A mobile app that stops cyberbullying, a way to support tenants’ rights and housing advocacy, technology that raises the standard of infection prevention, and a science-driven approach to reinventing everyday consumer products received the four top prizes in the eighth annual President’s Innovation Challenge Showcase and Awards Ceremony.
“The only way [the world] gets better is if good people like you are willing to make it so,” said President Larry Bacow in his introductory remarks.
He added, “I also want to say to every student who participated in this challenge — not just the ones that we are going to honor with awards and checks this evening, but every single person who was willing to try; who was willing to conceive of an idea; who was willing to think hard about how to make that idea into a reality and commit themselves to doing so — I want to say thank you.”
Each of this year’s four winners was awarded $75,000 in prize money from the Bertarelli Foundation to help them advance their innovations. The winners are ReThink for preventing cyberbullying; JustFix for supporting tenants facing landlord harassment and neglected housing conditions; Kinnos for its patented technology for infection prevention in health care settings; and Jamber for reinventing consumer products that can transform the lives of millions, starting with a coffee mug that even Parkinson’s patients can hold.
Trisha Prabhu, founder and CEO of ReThink, said after the awards, “Harvard is one of the leading institutions for addressing some of the world’s most important issues. To be able to participate in this challenge is to be able to participate in a legacy of a larger story. Being here and winning tonight is an absolute dream come true.”
“Winning the President’s Innovation Challenge helps us get more Jamber mugs into the hands of more people, which is really meaningful, because we’ve seen stories from all of our customers about how much these mugs are improving people’s lives,” said Diana Arseneau, co-founder and chief science officer at Jamber.