The Harvard President's Innovation Challenge was created to cultivate and curate the innovation community across Harvard University. Last night, the 8th annual competition was held at Klarman Hall was where 20 students presented their startups to the audience. Before the pitches, Harvard Innovation Labs Executive Director Jodi Goldstein addressed the crowd with news about this year's competition; 54% of the founders were female and 50% of the founders were people of color.
The pitches were split up into four separate tracks: Health & Life Sciences (startups involved in those respective industries), Social Impact (startups aiming to solve problems while making a positive impression), Open Track ("the melting pot of ideas," and startups that are taking on a variety of problems), and Launch Lab X (graduates from Harvard's multiple schools taking part in the competition). This year, there was a new award; the Ingenuity Award, which was given to individual students with scalable ideas.
Winners and Slideshow of the Finalists
Below is a list of the winners and slideshow of each of the 20 companies that presented. As you’ll notice, there is a myriad of industries and social problems these students and alumni are looking to disrupt and/or solve, respectively.
Health & Life Sciences
Runner-Up ($25K): GC Therapeutics
Grand Prize ($75K): Kinnos
Runner-Up ($25K): MDaaS Global
Grand Prize ($75K): JustFix
Runner-Up ($25K): MyToolBox
Grand Prize ($75K): ReThink
Launch Lab X
Runner-Up ($25K): Sophya
Grand Prize ($75K): Jamber
Runner-Up ($2500): Tauheedah F. Baker
Runner-Up ($2500): Nicole Ivey
Grand Prize ($5K): Christina Chang