Selection + Scoring
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President’s Innovation Challenge

Watch the Show
PIC Ceremony at Klarman Hall

Three Rounds of Competition

  • 01

    Application Round

    An internal PIC selection committee reviews initial student venture applications and selects 100+ semifinalists.

  • 02

    Semifinalist Round

    Over 150 online judges review and score semifinalist applications, provide feedback to each venture, and select five finalists in each track. PIC judges represent a variety of industries and experiences as founders, investors, operators, and industry experts.

  • 03

    Finalist Round

    Finalists in each track pitch online to a panel of judges who evaluate their pitch, ask questions, and help select the $25K and $75K winners.

Applications are scored on four main categories:

  1. Problem and Customer Definition: Your problem is clearly identified, your solution aligns with the problem you’ve identified, and your customer is well understood.
  2. Business Model: You have a business/financial model that appears both achievable and sustainable. If you are a nonprofit venture, you should be clear about how you will build sustainably.

  3. Product, Prototype, or MVP: Your team has a product, prototype, or MVP that you have tested with your customers.

  4. Impact: Your idea, once implemented, will have a material impact on the world as measured by directly or indirectly improving the quality of peoples’ lives.

InConfidence founder Helena Franco at the 2023 PIC

What Happens Next

  • We require all finalists to attend the Awards Ceremony on May 1, 2024, to pitch in front of a live audience and, if selected, to accept your prize.

  • If you are the $25,000 or $75,000 winner in your track, the award money is a prize, and you decide what to do with it. It is also non-dilutive, which means you don’t have to give up any equity in your venture to accept the award.

  • If your venture is not selected for the challenge, or if your venture does not have enough traction (yet!) to advance in the competition, don’t be discouraged!

    Take advantage of the plethora of resources available to you at the Harvard Innovation Labs to continue developing your venture. Then consider applying again in the future. Many past PIC winners have applied more than once. PIC participants gain valuable feedback and experience throughout the process that helps them further develop their ventures and put forth a stronger application in subsequent years.