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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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 by 09/07/22 to be eligible for Orientation, Mentorship, and Funding opportunities.
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.
Meet other inspiring members in a fun and relaxed setting!
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.
Student-led groups connecting like-minded innovators around industries and affinity groups (e.g. Fintech Founders or Women Founders in Ed Tech).
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!
Our interactive events provide the insights you’ll need to build a smarter future together.
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 your idea or venture in front of a group of supportive peers, thoughtful staff, and handpicked experts.
Get targeted, industry-specific advice from people who’ve been exactly where you are now.
The Student i-lab will help you apply for a range of funding opportunities at all different stages of your venture.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|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."
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.”
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.”
Get to know the names and faces you’ll regularly interact with when you become a member.
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:
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.
What is the Student i-lab Membership?
The Student i-lab Membership provides 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 support founders at any stage and the innovation-curious.
What are the three stages of your venture journey that Student i-lab Membership supports?
The three stages are: Explore, Test, Propel. These represent early, in progress, and advanced stages of a venture. When you submit the i-lab membership form, you’ll answer a few questions about your current venture progress (for those who are working on an idea) or your areas of interest (for those interested in innovation but not currently working on an idea). Based on your answers, we’ll recommend that you begin exploring either the Explore, Test, or Propel offerings. Please note that while we suggest specific resources that may benefit you, you are welcome to tap into the resources that you feel are most relevant. Learn more about Membership offerings supporting the three stages here.
When is the deadline to join the Student i-lab Membership?
The Student i-lab membership form is open throughout the year, and students may join on a rolling basis. You are encouraged to submit the form by midnight on Wednesday, September 7 to get access to orientation, funding opportunities, and mentorship.
If I am actively pursuing my venture as a solo founder, should I complete the membership form as an individual or as a venture team?
Please submit the venture intake form. We want to learn more about what you are working on and want to better understand your stage, so we can support your venture.
If I'm already a member, do I have to reapply for next semester?
We ask members who join in the fall to renew in the spring and the summer. A short renewal form will be made available at the end of the fall term for spring renewals. Similarly, if you join in the spring or summer, we ask that you renew the following term. This helps us understand whether you are still working on your idea and how we can continue to support you.
Who is eligible to join?
All current degree-seeking, matriculated Harvard students are eligible to join the Student i-lab Membership. Those joining with a venture do so through the venture membership form. You may include non-Harvard team members on your form, but a Harvard student must be a founder and committed leader of the venture. That person must be the one to submit the intake form. Those not joining with a venture/ idea join via a shorter individual membership form. Here are the complete criteria for eligibility:
What if I am deferring or taking a leave of absence?
We are unable to support ventures with team leads who are deferring or on a leave of absence, as team leads must be fully matriculated.
Do Extension School students qualify?
Extension School students that are admitted degree candidates in the ALB and ALM programs with a minimum of 8 credit-registration (generally, two courses or more) are eligible for i-lab resources, including the Student i-lab Membership. Eligibility for applicants will be reviewed by the Career and Academic Resource Center (CARC). Unfortunately, non-degree-seeking students are not eligible to engage with i-lab resources.
Do all the co-founders need to be Harvard students?
No! Your venture must have at least one co-founder who is a matriculated Harvard student, or a Harvard affiliated post-doc or clinical fellow in order to be eligible. That person must be the one to fill out the membership form. The entire team does not have to be composed of Harvard students and we welcome teams with outside team members.
How can I join an i-lab team?
Become a member! Fill out the membership form for individuals. As a member you will be the first to know about networking events, have access to our Slack community, and will have opportunities to meet i-lab venture teams.
What is the time commitment for Membership? Are there requirements that i-lab Members must meet?
We encourage all members to make the best possible use of the i-lab Membership. Members who dedicate more time and explore more i-lab resources tend to benefit more from the Membership. We understand that our members are also students and we expect that academics and classes will come first. There is no minimum time commitment or requirements for members, with the exception of certain offerings (e.g. funding opportunities) that require pitch prep, applications, etc.
Does the i-lab offer funding?
The i-lab facilitates applications for a range of funding opportunities for ventures at different stages.
Can the i-lab help me build my website?
We host workshops on how to build your website and we offer discounts for members who want to use a website building tool.
How do I get personalized advice on my venture?
The i-lab offers personalized support for your venture through our Staff Advisors and our Expert Network. Staff Advisors can work with you to set milestones and provide feedback on your venture. We encourage you to meet with an advisor and build a relationship with them. You can book time with an individual staff advisor here. You can view our expert resources and book time with individuals here.
Who are the i-lab Staff Advisors and how can they help?
Our Staff Advisors are seasoned experts who work 1:1 with venture teams and individuals. Staff Advisors are here to help you throughout your i-lab journey. Whether you’re looking discuss your idea or venture, discover tools and techniques to fast track your venture, or practice your pitch, they can work with you to set milestones and provide feedback on your venture. When you complete the membership form, you will be assigned an individual Staff Advisor.
If I’m assigned to one advisor, can I still meet with others?
For teams in the Membership, we recommend cultivating a deep and repeated relationship with an advisor who knows you well. Once in a while you may meet with other advisors to get their topical advice, and you can always book time with experts and specialists, but we expect teams to work with one advisor to help move their venture forward.
Does Harvard Innovation Labs take any equity in the venture?
Not at all. Harvard Innovation Labs does not take any equity in your venture. A core tenet of the i-lab is that we want students to feel safe while trying new things and feel safe failing. Offering support without equity allows teams to take greater risks and grow in the directions that are right for them.
Does Harvard own the intellectual property (IP) associated with my proposal?
Do you need membership to access the Harvard i-lab?
No. Currently matriculated, degree-seeking students can access the i-lab space in Batten Hall without being a member. Students can also access our Expert Resources, Staff Advisors, and our workshops without becoming members. However, we strongly encourage you to complete the membership form, so you have full access to our community, are the first to know about upcoming opportunities, and so we can help tailor our programming to your needs.
Is application to the i-lab Membership competitive? What makes a successful application?
The i-lab Membership is not competitive. When you submit the membership form, just be honest about your progress and interests – this will enable our team to suggest specific resources that we think will benefit your unique innovation journey.
Who do I contact if I have more questions?
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions regarding the program or the application process.
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 email@example.com