The Harvard Innovation Labs has kicked off the 2022 President’s Innovation Challenge (PIC), a competition designed to harness creativity and ingenuity from across the University to generate solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. For the 2022 PIC, winning teams will receive a portion of $510,000 in prizes, made possible by a generous gift from the Bertarelli Foundation, co-founded by Ernesto Bertarelli, M.B.A. ’93.  

In a recent letter to the Harvard community, President Larry Bacow wrote, “Ten years ago today, the i-lab opened its doors. It was envisioned as a space where students from across the University could come together to explore innovation and entrepreneurship, and to transform flashes of inspiration into ideas and action. Since then, more than 2,500 ventures have launched, and our commitment—to community, creation, and change — is stronger than ever. We hope you will participate in this year’s Challenge, and we wish you the best of luck.” 

On Dec. 8, the Harvard Innovation Labs will host the President’s Innovation Challenge Launch Event for Harvard students. Attendees will learn more about the Harvard Innovation Labs’ vibrant innovation community, find out about the 2022 PIC application details, and meet with Harvard Innovation Labs advisors. Eligible members of the Harvard community will have until January 5, 2022 to apply for the Challenge.  

“The President’s Innovation Challenge celebrates ventures across industries, and at both earlier and later stages of their founders’ journeys,” said Matt Segneri, Bruce and Bridgitt Evans Executive Director of the Harvard Innovation Labs. “Whether you’re a student who’s just about to launch a product, or you’ve already built a venture that’s impacting people’s lives, I encourage you to consider applying for the PIC.” 

In May 5, 2022, the President’s Innovation Challenge Awards Ceremony will celebrate the work of finalists across multiple tracks. Winners of the $510,000 in Bertarelli Foundation prizes will be announced during the event. 

The 2021 President’s Innovation Challenge winners included:  

  • The Apprentice Project for developing students in India into future leaders through choice-based learning 
  • Beacon Bio for improving hearing and healing by restoring eardrums with regenerative grafts 
  • Chaku Foods for making snacks that are better for people and better for farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa 
  • ChalkEd for harnessing data to make online classes engaging and equitable for every student 
  • CshFlow for using blockchain to provide financial services to the unbanked 
  • Karivez Bio for transforming chronic disease treatment through improved drug delivery 
  • Matice Biosciences for leveraging nature’s regenerative powers to flawlessly repair skin  
  • Manifold Bio for changing drug discovery into measurement-driven drug design 
  • Morphology for developing smart, robotic lighting that adjusts to people’s needs 
  • My Dental Key for advancing dental education via comprehensive, expert-verified dental education technology 
  • SanaRx Biotherapeutics for developing live therapeutics to treat diseases of the alimentary tract 
  • Thrive! for helping local governments budget for equity and root out racism 
  • Tuverl for making public transportation more accessible for commuters in African countries 

To learn more about the 2022 President’s Innovation Challenge, visit https://innovationlabs.harvard.edu/presidents-innovation-challenge/. 

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