.
  • YayVictor is a real estate platform where members compete to win the listed homes. This year, the company completed key market validation milestones, securing its first homes to offer through the platform and adding thousands of people to its waitlist.
Launch Lab X GEO, Harvard Innovation Labs

Alumni-Led Venture Updates from Launch Lab X GEO

Launch Lab X GEO is a six-month program designed to help early-stage, Harvard alumni-led ventures from all over the world grow into sustainable and disruptive businesses. Venture accomplishments from 2022 include:

  • basys.ai is developing an AI platform for cardiometabolic health. This year, the company was featured in Forbes for “revolutionizing diabetes treatment” through their platform, which supports clinical decision-making for doctors and hospitals.
  • Confidently, a venture empowering employees to reduce their personal data exposure and help enterprises prevent phishing attacks, recently closed $1.7 million in funding. In addition to its existing consumer business, the company launched its new enterprise platform to help CISOs reduce the attack surface of employee personal data and gather new threat intelligence.
  • Labhya, an education non-profit enabling social emotional learning for vulnerable children in India, raised a grant from the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation. Labhya's CEO was also recognized as one of 17 SDG Young Leaders globally by the United Nations.
  • PairUp, a digital platform that meaningfully connects employees to the right colleagues to help them succeed, is now serving over 1,500 staff from corporations, universities, and startups — like CVS, Motorola, Tufts, and more. In addition, PairUp successfully raised $1.65 million in funding and was one of three teams selected by the NUseeds Fund.
  • Rentdrop launched its app that makes paying rent better for tenants and landlords.
  • Rhymes with Reason helps students boost reading skills and learn important English words by showcasing their existence in widely known music lyrics. The organization has grown rapidly since receiving a Social Impact Fellowship Fund grant, forming a partnership with Boys and Girls Club of America and serving more than 225,000 students. Recently, the organization also announced a partnership with NBA All-Star Joel Embiid.
  • Vertum designs and builds robotic farming assistants that help indoor farmers increase yield and improve environmental sustainability. Recently, Vertum completed the MassChallenge U.S. Accelerator Program (and became a Finalist), participated in the Thrive Academy AgTech Accelerator Program, and received its first enterprise scale pilot order from a Mexican MNC (Sigma Alimentos).
  • Shelly Xu Design (SXD), a zero-waste design tech startup, was featured in Yanko Design for creating an innovative, zero-waste laptop case for the Harvard Innovation Labs 10-year anniversary. SXD Founder Shelly Xu was also profiled in Women’s Wear Daily.
  • Thermaband, Inc., a health tech solution for women in mid-life, has developed the only wearable that provides immediate preemptive hot flash relief with biometric insights. Recently, the venture completed the inaugural Harvard Alumni Entrepreneur Accelerator Program, raised $1.5 million in funding, and was featured in Women of Color in Tech. Thermaband was also the 2022 Grand Prize winner of Miami’s Digital Wearable Award provided by Pharrell Williams’ Black Ambition x Billionaire Boys Club.
Pagliuca Harvard Life Lab, Harvard Innovation Labs

Health and Life Science Updates from the Pagliuca Harvard Life Lab

The Pagliuca Harvard Life Lab is a wet laboratory with co-working space for early-stage, high-potential biotech and life sciences start-ups founded by Harvard students, alumni, faculty, and postdoctoral scholars. It celebrated its six-year anniversary this November. Collectively, the ventures that have been selected to join the Pagliuca Harvard Life Lab have raised more than $800 million and created hundreds of jobs.

Here is a selection of the accomplishments from Life Lab ventures in 2022:

  • BioDevek is a medical device company leveraging its hydrogel-based platform to decrease complications in minimally invasive procedures. This year, BioDevek expanded its IP portfolio covering the endoscopic sprayable hydrogel. The company also validated its scale-up manufacturing process, which is a critical milestone towards its clinical stage. Additionally, BioDevek expanded its R&D and executive teams and named its first CEO.
  • Cavisense technology enables early cavity detection and monitoring. In the past year, Cavisense has developed a beta product which is now being tested in a clinical setting. The company also filed for new IP generated in the Life Lab and received funding for a clinical trial in collaboration with Tufts University. CaviSense founder was also the winner of the TiE Boston Women Pitch Competition.
  • Kern Systems is leveraging the power of enzymes and cutting-edge software to store digital data in DNA cheaper, faster, and at scale. In 2022, Kern made significant technical advancements and has now nearly completed its first prototype of a "DNA hard drive."
  • Ilios Tx is researching and developing innovative molecules that target multiple pathways involved in neurodegenerative diseases. The company has received grants and funding from the Allston Venture Fund and MassChallenge. In May, Ilios Tx’s academic co-founders and its CEO filed their fully owned provisional patent for the composition of matter of high-potential molecules, platform and delivery method, as well as method of synthesis. Ilios has now synthesized proof of concept molecules to take through wet lab experiments for their first target program, ALS.
  • InGel Therapeutics is a biotechnology company leveraging stem cell and tissue engineering to rescue and restore vision for blind patients. In 2022, InGel raised $1.1 million in venture capital and angel investors, won the Bio Track in the Nucleate cohort, and started to develop both novel assets and a target discovery platform to understand the mechanism of retinal degeneration.
  • M13 Therapeutics is harnessing the phageome to deliver any therapeutic gene to any target cell. The company was a $25,000 prize recipient in the 2022 Harvard President’s Innovation Challenge.
  • Manifold Bio is building an in vivo biologics design company. This year, it announced $40 million in funding, and continues to make progress on its protein barcoding technology that redefines how biologics discovery is done.
  • Promakhos Therapeutics develops therapeutics inspired by bacterial molecules to awaken the body’s innate ability to control inflammation and heal. In 2022, the company took steps to bring its drugs to patients faster — improving its drugs' properties, expanding its team with drug development and regulatory experts, and successfully applying for NIH grants.
  • STRM.BIO is a biotechnology company leveraging extracellular vesicles (EVs) to deliver gene therapy in a better way: simpler, safer, more practically. It received a $2.1 million SBIR grant, and expanded its executive team, hiring its first chief technology officer and VP of business development.

Where Are They Now? Updates from Former Harvard Innovation Labs Ventures

The accomplishments of former Harvard Innovation Labs ventures continue to grow at an exponential rate. Here are a few of the hundreds of achievements of former venture teams in 2022: