Can I only engage if I have a business plan?
Nope. We’re actually interested in all levels of the innovative process and we want to help you work through them. Whether all you have is an interesting idea or a fully-fledged business plan, we want you to feel supported here. We want you to come explore your potential here and there are many ways for you to do that.
Is it only for HBS students?
Nope. We actually serve all of Harvard’s Schools, as long as you’re a degree-seeking student (that means you have to be working towards a Bachelor’s, a Master’s, or a PhD. A few exceptions are made, so check with your registrar’s office). You don’t need extensive years of study in business development or finance to turn your idea into something bigger. That’s why we’re here to help. We also prefer to think about what we do here as helping you figure out the problem you’re solving, not the business you’re building. Creating a business might be the best way to solve the problem; but, first and foremost, your work is about solving a problem.
Do I have to build a startup to be part of the Innovation Labs?
Nope. There are many things you can do while at the i-lab, including meeting with our Advisors and Experts (LINK) or attending our Workshops (LINK) . Innovation isn’t just about creating a startup. It’s more about identifying a problem and learning to solve it. Sometimes that solution comes through a business model. Sometimes it doesn’t. While you’re here, you very likely will create a startup, but it’s not a requirement. You don’t have to be interested in starting a business – or even part of a startup – to engage with us. Learning about innovation more broadly is a fine-enough reason to engage with us.
Whether you build a business here or not, adopting an innovative mindset is a crucial skill you’ll want to learn for your professional (and personal) development regardless of where you end up.