President's Challenge 2015

Announcing the President's Challenge 2015

Dear Members of the Harvard Community,

We are pleased to announce today the fourth annual President's Challenge for entrepreneurship. Hosted by the Harvard Innovation Lab, the Challenge draws on the creativity, diversity, and talents of our community, supporting thinkers and inventors throughout the University.

Each year, we encourage students and postdoctoral fellows from across Harvard’s Schools to apply fresh ideas to some of the intractable problems of our time. This year’s Challenge invites work in five categories:  affordable health, connected cities, education innovation, economic development and sustainable employment, and energy and the environment.

A Challenge kick-off event—featuring a keynote by Dean David Ellwood—will be held in the i-lab lobby on Monday, October 6, from 5 to 7 p.m. During the fall, the i-lab will host workshops and networking events for budding entrepreneurs. In the spring, ten finalist teams will be awarded space in the i-lab and $5,000 of seed money, as well as the opportunity to participate in tailored programs and mentoring. From those ten teams, the judging panel will select a winner and up to three runners-up who will be awarded a share of the $100,000 grand prize at a Demo Day in the spring.

The President’s Challenge headlines a slate of challenges offered by the Harvard Innovation Lab this year. These Deans’ Challenges will focus on areas within Cultural Entrepreneurship, Food System, Health & Life Sciences, and Innovation in Sports. Students are eligible to submit one entry per Challenge. You can learn more about these challenges on the i-lab’s website.

Harvard is about possibilities. Here, it is possible to meet—and to become—the change-makers who are applying knowledge and solving the world’s greatest problems. We see this happening every day at each of our Schools, and we can’t wait to see what you will achieve this year through Harvard’s growing array of Challenges.


Drew Faust

Alan Garber