Spark Grants

What are Spark Grants?

For Harvard students with a demonstrated commitment and passion for a venture idea, Spark Grants will enable them to complete demand validation experiments. Students will test key assumptions and work with the Harvard Innovation Labs to validate demand through methods such as conducting customer interviews, running ad or social media campaigns, building a landing page, or creating a prototype.  

How much funding is available and what is the process?

Spark Grants are non-dilutive grants distributed by the Harvard Innovation Labs. Students begin the process by completing an application in which they detail how they will use money to test demand for their product or service. In the first round, eligible students will be awarded up to $750 to test demand.  

In a future semester, students can apply for additional funding. Applicants will be asked to describe the experiment(s) they ran and what they learned. From there, the Harvard Innovation Labs may award up to $2,000 in additional funding. Funds will be distributed based on demonstrated need, impact of funds, and overall demand.

Who is eligible?

Spark Grants are available to current Test and Propel teams who fulfill the following criteria: 

  • Ventures must be members of the current Student i-lab term. 
  • Ventures must be in either the Test or Propel stages—though Spark Grants are geared toward Test-stage teams.  
  • Ventures must have participated previously in at least one other i-lab Venture Program or Membership over the past 12 months. 
  • Ventures must have a plan to use the money for demand validation. 
  • Ventures with a for-profit or a non-profit business model are welcome to apply. Teams do not need to be incorporated. 

Ventures must meet all the criteria above. No exceptions can be made. 


May 24, 2023 | Application Launch 

June 5, 2023 | Application Close 

June 16, 2023 | Grant Notification 


How Do I Apply?

Before applying, please review the eligibility criteria carefully. Please contact with any questions.