The President’s Innovation Challenge at Harvard University encourages the school’s student body to explore challenges facing the world and find ways to meet those challenges. The goal of the competition platform is to help solve issues facing our healthcare system, the sciences, and society in general, but also to make progress in areas that aren’t easily categorized.
Organizers recently announced 15 finalists for the 2017 edition of the President’s Innovation Challenge. Winners will be announced in a ceremony on May 9, and will split more than $300,000 in awards. Grand prize winners in each of the competition’s three categories will receive $75,000. Three runner-up teams will receive $25,000. The “crowd favorite” as chosen at the ceremony will be awarded $10,000.
Here are the finalists, grouped by category, who are vying for the grand prize:
Social Impact or Culture Enterprise Track
- Barakat Bundle: This team aims to reduce preventable infant and maternal mortality in South Asia by providing packages of proven, low-cost health interventions and childcare products.
- C16: This team’s innovation produces palm oil in a more environmentally friendly manner via synthetic biology.
- Neptune: This venture seeks to improve our infrastructure by encouraging restaurants and cities to take steps to clean up our sewers.
- Two Rabbits: These innovators are using inexpensive MP3 technology and volunteers to provide early childhood education to those who need it.
- Upsolve: This team is developing an app that will make it easier to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Health or Life Science Track
- Day Zero Diagnostics: This group is pairing machine learning with genome sequencing to improve and accelerate the diagnosing of infectious diseases.
- GEMS Samaritan Stations: This group is developing smart devices that can help bystanders serve as first responders in emergency situations.
- Jane Diagnostics: This venture is using an inexpensive chip that can help with early cervical cancer detection to improve HPV testing and tracking.
- Nanoshear: This group is developing an agent that can control hemorrhaging in patients with vascular injuries.
- UrSure Inc.: This team is focused on protecting vulnerable populations from HIV.
- AirCrew: This startup is using catalytic materials made with nanoscale precision to increase access to advanced air-purification systems worldwide.
- Impact Labs: This team is looking to reduce the force of head impacts by adding a leaf-spring to helmets.
- Lightmatter: This startup is seeking to enable ultra-fast artificial intelligence computing.
- Shuflix: This group is developing an app that helps people engage in spontaneous activities throughout their city.
- The Wolfe: This team is creating an external graphics card that can help your average laptop handle everything from VR to CAD.
The World is Getting a Helping Hand from Harvard
There are some very bright and creative people at Harvard who are looking to push the boundaries technology on behalf of all of us through this competition management. At Skild, we appreciate all they’re doing and can’t wait to see the winning ideas!