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How to start a startup at Harvard

Student Groups

Harvard College Ventures

The largest student-run undergraduate entrepreneurship and venture capital organization at Harvard.

Social Innovation Collaborative  (SIC)

Undergrad social innovation and entrepreneurship group.

Cronin Center for Enterprise

Harvard Student Agencies' hub for business education, alumni engagement, and entrepreneurship. Featured programming includes interview bootcamp and Business School Night for undergraduates.

Venture Capital and Private Equity Club (HBS)

Provides career and educational opportunities in VC and PE. Runs the annual VC & PE Conference (http://thevcpeconference.com/).

Harvard Entrepreneurship Club (HBS)

Launchpad for visionary students to launch ventures, meet mentors, and create technologies.

University Programs

Technology and Entrepreneurship Program Harvard

Advancing the and practice of entrepreneurship through experiential education by initiating student projects.

Harvard Office of Technology Development (OTD)

Advancing science, fostering innovation, and translating inventions at Harvard into products available to society.

HBS Entrepreneurship Center

Resource for HBS students interested in company formation.

Rock Summer Fellows

Summer fellowship after freshman year providing financial support and a peer network. Fellows can work on their own venture or with a startup.

Harvard Innovation Lab

(i-Lab)- Innovation ecosystem and physical workspace that exists to support Harvard students and select alumni in their quest to explore the world of game-changing entrepreneurship.


A new platform to help social innovators find relevant teammates, funding, resources, and events across Harvard and MIT. This network is exclusive for Harvard and MIT students and alumni.

Tech Fellows Program at HBS

Enables a group of 10-15 outstanding Harvard College sophomores and juniors (from any College concentration) to build knowledge, skills, and a community, putting them on a path to launch and lead innovative endeavors.

Accelerators and Incubators

Launch Lab X

Intense 9 month accelerator for Harvard Alumni. Winning team eligible to win $75,000 in the President's Challenge. Deadline to apply (https://innovationlab.slideroom.com/#) is late July.

Venture Incubation Program

Incubation program providing weekly check-ins, mentor assignments, and technical resources.

Harvard Undergraduate Capital Partners Innovation Fund

Provide equity-free grants worth up to $5K and AWS credits among other partnerships to any Harvard-affiliated founder with a vision and the drive to make it reality.

Harvard Computer Society Builders Incubator

Provide funding through equity-free grants in the range of $100 to $5,000, mentorships from our product, engineering, design, and investor networks, workshops, socials, and more.

Lemann Program on Creativity and Entrepreneurship Accelerator

Provide funding, mentorship, & workshops for Harvard students who have a glimmer of an idea all the way to teams who have developed an MVP.

Hackathons and Competitions


Harvard's Largest Hackathon each October. Any college student in the world over 18 is invited to apply for the 36-hour hackathon. No prior experience is required.


The annual MakeHarvard engineering makeathon will return this Winter for its second year. Competing teams at our 2019 event will have access to rapid-prototyping equipment like 3D printers and laser cutters to produce engineering prototypes and compete for prizes.

I3 Innovation Challenge

In its 13th year, i3 has provided over $700,000 in grants and professional services to students pursuing commercial, social and public startups on campus, online and internationally.

President's Innovation Challenge

I-Lab program prompting students to tackle pressing societal issues. Award money across multiple tracks totals over $500,000.

Pear Competition

$25K uncapped note and resources to launch your start-up. No idea is too early. More than 10 student teams win. Apply January-March.

Harvard CBE Ventures Competition

$15K total prizes for Harvard-affiliated startups, with special prizes for sustainable innovation. Apply in the fall.

Notable Courses

CS50 - Introductory Computer Science

One of the largest courses at Harvard. Also hosts seminars and hackathons.

CS179 - Design of Useful and Usable Interactive Systems

Intro to product and user experience design.

15.390 - New Enterprises

Intro to venture building at MIT Sloan School of Management.

Field X (HBS)

A field course enabling students to develop and grow their own business on campus. A substantial number of Field X businesses have been funded by mentors and investors they met through the course, and in previous years, the school has given modest grants of around $2000 to help students launch their businesses. Cross- registrants welcome.

Field Y (HBS) - Projects in Business Management

This course is for students who have preferably taken Field X and are still running and growing their business. Ends with a culminating presentation to investors.


Allston Venture Fund

An investment collaborative administered by the i-Lab focused on providing pre-seed support to both for-profit and nonprofit ventures.


University-focused venture fund investing up to $2M in emerging  startups launching from the university scene around the US.

Dorm Room Fund

First Round Capital's pre-seed investing branch - providing up to $20k to student startups.


General Catalyst's pre-seed investing branch - student team building a large network of student founders.

Harvard Social Impact Fellowship Fund

Administered by the i-Lab and created to help recipients accelerate and advance their venture creation in social impact sectors. Awards $200,000 per year in grants to Harvard student-led ventures, both for-profit and nonprofit, so long as teams include at least one matriculated, full-time, degree-seeking undergraduate or graduate Harvard student, Harvard postdoctoral fellow or clinical fellow.


Network of active angel investors building individual portfolios with an emphasis on science and tech startups.

Hub Angels

Provides investments to young tech and life science companies.

Boston Harbor Angels

Business leaders investing within high-growth, early-stage companies.

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