Innovation Labs announce Launch Lab X accelerator for alumni-led ventures

An exterior view of the Harvard Innovation Lab at Harvard University. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard File Photo

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The Harvard Innovation Labs, a three-lab ecosystem that supports Harvard students and select alumni in exploring innovation and entrepreneurship, announced that applications are open for Launch Lab X. This accelerator was designed from the ground up to help grow high-potential Harvard alumni-led ventures from seed-stage startups to sustainable, disruptive businesses with real-world impact.

“Many Harvard entrepreneurs have told us there are few accelerators worth pursuing, since too many of these programs are more interested in building companies that can be sold quickly rather than ones that can sustain themselves for years to come,” commented Jodi Goldstein, executive director of the Harvard Innovation Labs. “Launch Lab X will put the long-term needs of ventures first, giving founders the best possible chance of creating sustainable businesses.”

Launch Lab X will select 10 ventures from around the world for its first cohort, which will kick off in September 2018.

“Launch Lab X is for Harvard alumni, but we’re not looking for just any Harvard startup,” said Howard Kaplan, director of advising at the Harvard Innovation Labs. “We’re looking for the disruptors and creative thinkers who are determined to have an impact on the world, and contribute to our vibrant community of next-generation innovation.”

As part of Launch Lab X, ventures will receive:

  • Highly-tailored guidance and support — Launch Lab X is divided into three 90-day sprints, designed around the Harvard Innovation Labs proprietary milestone-based approach. Sprints will culminate in a pitch and feedback session with investors, potential customers, and industry leaders, giving teams the time and feedback necessary to improve. Each venture will receive a scorecard for tracking progress, combined with a roadmap designed explicitly for their business.
  • Deep mentorship — Launch Lab X will offer both peer-based mentoring as well as industry-specific coaches for members of the founding teams.
  • Opportunity to compete for equity-free funding — Each venture will be entered into the President’s Innovation Challenge Alumni Track, which will award $100,000 in non-dilutive prizes total to two of the ten startups.
  • Dedicated office space — Each team will have dedicated space at the Harvard i-lab, as well as access to the i-lab’s Maker Studio, Media Studio, AR/VR Studio, and all other i-lab resources.

Launch Lab X applications are open now until May 30. The early application deadline is May 1, which allows time for an in-person interview and to tour the space. To learn more and apply, visit