Programming | Harvard Innovation Labs
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For Current Students


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We offer three stages of programming at the i-lab to meet you where you are on your entrepreneurial journey.

Our 3 Stages of Innovation

  • 01


    Innovators who are looking to learn more about entrepreneurship and innovation. They're curious about what’s possible and may even want to join an existing team.

  • 02

    Test Ventures

    Test teams are at the idea stage and are focused on defining their offering or exploring customer validation via user interviews, demand validation, and/or product testing.

  • 03

    Propel Ventures

    Propel teams generally have been gaining momentum via revenue, partnerships, paying customers, users (100+), or investors/donors beyond friends and family.

  • In this stage, we can help you sort through your ideas and figure out which to start pursuing. Don’t yet have an idea and aren’t sure if entrepreneurship is for you? No problem. If you’re interested in design-thinking and problem solving, the i-lab is a great place to further your learning and foster community — you might even decide to join a team or venture that speaks to you. In this stage, you should check out the following resources:

    Explore Workshops

    Learn about idea evaluation, design thinking, and how to find a great teammate.

    Founder + Joiner Mixers

    Meet founders who are looking for students like you to join their teams.

    Industry Networking Events

    Mingle with like-minded explorers and founders.

    Slack Job Board

    Join our Slack workspace for Student i-lab members to introduce yourself and let others know what you’re interested in.

  • Test teams are at the idea stage and are focused on defining their offering or exploring customer validation via user interviews, demand validation, and/or product testing.

    Resources in the Test stage support innovators who have an idea for a venture — whether it lives in the mind, is scrawled on a napkin, or has already begun to take shape. In this stage, if you’re early on, we’ll help you with consumer research, competitive analysis, customer outreach, and building your prototype. If you’re a little further along and are already working to refine your product or offering, we can connect you with customer-discovery workshops, consumer surveying, expert mentors, and funding opportunities to help you continue iterating on your path to success. In this stage, you should check out:

    Test Workshops

    Explore demand validation, customer interviews, no-code MVP (minimum viable product), and more.


    Join a subcommunity of like-minded founders with similar identities, backgrounds, or interests.

    Spark Grants

    Apply for $1,000 grants to put toward demand validation for your idea.

  • Resources in the Propel stage support innovators who have landed more than a few customers, are building revenue, or have just received that first significant infusion of capital from donors or investors. In this stage, you need to figure out how to accelerate growth, find more customers, expand your team, and grow your venture. The i-lab is here to support with meeting spaces and dedicated mentors.


    Attend Mentor Match to be paired up with a mentor who, through regular meetings and guidance, will support your venture on its progress and unique venture goals and needs.

    Pitch practice

    We offer a number of workshops to help you practice and refine your pitch.

    1:1 Advisor Support

    Our staff advisors are eager to meet you and learn more about how they can best support you.

    Funding Opportunities

    You can qualify for specific funds such as the Allston Venture Fund and the Social Impact Fellowship Fund, as well as the President’s Innovation Challenge. You will receive pitch preparation and support from real-world experts, funders, and staff to help you successfully raise capital.

My game startup began as just an idea (and a team of one). With advice from i-lab advisors, and Spark grant funding, Recess just successfully launched our pilot pop-up games in Boston.

Elizabeth Ulanova (GSD) Founder/CEO, Recess

Join Us

Summer 2024 membership is now open – we cannot wait to be a part of your entrepreneurial journey.

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