2020 President's Innovation Challenge

Transform Passion into Possibility

The President’s Innovation Challenge is a call to action for Harvard students passionate about developing ideas that make a difference. It celebrates what we can accomplish through collaboration, ingenuity, and rigorous exploration. And it’s a challenge to imagine all the ways we can do good, better.

The Awards Ceremony Event

Ready to discover the next generation of companies working to change the world? Then don’t miss the President’s Innovation Challenge Awards Ceremony in late May (exact date TBA). We’re excited to announce that this event will now be a virtual celebration of our teams! 

At this very moment, students from across the Harvard schools are working at the intersections of science, medicine, technology, society, and culture to develop new solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems. On May 13, you’ll meet some of the most innovative startups being built at Harvard – and see 20 finalists showcase their highly-anticipated projects LIVE. Harvard President Lawrence Bacow will then announce this year’s winners who will take home Bertarelli Foundation Prizes totaling $510,000.

If you’re interested in what’s next, this event is a must. Open to the entire Boston community. 



A total of $510,000 in Bertarelli Foundation Prizes will be awarded to grand prize and runner-up winners in each venture track of the President’s Innovation Challenge, including the alumni venture tracks.

PIC Semi-Finalist Path An intense program designed to accelerate the progress of your venture in preparation for the PIC Grand Prize competition. Open Track
Life Science
Social Impact
Life Lab (Alumni)
Launch Lab X (Alumni)
Grand: $75,000/track
Runner-Up: $25,000/track
12-week Spring Venture Program Programming to help any serious student get their venture off on the right foot and make progress throughout the spring term. N/A Ingenuity: $10,000

The President’s Innovation Challenge prizes are made possible by a generous gift from the Bertarelli Foundation, Ernesto Bertarelli (MBA 1993).


The world needs new ideas. So, for the second time in the history of the President’s Innovation Challenge, we are giving out $10,000 in Ingenuity Awards just for bold, original thinking. Simply tell us about a problem you see in the world and how you envision solving it. Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony in late May.



March 3 – March 18
Ingenuity Awards & Finalist applications open. Applicants may update their applications to reflect progress on their ventures and ideas.

April 14
Five finalists are chosen for each track competing for President’s Innovation Challenge Grand Prizes.

May 6
Student finalists competing for President’s Innovation Challenge Awards pitch their venture live to a panel of experts who will decide Grand Prize and Runner-Up winners.

Late May 
The five finalists in each track — including the alumni tracks — pitch their ventures before a live audience.