Event: 2015 Harvard i-lab Startup Scramble™ | Harvard Innovation Labs
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Oct 23, 2015

2015 Harvard i-lab Startup Scramble™

Get to work on the new crop of campus startups, projects, & collaborations at the 2015 Harvard i-lab Startup Scramble™!

Why Startup Scramble?
So you succeed where most student-led ventures fail.


  • The 5th i-lab Startup Scramble™ starts @ 6pm on Friday, Oct 23th

  • Open to technical & non-techical students across undergrad, grad, & PhD programs (Harvard ID req’d)

  • Limited to first 110 students (after sell out, waitlist is upward of 25 students)

  • $25 early bird tickets end Oct 13th (limited quantity); $40 registration thereafter

  • Final Demo Showcase @ 1pm on Sunday, Oct. 25th

  • Join the i-lab Scramble Facebook Group to share ideas, get updates, & meet Harvard’s past & future Scramblers


  • Open Pitches (high-tech to no-tech)
  • 3 Team Deliverables
  • 3 Skill-Building Sessions – Rapid Venture Modeling, Legal Stuff for Student Founders/Innovators, & Scramblytics™
  • 18-page Personal Scramblytics™ Performance Report ($400 value)
  • 3-Hour Expert Coaching Rotation
  • Expert Panel Demo Showcase
  • Meals included

Scramble alumi leading and building Imperfect Produce, Lumos, One Degree, Six Foods, Blendoor, Indico, & more.


The real value of your Harvard experience is building meaningful relationships with some of the most diverse and interesting people in the world. Scrambles are designed and facilitated to ensure these relationships take root, while helping you focus your ideas, talents, and learning priorities.

You have plenty of demands on your time already – so a Scramble is designed to make good use of the time and effort you invest. Past year’s i-lab Scramble alumni wanted to share a few thoughts with incoming Scramblers:

“This is what I always imagined college and grad school would be like — collaborating with people with different interests from across the university. I’ve learned things you definitely don’t learn in medical school, and I’ll be back next year.”

“Best use of $ in a long time . . . especially since it included food. I don’t believe that, in terms of this project, my time could have been used more effectively this weekend.”

“This was a great opportunity to connect and see what people are doing around the Harvard community. It was a great way to collaborate and work on a shared project.“

“This was my first real introduction to the complete start up process. From the discovery to the business plan. I learnt a lot and hope to continue with our project.“

“Yes, the energy and the networking is a tremendous opportunity.“

“This was a great experience. I feel that the best part was the coaching. We got to see how other people tend to pick apart the pieces. Each coach had a different approach, so it let us see a great deal of views. I also learned a lot about working with others, being able to be assertive, while also trying to stay back and learn.”

“Definitely valuable! An amazing bootcamp that enabled us to develop skills in taking an idea from initial pitch, to team building, to design, to final pitch, peppered up with valuable coaching time, personal / team analytics and input from champions panel.”


We’ve run dozens of Scrambles, making the experience intensely engaging, educational, yet fun. Hundreds of new student ventures and collaborations have taken root at Scrambles™ leading to student-led offerings that range from hi-tech products to innovative services and intiatives.


Past Scramble Coaches, Panel, & guests have represented organizations as diverse as:

Acme Packet
Ashoka Innovators for the Public
Community Wealth Ventures
Compass Partners
Core Capital Partners
Chew Lab
Disney Research
Eagle Point Advisors
F Prime Capital
Fairhaven Capital
Flybridge Capital Partners
Goodwin Procter
Harvard i-lab
Highland Capital Partners
Mass Ventures
Mass General Hospital
One Source Staffing
PureTech Ventures
Talent Analytics

Day 1: Friday

6 pm – Welcome, Dinner, Kickoff, & Keynote

7 pm – Scramble, Pitch Session, & Team-Up,

9 pm to Close – Deliverable #1 & Evening Build Session

Day 2: Saturday

9 am – Arrive, Breakfast, & Team Check-In

9:30 am – Skill-Building Sessions (Venture Modeling + Legal Stuff for Student Innovators/Founders)

12:00 pm – Lunch

1:30 pm – Venture Building & Coaches Rotation

6:30 pm – Dinner & Deliverable #2 (State of the Scramble)

8:00 pm to Close – Prototyping & Venture Building

Day 3: Sunday

9 am – Breakfast & Scramblytics™

10 am – Venture Building

11 am – Showcase Prep & Coaching Rotation #2

12 pm – Lunch

1 pm – Final Panel Showcase

4 pm – Wrap-Up & Experience Assessment

*Times change as needed.

*As updates and confirmations roll-in, the agenda may change. Attendees may remain at the i-lab into the morning hours on Saturday and Sunday. We recommend you get a reasonable amount of sleep, if you can, so you are alert and fresh for sessions and team presentations.


Who should attend a Scramble?

Any undergrad, graduate, PhD, or postdoc student seeking to develop and refine his/her startup and innovation skill base. You can be enrolled in any of Harvard’s 12 Schools. The experience is notorious for challenging teams in a number of ways, both personally and professional. The i-lab Startup Scramble is NOT a hackathon although you will work in teams and build/demo prototypes.

This program is for Harvard students only. We check all attendee registrations at the door. Bring a printed or smartphone copy of your EventBrite registration and Harvard student ID if you have registered as a Harvard Student. Attendance will be limited to registered guests and tickets will not be available at the door.

=What should I bring?

  • Laptops w/ charger

  • Phone w/ charger

  • Pen & notebook

  • Reusable water bottle (eco-friendly)

  • Design your own lanyard (not required, but fun)

  • Props (i.e. helmets for Xtreme coding, costumes, personal mascots, etc.) for inspiration, motivation, & feel-good entertainment.

*All campus policies apply.

Do I have to pitch an idea? What if I don’t have an idea?

We believe it’s important to bring a few ideas to share even if you aren’t interested or committed to pursuing those ideas. Ideas are the currency through which you transact initial introductions and build relationships with fellow attendees. You encounter new challenges, problems, and questions everyday – these are all potential ideas to pitch. Look around. Find inspiration. Bring ideas.

What if someone uses my idea?

The program embraces an open and free-flow exchange of ideas, interests, and efforts. Scrambles are not an ideal venue to share or develop proprietary products and services unless you take proper measures to protect intellectual property (IP) before attending. If you intend to pitch an idea that is potentially proprietary or confidential, consult an attorney prior to attending or simply do not pitch the idea.

We also believe ideas are worthless without execution. All pitches are considered “open source,” which means any idea shared by Attendees at the Program goes into a common pool of ideas that can be freely licensed by anyone. The reason is, someone else might be able to help you push your idea into a functioning protoytpe. If this is a concern, have a strategy to approach this situation prior to attending. After the Scramble you can continue refining the concept into proprietary IP. If you decide not to pitch an idea, focus your efforts leading up to the Scramble on creating a personal learning agenda – do you want to test-drive coding or app prototyping technology? Do you need to brush up on your presentation or project management skills?

? Refunds?

No. But you can transfer your ticket up to 1 week before the Scramble (by October 16, 2015) as long as you let us know (scramble[@]scramblesystems.com) in advance.

? Transportation?

Harvard Shuttles have a stop directly across from the i-lab, and you can track the shuttles online here: http://harvard.transloc.com/ If you are driving, please park in the i-lab’s lot (entrance on Western Avenue, directions and payment information are here: http://i-lab.harvard.edu/parking).

Just email Stephen at: Stephen [@] ScrambleSystems.com or Skype at sjdouglass.


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Scramble™ is a registered trademark of Scramble Systems LLC.
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