Launch Lab X

From Seed to Real

Welcome to Launch Lab X — the groundbreaking offering from Harvard Innovation Labs, exclusively for Harvard alumni-led ventures*.

You’ve got a high-potential startup within its seed stage and big plans to make big impact. Congrats. You have seemingly infinite choices in the sprawling landscape of incubators and accelerators.

The only hitch is this: most accelerators only get you so far, usually a quick sprint to a Demo Day or a pitch session. We say: Why start a journey if you’re only going part of the way?

Designed from the ground up, Launch Lab X supports your venture from seed-stage startup to a sustainable, disruptive business with real-world impact. 

It won’t be easy, but no worthwhile journey is. And, we’re not looking for teams seeking ‘easy.’ We need Contrarians, Disruptors, and Creative Thinkers. We’re looking for 10 special founders and teams determined and driven to create exceptional ventures and contribute to our vibrant community of next-generation innovation.

Launch Lab X is 100% free. No rent. No equity stake. You’ll even get a shot at a piece of $400,000 in equity-free funding as part of the President’s Innovation Challenge. There’s nothing to slow you down.

— The May 30th application deadline has now passed, but we may still consider a limited number of applications. This application may close, once and for all, without notice, though, so please apply quickly if you still wish to be considered. —


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A custom roadmap and a curated community

The Harvard Innovation Labs’ method is adaptive, milestone-based, and most importantly, not one-size-fits-all. Teams who follow it quickly de-risk their business model and validate their value proposition. Good things usually follow.

We give you the knowledge, expertise, and support you need to build your venture through our curated network of mentors, industry insiders, educational programming, and advisors. We connect you to people, resources, information, knowledge — everything you need to develop as an entrepreneur and innovator.

One of the most compelling advantages of Launch Lab X is building your business in a curated community of motivated, like-minded innovators. When the chips are down or you’re stuck, sometimes there’s nothing better than having a peer who understands what you’re experiencing.

The program at a glance

  • Time to breathe & react:

    Launch Lab X is a 9-month program that begins in September and culminates in May. It’s comprised of three 90-day sprints – each sprint culminating in a pitch and feedback session with investors, potential customers, and industry insiders. You’ll figure out what you don’t know and have time and support to improve.

  • Individualized milestone model:

    We give you a scorecard to help track your progress combined with a custom roadmap designed explicitly for your startup.

  • Weekly cohort sessions and dinner:

    You will step out with peers regularly each week, so you can carve out time for socializing without distracting yourself from the work of building your business. Even world-changing entrepreneurs and innovators have to eat, right?

  • Deep mentorship:

    A mentorship program unlike any you’ve experienced. Both peer-based mentoring as well as industry-specific coaches for members of the founding team.

  • Dedicated office space:

    You’ll have dedicated space for your team and your cohort at the Harvard i-lab, with wifi, our suite of creative studios (maker space, multimedia, and AR/VR), and full resource support. And plenty of espresso.

  • The chance to win $75,000

    The ten teams that participate in Launch Lab X and make it to May are automatically considered finalists in the alumni track of the President’s Innovation Challenge. The “PIC” is the Harvard Innovation Labs’ annual venture competition, with the winner receiving $75,000 in non-dilutive prize money and the runner-up getting $25,000. Since there are only ten teams in the competition, Launch Lab X ventures have a 1:5 chance of winning some decent dough.

The inaugural cohort of Launch Lab X starts in September. The application deadline of May 30 has now passed, but we may still consider a limited number of applications. We may close the application, once and for all, though, without notice, so please apply quickly should you still wish to be considered.

For any additional questions about any aspect of Launch Lab X, email

*To be eligible for the program, one or more of the venture team founders must be an alumnus of one of the 13 Harvard Schools and bear a degree from an undergraduate or graduate program from one of those Schools.

Important Links




Virtual Open House


Application & Program Timeline

Application Open – March 25th

Open House – April 12th

Early Action Deadline – May 1st

Application Deadline – May 30th

Cohort Announced – Late June

Kickoff Bootcamp – Early September

President’s Innovation Challenge Awards – May 2019