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Harvard Innovation Labs


For homeowners with flood risk, RESILIFT provides end-to-end residential flood-proofing solutions focusing on project financing and physical mitigation using innovative technology to optimize the process.

Resilift team



Harvard Business School


Climate Circle

Climate Circle Q&A With Cofounders Maiky Iberkleid Szainrok (HBS '23) and Marcus Landers (HBS '23)

  • Marcus: We care deeply about solving existential problems, community, and service to others; and we have intimate experience with climate-related home loss. My great-grandfather was an immigrant who hand-built his family’s home on the Jersey Shore as the culmination of his American dream. Hurricane Sandy destroyed that home, erasing four generations of irreplaceable memories.

    Moving past my familial tragedy, I realized that the government policies and private enterprises protecting and hardening homes in his community and those like it were deeply flawed. Further, the following decade has proven that the impact of climate change will only increase the scale and devastation of flooding. My desire to serve my country motivated my enlistment in the Marine Corps after graduating college, but never forgot the devastating impact of Sandy. After leaving the military, I was committed to business school, but was seeking my next mission: how could I continue to serve? I looked no further than the community I returned home to, and decided to dedicate my career to preventing other families from suffering as mine did during Sandy.

    Maiky: I was born and raised in La Paz, Bolivia and saw entire communities wiped out during the rainy season. I vividly remember the Choqueyapu river, which runs through the city, often overflowing and spilling vast quantities of sewage, industrial waste, and trash onto the areas surrounding it creating a public health hazard. I left home at the age of 18 to find better opportunities here in the US, but I vowed to always find ways to help those in my home country.

    Meeting Marcus and hearing about the opportunities to address flood risk and its impact on communities felt like destiny. By doing good and developing solutions in a resource-rich country like the US, one sets off a chain of events that can eventually help folks globally, and that is what I intend to do.

  • 17.7 million homes in the US have a 26% chance of total asset loss due to flooding, cascading into $8 trillion worth of potential asset loss and putting $500 billion of property taxes in jeopardy. This is a ticking time bomb which we will diffuse and, in the process, save entire towns; save the government billions of dollars in post-disaster recovery; reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 840 million tons of CO2e; and most importantly, save the homes—the most important asset economically and emotionally—of millions of Americans. We will also deploy our solutions at a global scale as flooding is a global issue.

  • In their book “The Ostrich Paradox,” Robert Meyer and Howard Kunreuther explain that when it comes to disaster preparedness, humans often act like ostriches and bury their heads in the sand instead of proactively taking the steps to address the crisis and soften its blow. We believe that flooding falls into this category; people often don’t think about flood risk to their homes unless it happens to someone they know. Compounding this is the fact that the process is expensive and intrusive, requiring a high activation energy financially, emotionally, and operationally to get in motion.

    RESILIFT’s mission is to reduce disruption to homeowners on all three fronts, so residential lifting becomes accessible and ubiquitous. To achieve this, we must solve problems in insurance, finance, construction, and policy. Fortunately, we have found dedicated partners in these areas who are as committed to solving this problem as we are.

  • Both of us have never worked in climate but are excited to bring fresh perspectives from our past careers. Marcus was a captain in the Marines and Maiky was the head of solutions at Hologram, an early-stage Internet of Things startup prior to business school, where we met. We both decided to pursue our MBAs to pivot into spheres where we can tackle the large challenges that are affecting all of humanity. We met each other in section and bonded over our love for New Jersey, soon realizing that we were looking to make a similar impact on the world after school.

  • Two stories come to mind.

    On Marcus’ first day on a structural lifting jobsite, he wore an old pair of Marine Corps boots. It had been nearly a decade since he enlisted, and the boots he wore were among the first he was issued as an aspiring military officer. Much like his first few weeks in boot camp, the jobsite proved to be a rough place. As the new guy, Marcus was assigned the most undesirable tasks: he pulled himself through the dirt under a dark, filthy, two-foot-high crawl space, and dragged along heavy hydraulic jacks to set up the lifting mechanism. His old, trusted boots gave out as he strained against the excessive heat and rough terrain, and he had to finish the day with his feet poking through the bottom of his shoes. The discomfort of the experience was a stark lesson: this journey would be difficult, no matter what credentials and accomplishments we had already accomplished. Since that first job, Marcus has kept the destroyed boots on his desk. They represent a drive to innovate for efficiency and safety, a signal to learn at the point of friction, and a reminder to remain humble throughout the journey.

    Donna had lived in Hampton Beach, NH for decades. She had raised her family in the same small cottage that she now used to host her grandchildren each summer. But every year, the flood waters during the monthly “king tide” encroached upon her family’s home. She waited for years to save enough to raise her house, hoping to save enough money in time to save her home. It’s impossible to forget the joy and amazement she experienced as we hoisted her home ten feet in the air. The most poignant memory was our last encounter, after we had secured her certificate of occupancy from the building inspector. She was bursting with pride and hope, believing she had secured future memories with her grandchildren and generations to come in her flood-proofed home.

  • Marcus was selected to be a Bochnowski Family Veteran Fellow at the Hoover Institution out at Stanford. On top of this honor, Marcus got to meet several fellow veterans like retired United States Army lieutenant general and the 25th United States National Security Advisor H.R McMaster, US House of Representatives member Seth Moulton, and former Secretary of Defense James Mattis. They are supporting RESILIFT as we engage with policy at the national, state, and local levels.

  • Don’t be afraid to take the leap of faith into climate entrepreneurship. From day one, the journey has been incredibly rewarding in more ways than we can begin to count. The amount of learning we’ve done in just a few months is tremendous, the number of individuals excited to lend a helping hand is humbling, and some of the people we met quickly become mentors in both life and business. Once you fully commit to the idea of starting something out of nothing, beautiful things happen.