As technical and societal challenges become increasingly complex and cross traditional boundaries, leaders who tackle such problems require more than technical skill – they require training in innovation and problem-solving techniques, and the ability to work on interdisciplinary teams.

In conjunction with the Faculty of Arts & Sciences (FAS), Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and Harvard Business School (HBS) have partnered on a new collaborative endeavor at the intersection of technology and business: the Undergraduate Technology Innovation Fellows Program.

Made possible by a generous gift from the Roberts Family Foundation, the program enables a group of 10-15 outstanding Harvard College sophomores and juniors (from any College concentration) to build knowledge, skills, and a community, putting them on a path to launch and lead innovative endeavors – whether this be creating technology startups or leading innovation teams in governmental or non-profit/social organizations. Selected students are known as the Roberts Family Fellows.



Who should apply?

Applicants for the Undergraduate Technology Innovation Fellows program are Harvard College sophomores and juniors who have:

  • A record of academic excellence at Harvard College.
  • Demonstrated leadership and potential for innovation and/or entrepreneurship.
  • A "builder" orientation with a zeal for solving problems and creating products, as evidenced by experience in campus laboratories, course projects, and a diverse range of innovative or entrepreneurial endeavors.
  • A commitment to building a technology venture or pursuing a career in technology or applications of technology to other fields.

Candidates will submit an application that includes a list of relevant technology/engineering courses, resume, statement of purpose, and letter of recommendation. The application will be available in early spring 2024. Programming and events for the incoming cohort will begin in September 2024 and span junior/senior fall and spring.

Note: Due to the timing of HBS activities, many juniors will be unable to fully benefit from all the program offerings. Therefore, preference will be given to sophomore applicants.

Program Elements

The Roberts Fellows gain access to a variety of resources, including:

HBS Startup Bootcamp: Fellows are required to participate in the HBS Startup Bootcamp for MBA candidates, which is taught by HBS faculty. The week-long Bootcamp, which does not confer academic credit for MBA participants, takes place during the College Wintersession in January, uses a learning-by-doing approach to build the knowledge and skills needed to succeed as an early-stage entrepreneur.

Business and Innovation Fundamentals Program: A two-day program immediately prior to the HBS Startup Bootcamp, taught by HBS faculty mostly via the case method.

HBS MBA Electives: Fellows may take up to two HBS MBA electives (no more than one per term) from a designated set of courses that focus on technology management, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

Fellows Seminars: Monthly seminar sessions featuring case discussions led by faculty, guest speakers, and presentations by Fellows on their venture concepts and internship work will be held. The seminars may also include broader topics in liberal arts, including historical and cultural facets of technology and innovation.

Summer Experience: Fellows are strongly encouraged to spend the summer between their junior and senior year either: 1) at a technology company (or a non-technology company working in a role involving innovation/technology development) in a paid internship or 2) working on their own startup concept, with program financial support. In either instance, Fellows may have access to alumni mentors.

SEAS/HBS Showcase: A celebratory event at which Fellows along with graduate students from the MS/MBA: Engineering Sciences program will present summaries of their summer work.

HBS Online CORe: Fellows will have the opportunity to complete HBS Online CORe coursework, with its $2,000 fee paid by the program, prior to enrolling in any HBS elective courses.