It’s competition season at the Harvard Innovation Lab, and a number of HBS MBA students are throwing their hats in the ring. Here’s is a list of the entrepreneurially-minded students and their new ventures that have made it to the final stages of the Harvard President’s Challenge, Dean’s Cultural Entrepreneurship Challenge, and Dean’s Health and Life Sciences Challenge. Winners of each competition will be announced this month.
The Harvard University President’s Challenge encourages students from across the University to develop creative solutions to the world’s most pressing problems in five areas: learning, energy and environment, health, disaster preparation and relief, and the arts.
- Healo (Nathan Le, MBA 2014) is a mobile app that allows doctors to remotely monitor their patients’ wound-healing progress through a detailed time-lapse pictorial record, enabling medical care providers to maintain a higher quality of care while reducing the number of costly follow-up visits.
Other Team Members: Gino Inverso (HSDM); Ben Arneberg, Patty Furukawa, and Peter Jackson.
- PlenOptika (Michael Poku and Alice Zheng, both MBA 2014) is a venture producing a low-cost handheld device that prescribes glasses with the click of a button, eliminating a huge barrier of obtaining appropriate eyeglasses in remote or low-income settings due to the acute shortage of trained professionals in those areas.
Other Team Members: Nicholas Durr, Daryl Lim, Shivang Dave, and Eduardo Lage.
- TerraTek (Jocelyn Cheng, MBA 2013) is a social enterprise that focuses on helping individuals, municipalities, and communities determine their existing land rights in a transparent and secure manner to settle land disputes and map and organize property rights in developing countries.
Other Team Members: Matthew Alexander (HKS), Pamela Jimenez (Harvard College), Marcelo Viscarra, and Brian Sweatt.
- Zen Way Inc. (Otto Magdanz, MBA 2014) strives to disrupt the standardized test preparation market and higher education application processes by offering free and low-cost tools for online self-study, starting with the LSAT. Their tool, based on an algorithm, personalizes the test prep experience for standardized test-takers with an aim to increase access to high-quality educational material regardless of the financial resources of the user.
Other Team Members: John Bennett (HLS), Rohin Bryan Deb (HGSE), and Daniel Robinson (HLS)
Dean’s Cultural Entrepreneurship Challenge
Sponsored by deans from across the University, this Challenge was created to support students in exploring how innovative business ideas can be used to sustain the longevity of the arts and enhance their cultural impact. The Challenge is an example of Harvard’s recognition of cultural entrepreneurship as an emerging discipline that is gaining traction with artists and business leaders alike.
- Art&Venue (Emily Rasmussen, MBA 2013) is an online platform that provides an easy way for emerging artists to find, select, and book venues through a direct payment or ticket pre-purchase marketing campaign.
Other Team Members: Eduardo Holguin and Russell Kaplan
- Culturally (Jonathan Arena and Sida Wang, both MBA 2014) is a social discovery and engagement ecosystem for the arts that unites three main audiences: cultural institutions, artisans, and cultural enthusiasts.
Other Team Members: Isao Takezawa
- Music+1 (Ann Chao, MBA 2013) is a mobile application that accompanies musicians playing concertos, sonatas, and chamber music. It listens to the soloist and automatically adjusts the speed and volume of the accompaniment (a recording of real instruments) to fit the soloist’s style in real time.
Other Team Members: Paul Henry Smith and Dr. Christopher Raphael
- Ripple Concerts (Andrew Haller, Jonathan Lee, Juan Leung Li, all MBA 2014) is a community marketplace where musical artists and devoted fans can find one another and book private concerts in unique places.
Other Team Members: Stuart Smith
- Urban Canvas (Victoria Katsarou, MBA 2013) collaborates with artists and their audiences to extend street art through the urban realm using an online and mobile app interactive map system to turn open space into a virtual “museum.”
Other Team Members: Christopher Buccion (HGSD) and Stacy Morton (HGSD)
Deans’ Health and Life Sciences Challenge
Also sponsored by deans from across the University, this Challenge recognizes that the delivery of affordable health care to people around the globe is one of the world’s most pressing problems. The Challenge invited Harvard students and postdoctoral fellows from across Harvard’s schools to develop entrepreneurial solutions that facilitate the delivery of affordable health care and the development of new and effective therapies for global populations.
- CareSolver (Shana Hoffman and Arick Morton, both MBA 2014) focuses on improving the health and wellness of the elderly by helping family/informal caregivers provide better, more coordinated care to elderly relatives and loved ones living at home.
Other Team Members: Grant Hamm