In 2018, the HBS New Venture Competition—an annual student competition sponsored by Harvard Business School’s Rock Center for Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise Initiative—received a record 69 entries to the Social Enterprise Track.

After an extensive review and deliberation process with social enterprise leaders from across Harvard, the Social Enterprise Initiative just announced the 16 semifinalists in the Social Enterprise Track. These 16 teams will present to a panel of expert judges—including philanthropists, impact investors, capacity building organizations, and social entrepreneurs—in late March to determine the four finalists.

Below you’ll find a quick overview of the competition and our 2018 semifinalists. Stay tuned for more details on our finalists and mark your calendars for the New Venture Competition Finale on the evening of April 18!


The Social Enterprise Track of the Competition provides an opportunity for students to explore social entrepreneurship and test ideas for social innovation in a rigorous and supportive environment. Graduate students across Harvard University enter with new ventures that drive social change using nonprofit, for-profit, or hybrid models. Through March and April, student teams progress through several stages of judging, conveying their idea through executive summaries and live presentations, and receiving valuable feedback from judges at every stage. The Social Enterprise Track brings together expert judges from the field to evaluate entries based on the idea, its potential for social value creation, and the likelihood of achieving success.


C3 Solutions: Carbon capture and utilization developer reducing emissions from industrial companies. 

CareZoom: Online platform with evidence, experts & advice for your healthcare delivery project.

Covalent Networks: Software platform designed for employer-led workforce development programs.

Dignify: Matches refugees and locals in the developing world to globally outsourced digital work.

EatWell: Makes healthy eating more available to low-income families with a 30-minute, 1-pot meal kit.

Fontes Irrigation: "On-demand" irrigation services business that serves farmers in Mozambique.

Hoom: The $10,000 home. Hoom is the smart, sustainable solution for the global housing crisis.

ImmerLearn: Use machine learning and novel data to maximize effectiveness of social and public programs.

Joro: App that helps people track their real-time CO2 emissions to make sustainability a daily practice.

Neptune: Our sewers have a grease problem. Neptune is building a better grease trap to keep our pipes clean.

OnTrack Births: Utilizes India's extensive railway network to provide access to quality maternal care.

SHLD (Self-Healing and Loving Dialogue): Provides teens with daily wellness tips and suicide prevention care through Snapchat.

STEMgem: IoT device toolkit that allows learners to build real, useful, and relevant technology.

Trey: Empower future college athletes to use sports as a springboard to a lifetime success.

Umbulizer: Developing a low-cost, portable ventilator for patients in resource-constrained markets.

UPON: Eliminate labor underutilization and increase women's access to the workforce.