The Startup Scramble™ @ the i-lab

8:00 am Saturday, November 5, 2016 —
5:30 pm Sunday, November 6, 2016
Harvard Innovation Lab

This evennt is currently sold out. If you are interested in putting your name on a waitlist, please do so directly on the Eventbrite page.

The 2016 Startup Scramble™ is your chance to play in the Innovation sandbox and emerge from it with big insights and even bigger inspiration regarding the power of creativity and collaboration. Whether you are brand new to the startup/innovation scene, you have an idea to share and are seeking teammates, or you are simply interested in stepping up your collaboration game, you’ll find the Scramble™ immensely helpful. And while it’s a weekend, it’s always oversold.


The Scramble™ isn’t just about launching the next hottest tech startup or app (for some it could be). Attendees must navigate the real traps and stress-inducing tribulations facing any ground-up innovation endeavor. Along the way, you are introduced and drilled with battle-tested practices to help you successfully emerge. That’s why Scrambles™ are NOT HACKATHONS. We’ve spent years designing the experience to help you identify and overcome major pain points and bottlenecks. Prepare to build, learn, eat, demo, and get coached by pros across Boston’s startup and innovation scene.  The 36-hour program includes:

● 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 (a $400 value)
● Expert Coaching Rotations
● Expert Panel Demo Showcase
● Meals included

We obsess over identifying where and how students who aspire to be innovators or founders are most likely to unnecessarily fail. Each Scramble™ perfectly positions attendees to join forces, to crowd-source inspiration, and pitch dozens of ideas. The “Team FoMo” (Formation Module) is one of the most dynamic and formative segments. Skill-building sessions–these are all directly relevant and action-based. Teams go on to build anything and everything, from piloting social enterprises, proto-testing education tools and personal lifestyle mobile apps, and modeled health and life sciences startups. Then there’s Scramblytics™–eligible student attendees receive a personalized 18-page report combined with a session to breakdown the fundamental components of high-performing student teams. And we’re just warming up.


The 6th i-lab Startup Scramble™ starts @ 8am on Saturday, Nov 5th
Open to technical & non-technical 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 29 (limited quantity); $35 registration regular price
Final Demo Showcase @ 1pm on Sunday, Nov 6th
Join the i-lab Scramble Facebook Group to share ideas, get updates, & meet Harvard’s past & future Scramblers

From three of last year’s attendees:

“The Scramble experience was great – amazing to experience the assimilation of new ideas, structuring and development of epic ideas in such a short span of time.”

“The Scramble was seriously one of the most inspiring things I’ve ever done…I wanted to let you know that it definitely helped me know what I’m capable of and made me feel dangerous to the world.”

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

For more information on day-of specifics, please scroll below registration box.

Day 1 – Saturday, November 5th
8:00 AM Arrival, Breakfast, & Welcome
8:45 AM Kick-off Keynote
9:00 AM Pitch Warm-up/Ice Breaker
9:15 AM Pitch Module
10:30 AM Team “FoMo” & Venture Planning
11:45 AM Team Deliverable #1 & Lunch
12:15 PM Skill-Building Session
2:00 PM Coaching Module #1
4:00 PM Venture Building
6:00 PM Dinner
7:30 PM Team Deliverable #2
9 PM – Close Evening work session

Day 2 – Sunday, November 6th
9:00 AM Attendee Arrival
9:15 AM Skill-Building Session
10 AM “Brunch & Build”
12 PM Venture Building
1:00 PM Demo Prep – Coaching Module #2
2:00 PM “Linner” & Launch”
3:00 PM Final Demo/Presentation Submission
3:30 PM Final Demo Panel
5:30 PM Complete Experience Assessment & Wrap-up


Alumni teams and founders range from Lumos, One Degree, Six Foods, Blendoor, Imperfect Produce,, and more. Attendees have gone on to:

+ Top accelerators in the US (Techstars, Y Combinator, & 500 Startups)
+ Win campus and national startup/innovation challenges & competitions.
+ Receive millions in investor funding.
+ Find new teammates, mentors, and bffs
+ Apply new skills and concepts to strengthen the student-led campus innovation scene.

Who should attend the Startup Scramble Weekend?
Undergraduates, graduate, PhD, and postdocs seeking to develop and refine their startup and innovation skills enrolled in any of Harvard’s 12 Schools.Whether you are brand new to the student startup/innovation scene, you have an idea to share and are seeking teammates, or you are interested in stepping up your collaboration game, you’ll find the Scramble™ immensely helpful.

Please note this event is for currently enrolled, full-time Harvard students only. We check attendee registration at the door. Bring a printed or smartphone copy of your EventBrite registration and Harvard student ID. Attendance will be limited to registered guests and tickets will not be available at the door.

What should I bring?
1. Laptops w/ charger
2. Phone w/ charger
3. Pen & notebook
4. Reusable water bottle (eco-friendly)
5. Pre-design your own lanyard (not required)
6. 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 every day – these are all potential ideas to pitch. You have ideas.

What if someone steals my idea?
The Scramble™ 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 prototype. 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?

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

More Questions?
Just email Jocelyn at

Past coaching faculty and guests have joined from:

Acme Packet
Ashoka Innovators for the Public
Campus Direct
Community Wealth Ventures
Compass Partners
Core Capital Partners
Devonshire Investors
Eagle Point Advisors
Fairhaven Capital
Flybridge Capital Partners
General Catalyst
Harvard i-Lab HourlyNerd
Highland Capital Partners
John Hancock
Mass Ventures
Mass General Hospital
One Source Staffing
PureTech Ventures
Raffa Consulting

The 2016 i-lab Scramble™ is designed to make highest and best use of your time and energy. Past Scramble alumni had a few things to share:

“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.”

“Prior to this experience, I’ve had a huge mental block, thinking that I would need to capture a perfect idea before getting started. At the Scramble, the experience of failing and refining was really beneficial from a personal development standpoint.”

“Perseverance matters. It was wonderful to push ourselves beyond our comfort zones.”

“Getting to connect with people from across campus was the best part! I even connected up with other people to pursue different start-ups that we plan to work on after 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.”

The Startup Scramble™ @ the i-lab
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