Developing new ways to treat chronic diseases, creating an equity-focused approach to local government budgeting, and using blockchain technology to provide unbanked populations with financial services were three of the ventures awarded top prizes in the 10th Annual Harvard President’s Innovation Challenge (PIC).
“Thank you for your creativity and your commitment, both to great ideas and to one another… Thank you for transforming flashes of inspiration and ingenuity into something that’s real and tangible and concrete,” said Harvard University President Larry Bacow during his live remarks.
He added, “This year has underscored the power of knowledge to save lives, to save communities, and… to help lead us into what we hope will be a more normal future. I think the role of research universities around the world has never been more important. We empower people to pursue their interests, wherever those interests might lead, and we encourage people to tackle difficult and challenging problems, in some cases with just the kernel of an idea.”
During the PIC Virtual Awards Ceremony, ventures founded by Harvard students and alumni pitched their solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems. During the one-hour live-streamed event presented by the Harvard Innovation Labs, finalists showcased their work, and winning ventures received Bertarelli Foundation prizes across five tracks: Social Impact; Health and Life Sciences; Open (for ideas that transcend categories); Launch Lab X GEO for eligible alumni-led ventures, and Life Lab for high-potential biotech and life sciences ventures currently in residence at the Pagliuca Harvard Life Lab.