2015 Harvard i-lab Startup Scramble™ Kickoff

6:00 pm Friday, October 23, 2015 —
4:30 pm Sunday, October 25, 2015
Harvard Innovation Lab, Room 122

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 alumni 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 the 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 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.“

“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.


Day 1: Friday
6:00 pm – Welcome, Dinner, Kickoff, & Keynote, featuring Umang Dua, Co-Founder, Handy
7:00 pm – Scramble, Pitch Session, & Team-Up,
9:00 pm – Deliverable #1 & Evening Build Session

We’re excited to welcome Umang Dua, Co-Founder and COO of Handy on Friday night.  The leading platform for on-demand home-services, Handy connects thousands of users every day with verified service professionals. Launched in 2012, the company has raised over $60 million in funding from investors like General Catalyst, Highland Capital and TPG, and now operates in 28 cities across three countries

Day 2: Saturday
9:00 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
9:00 am – Breakfast & Scramblytics™
10:00 am – Venture Building
11:00 am – Showcase Prep & Coaching Rotation #2
12:00 pm – Lunch
1:00 pm – Final Panel Showcase
4:00 pm – Wrap-Up & Experience Assessment

*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?


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.


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.

Sign up for tickets here:

2015 Harvard i-lab Startup Scramble™ Kickoff
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