2019 President's Innovation Challenge

1,000,000 pennies for your thoughts

The world needs your ideas. So, for the first time in the history of the President’s Innovation Challenge, we will be giving out $10,000 in Ingenuity Awards. That’s $10,000 for ideas with the potential to become world-changing – even if they are not yet fully formed ventures.

Are you serious about your idea, even if it’s in its nascent stages? Then we hope you’ll apply for the President’s Innovation Challenge. The rewards aren’t just monetary. The application process itself will help you refine your idea, and pull you into our innovation ecosystem, with plenty of resources and programs to help you bring your early-stage vision to life.

Learn more about all the President’s Innovation Challenge process, tracks and prizes here.


Ingenuity Award Eligibility

All President’s Innovation Challenge applicants are eligible for the Ingenuity Awards – and the application is the same.

Apply here.



Ingenuity Award winners will be announced at the President’s Innovation Challenge Showcase & Awards Ceremony on May 1, 2019.

All President’s Innovation Challenge awards are made possible by the generosity of the Bertarelli Foundation, Ernesto Bertarelli (MBA 1993).


The Challenge






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Take advantage of Harvard i-lab events and resources to meet potential team members, gather feedback on your idea, and test and validate your venture.

December 12 | Hack the Challenge
This is a specially designed hands-on, roll up your sleeves, turbocharged workshop to help you develop your strongest application. We’ll take a section-by-section deep dive into the application and, for each section, our i-lab advisors will give you an introduction and then help you craft your specific application responses.


November 5, 2018 | Application form is live

January 2, 2019 | Application deadline

Late January | Semi-finalists selected

March 2019 | 20 finalists selected (5 per track)

May 1, 2019 | Live Pitches and Awards Ceremony