Introducing the Summer 2017 Consumer Ventures

This summer, The Harvard Innovation Labs is home to 23 consumer product and services ventures, ranging from algae-based snack foods to wearable hydration sensors. Assistant Director for Consumer Goods Peter Gladstone says that the lines are blurring between consumer and social entrepreneurship ventures.

“Many of the teams are looking to use consumer products as a means for solving problems in the social and cultural realms,” Gladstone says. For example, Jaxxed, an accessories brand, also supports development opportunities for underserved youth. Sonder, a travel company, curates trips based on issues that matter.

These consumer-focused startups account for 22% of all ventures within the Harvard Innovation Labs ecosystem. The startup founders represent eight of the twelve Harvard schools, including the College, Business School, Extension School, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, Graduate School of Design, Graduate School of Education, Kennedy School and Law School. This variety of backgrounds brings life to the One Harvard vision of inter-school collaboration, and exemplifies our belief that diversity in experience is a necessary ingredient for innovation.

The Harvard Innovation Labs is a dynamic incubator ecosystem that unleashes the innovative power of the Harvard community and helps people take their ideas further, faster. Student-based ventures work and receive support in the Harvard i-lab, while alumni ventures are headquartered Launch Lab, a collaborative co-working space and resource-supported community for high-potential early-stage startups. Our newest space, the Pagliuca Harvard Life Lab, houses high-potential early-stage life sciences startups.

Read on to learn more about the 23 consumer product and services ventures that are part of the summer Venture Incubation Program (VIP) cohort:

 

Consumer Technology

  • Credly is a platform for managing and distributing data-rich digital badges representing skills and certifications that are verified by third parties.
  • Getmii lets users broadcast their needs to people nearby and connect with the people that can help them best.
  • PHIAR combines artificial intelligence and augmented reality into a new form of in-car GPS system for enhanced safety and more intuitive navigation.
  • Private Group Networks is a sophisticated performance optimization tool for teams, clubs and professional associations built around an integrated suite of mobile apps.
  • TarDisk doubles your onboard MacBook storage by adding 256GB of secure, seamless storage through a simple, tool-free hardware platform.

 

Fashion

  • Jaxxed is a bold fashion accessories brand that supports education and workforce development opportunities for underserved youth.
  • The Wardrobe Essentialist helps professional men make a great impression in today’s meetings using their wardrobe.

 

Food & Agriculture

  • Cache Chocolate crafts delicious truffles to delight food lovers and support cacao farming communities. Each box purchased provides one student lunch.
  • Hivemind is a smart beehive that removes the barriers to entry associated with beekeeping, allowing anybody to take part in saving our pollinators.
  • Rooted aims to combat environmental degradation by introducing algae in the form of snack foods as a sustainable alternative to animal protein.
  • Voodles is reinventing dry pasta by making it entirely from vegetables, thereby transforming a high-calorie starch into something light and healthy.

 

Media

  • RadioPublic is a Public Benefit Corporation launched with founding partner PRX that helps listeners discover, engage with and reward the creators of podcasts.
  • The Cohort is the most efficient and enjoyable way for smart people to learn about world affairs.

 

Real Estate & Home

  • Arcbazar is the first-of-its-kind crowdsourcing platform for architectural, interior and landscape design projects.
  • Cozy Kin is Airbnb plus childcare: families sharing great nannies.
  • H Square provides a safe, quality, affordable housing alternative for university communities by owning and operating a portfolio of rental properties.
  • In is a fintech startup offering tenant-default insurance for home rentals.
  • Nestead builds a mobile inventory of possessions so busy households that shop online can get things done.

 

Sports & Games

  • Ace-up aims to be the go-to marketplace for coaches. Its mission is to help coaches develop their business and help people get better coaching.
  • Nix is a consumer diagnostic company currently developing its initial product: a wearable hydration sensor that empowers athletes to manage their hydration status in real time.
  • Plan Fate makes games to help couples build communication skills.

 

Travel

  • Noken is reimagining the tour operator concept for millennials by curating instant-bookable itineraries that are guided through a signature app.
  • Sonder curates weekend trips based on issues that matter.