What is the Student i-lab?

We’re a membership-based community focused on entrepreneurship and innovation that anyone can join, anytime. Members are granted an all-inclusive pass to access the i-lab’s wealth of offerings — think workshops, experts, advisors, funding opportunities, and an invaluable community of like-minded peers — all curated to help you explore your ideas and accelerate idea growth and venture building. Join as an individual or as a team, and we’ll help you figure out how we can best be of service.

 

How does Membership Work?

We’ve created an inclusive membership program to foster connections between students at all 13 schools, staff, and experts, who can help you harness your imagination toward the future of innovation. You can enter the Student i-lab at one of three stages we’ve mapped out to offer tailored resources depending on where you are on your journey. Whether you need help with messaging and marketing, connecting with your customer, or discovering potential funding opportunities, we’ve got you covered.

 

Become a member today!

Join by 09/07/22 to be eligible for Orientation,
Mentorship, and Funding opportunities.

Along every part of our journey, the curriculum and mentorship at the Student i-lab have been matched to our level and pace of growth. It’s hard to imagine where we would be without it.”

—Vishal Punwani
Co-Founder, Sophya

Three stages that meet you
where you are.

01: EXPLORE

In this first stage, we can help you sort through your ideas and figure out which one to start pursuing. Don’t have an idea and aren’t sure if entrepreneurship is for you? No problem. If you’re interested in design-thinking and problem solving, i-lab is a great place to further your learning and foster community — you might even decide to join a team or venture that speaks to you.

  • Design Thinking
  • Idea Evaluation
  • Lean Canvas
  • Building a Team

02: TEST

You’ve got your idea for your venture, but aren’t sure where to begin. In this stage, we’ll help you with consumer research, customer outreach, and building your prototype. Or maybe you’re a little further along: you’ve assembled a team and you’re talking to customers and working through feedback to refine your product or offering. At this stage, you can learn how to talk to potential customers through customer-discovery workshops, make connections with experts, or take advantage of funding opportunities to help advance your ideas.

  • Customer Discovery
  • Customer Feedback
  • Market Research
  • Designing Customer Surveys and Interviews
  • Customer Value Proposition
  • Minimum Viable Product
  • MVP Design & Testing
  • Building your Website to test your idea
  • Building your First Pitch Deck

Three stages that meet you
where you are.

03: PROPEL

You’re in full swing building your venture: you’ve got revenue, investors, and your customer largely figured out. Your product is speeding toward the market, and we’re here to support with meeting spaces, dedicated mentors, and advisors who can help you nail down the perfect pitch. In this stage, you will be encouraged to apply for funding opportunities like the Allston Venture Fund and the Social Impact Fellowship Fund, as well as the President’s Innovation Challenge. You will receive pitch preparation and support from real world experts, funders, and staff to help you successfully raise capital.

  • Practicing your Pitch
  • Building a Deck for Investors
  • Business Model Development
  • Team & Founder Issues
  • Founder Agreements & Conflict Resolution
  • Fundraising Strategy & Building your Funder Pipeline
  • Fundraising from Angels, VCs, and other investors
  • Legal Issues
  • User Acquisition
  • Product Marketing
  • Product Roadmapping & Roadmap Planning

Ready to become a member?

Are you eager to meet ambitious peers and become part of a tight community focused on the future of innovation? Are you curious about what ventures are already being built right here at Harvard? Apply today to join the Student i-lab — where imagination meets innovation.

Join Now

Join by 09/07/22 to be eligible for Orientation, Mentorship, and Funding opportunities.

Why become a member?

COMMUNITY

At The Student i-lab, the connections you make, the conversations you have, and the collaborations that follow will take you in unexpected new directions.

Social Mixers

Meet other inspiring members in a fun and relaxed setting!

Networking Events

Join us as we bring together founders, a diverse group of experts, and Student i-lab staff for networking events. These events create space for genuine relationship building.

Subcommunities

Student-led groups connecting like-minded innovators around industries and affinity groups (e.g. Fintech Founders or Women Founders in Ed Tech).

Newsletter and Slack Channel

Our Members Newsletter and Members Slack channel are where we share program we share program information, resources, and opportunities for collaboration. It’s also a way to meet and stay connected with fellow founders, i-lab staff, and the broader i-lab community!

PROGRAMMING & EVENTS

Our interactive events provide the insights you’ll need to build a smarter future together.

Core Workshops and Panel Discussions

Learn directly from field experts on a range of topics such as crafting your Value Proposition, building your Minimum Viable Product (MVP), and understanding your customer. Our workshops map out an innovators trajectory and help guide you from start to finish on your entrepreneurship journey.

Pitch Practice

Pitch your idea or venture in front of a group of supportive peers, thoughtful staff, and handpicked experts.

Expert Industry Advice

Get targeted, industry-specific advice from people who’ve been exactly where you are now.

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

The Student i-lab will help you apply for a range of funding opportunities at all different stages of your venture.

EXPERT GUIDANCE

We’ll help you navigate the inevitable challenges of bringing an idea to fruition with experts who understand first-hand what you’re going through.

Access to Staff Advisors

Based on the direction of your idea – whether in social impact healthcare and life sciences, B2C, or technology and B2B – you’ll be matched with an in-house staff advisor who will support you at any stage.

Connect with Expert Network

Book time to meet with our network of experts. These serial entrepreneurs, industry leaders, functional experts, and other specialists can help offer advice at any stage – from helping you define the problem you are solving to growing & scaling a business.

Meet your Mentors

Select ventures have access to the mentor program, an opportunity to be matched 1:1 with a mentor who can meet regularly to support your venture and help make progress on your unique venture goals and needs.

 

 

Who’s Eligible?

The i-lab Student Membership is open to individuals or teams led by* at least one matriculated, degree-seeking Harvard student, including undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and clinical fellows. We’d love to meet you.

*A Harvard student must be a founder and committed leader of the venture. That person must be the one to submit the application.

HOW TO BECOME A MEMBER

1. Join by 9/7/22 to be eligible for Orientation, Mentorship, and Funding opportunities.
2. We help you identify what stage you’re at (Explore, Test, Propel).
3. Membership grants you access to all The Student i-lab’s resources and community of others on similar entrepreneurial paths. Orientation starts on 09/22/22.
Admission is Rolling: We know ideas can come at any time, so we’ve made membership accessible all year long. That said, we’d hate for you to miss out on the excitement of any of our early events and programming. Get in early to tap into the energy of the community as we kick off this fall with exciting events and opportunities.

 

The power of connection is at the forefront of every decision we make. Whether it’s creating opportunities for students to meet across fields of interest, or reaching out to our expert community to guide teams through their successes and setbacks, we deeply value our relationships and the incredible work that can grow from them."

—Matt Segneri
Bruce and Bridgitt Evans Executive Director

This is the reason people should come to Harvard… [We] come here to make an impact in the world. And the way to make that impact successfully is through collaboration... It’s necessary to have a space like this in order to meet the goals you wanted to meet, to connect, and to break down the walls of intimidation.”

—Gina Ciaccone
Founder, GreenScreen

We all know the statistics. We know that 90 percent of startups fail. And yet, maybe irrationally, it's still something we're trying to do. The camaraderie that we get from all having that shared identity, and the sense of community where people genuinely want to see others succeed, have been so important.”

—Miriam Huntley
co-founder and CTO, Day Zero Diagnostics

MEET THE STUDENT I-LAB TEAM

Get to know the names and faces you’ll regularly interact with when you become a member.

Program Management
I can help you with:
Connect with experts, mentors, and funders.Connect with the Boston startup ecosystem.Find the right accelerator program for you.
Programs
I can help you with:
Navigate the Student i-lab’s programs and workshops.Understand Student i-lab funding offerings.Understand the President’s Innovation Challenge tracks.
Programs
I can help you with:
Navigate the Student i-lab expert community.Connect with legal support for your venture.Optimize your Venture Program experience.
Network Engagement
I can help you with:
Connect with the Student i-lab community.Understand Student i-lab offerings and resources.Get involved in subcommunities.
Community
Staff Advisors
I can help you with:
Tackle an issue you care about.Develop a business plan.Connect with experts in your field.Set milestones and test your idea.Pivot your venture as you gain new knowledge.Create a strong board.
Social Entrepreneurship
I can help you with:
Understand your customer.Position your product.Develop a marketing strategy.Determine effective advertising.Fundraise.Develop a pitch deck.Conduct market research.
B2C
I can help you with:
Develop go-to-market plans for B2B.Build the right MVP with no-code solutions.Develop your B2B pitch and tell your venture's story.Build technology roadmaps.Strategize around engineering issues.
B2B + Tech
I can help you with:
Get going on your idea.Figure out who to talk to.Simplify and focus.Connect to large corporates.
General

Frequently Asked Questions

I don’t have an idea, but I’m interested in innovation or in joining a venture team. Can I join the Membership?

Yes! You don’t have to have an idea to join the i-lab Membership. Harvard students interested in innovation or in joining a venture are a welcome part of the i-lab community. Join the membership to take advantage of a wealth of i-lab resources, connect with others interested in innovation, and meet fellow students whose ventures you can join. As an individual member, you will be able to attend networking events, get access to our Venture Directory, and have opportunities to find teams to join.

 

When can I join?

The i-lab intake form is open throughout the year, and students may apply on a rolling basis. You are encouraged to submit the intake form by midnight on Wednesday, September 7 to be eligible to:

  • Attend orientation
  • Apply for funding opportunities (if applicable)
  • Be matched with a mentor (if appplicable)

Members who join in the fall may opt-in to renew their membership for the spring. A short renewal form will be made available at the end of the fall term.

 

I have a venture that is already a growing or thriving business. Can we apply to the Membership or is it just for brand-new ventures?

Yes, please join! We welcome students and ventures at all stages. If you indicate that you are a later-stage team via the intake form, we’ll recommend that you take advantage of our “Propel” offerings. These include tailored pitch prep, funding opportunities, advising and expert advice, mentorship pairing (if selected), and more. We have accepted plenty of ventures that were started a year or so prior to applying, but who joined the program to get help in scaling or gaining traction. Our programming and resources can help you at any stage of growth. Many advanced teams also appreciate a community of other committed teams.

 

I’m not a Harvard student, but I am an interested community member. How can I engage?

You can learn about entrepreneurship by listening in on our public workshops. Please keep in mind that the content is tailored to students, so we ask you to be a respectful audience member and allow students to do the speaking.

Still looking for answers? Here’s our full list of FAQs

Ready to become a member?

Join Now

Join by 09/07/22 to be eligible for Orientation, Mentorship, and Funding opportunities.

Still have questions? We’re here for you! Email us at i-lab@harvard.edu