Harvard Kennedy School


Scott Jacobsen shares the DoneGood journey.

How did you get started at the i-lab?

I heard about the i-lab through a classmate at HKS during the summer of 2014 who encouraged me to run with an idea that I had. I decided to learn more by attending the Demo Day in September. I was blown away by the diversity of projects students were working on and the enthusiasm they exhibited towards making them a reality. I formed a team and applied for the VIP program and was accepted in the fall of 2014.

What’s the #1 resource you use most at the Harvard Innovation Lab? Why is/was it so useful?

The most valuable resource is the synergy I find with other teams. The environment is not competitive, but collaborative; information is not withheld, but shared. We celebrate victories together. We work hard to support one another and overcome obstacles together. It is one of the only places where Kennedy School students work together with Medical, Ed, and B School students, making ‘One Harvard’ a reality.

What’s next for you and your venture?

I am pursuing this venture full-time after graduating HKS. We released DoneGood on the App Store in August and were the official app of the Boston GreenFest.  We will continue to build relationships with campus, community organizations, and businesses in Greater Boston until we establish product market fit in the fall of 2015. We then plan to scale nationally and create a community where millions of conscientious consumers can come together and use our app as the search one-and-done resource to find businesses that share their values.

If you had to give another student one piece of advice to get the most out of the i-lab, what would it be?

Engage. Talk to everyone. Come learn from the staff, the experts and the other teams. Sometimes it is easy to work from home, but come to the ‘office’ and make use of the resources available to you here. The irony is that you will have to get outside the building to make your business a success, but it’s good to know your family back at the i-lab has got your back.

Anything we missed?

The entrepreneurship courses at HKS and HBS compliment the i-lab’s learning experience. You can dive deeper into finance or launching a tech venture with professors who have started businesses themselves. The best part is that whenever they run simulations, they bring the class to the i-lab.