Innovation & Design

We are an open, evolving community invested in creating, preserving, and translating knowledge

Our faculty and students play an increasingly large role in engaging in innovation  and entrepreneurship activities.

In addition to fostering relationships with industry and government labs, SEAS serves as an “incubator” for new ventures and has dedicated programs and courses that encourage faculty and student idea generation.

Through such activities, our overarching aim is to make the social aspects of science and technology an integral part of our efforts in education, research, and practice.

Solving specific societal problems requires bringing together great minds with the right means.

Teaching Labs

The Teaching Labs at SEAS and the related machine shop in the Physics Department support the educational mission of the school by providing students with hands-on experience using state-of-the-art technologies.

Contact: Anas Chalah

Idea Experimentation in the Arts & Sciences

The Laboratory at Harvard. A new forum and platform for idea experimentation in the arts and sciences at Harvard University, The Laboratory at Harvard (The Lab) catalyzes the development of Harvard student and faculty ideas in the arts and sciences through work-in-progress exhibits, monthly Idea Nights, and annual experiments between leading inter- national artists and Harvard University scientists.


Innovation & Entrepreneurship

The Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard (TECH)

TECH, based at SEAS, helps faculty create and deliver innovation and entrepreneurship project courses, provides students with project support and sponsors, and advises student groups working to build the Harvard innovation community.

Contact: Paul Bottino

Innovation Space

The lively and dynamic “Innovation Space” offers resources for experiential innovation education and provides Harvard's undergraduate student innovators with their first ever dedicated environment for learning and working in teams on entrepreneurial projects.

Contact: Paul Bottino

The Experiment Fund

The Experiment Fund, anchored in Cambridge, invests in world-changing startups. We catalyze bold ideas and build transformative companies.

The fund offers experimenters seed capital, strategic guidance, and unparalleled access to America's top-tier universities and venture capital firms.

Finally, when we succeed we advance progress, reward risk-takers, and strengthen the community and institutions who support us.  XFund Blog.

Startups, at their core, are small tribes of experimenters advancing progress.

More information.

The Harvard Innovation Lab (I-Lab)

The Harvard Innovation Lab will open in fall 2011 in a building on Western Avenue in Allston that formerly housed public broadcasting's WGBH. The lab will be used to foster innovative ventures across the multiple schools and centers at the University, and also to support the local business and non-profit communities in the greater Boston area.

The Innovation Lab will be led by a team whose job is to connect the various Harvard entrepreneurship programs - such as HBS's Rock Center for Entrepreneurship and The Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard (TECH) - and to link student teams with the right people and resources to overcome hurdles, support their entrepreneurial ambitions and foster their success. Similarly, resources will be provided to help local businesses, entrepreneurs and non-profits access useful information, benefit from I-Lab programming, and leverage counseling services.

More Information

Innovation Courses

*Engineering Sciences 20. How to Create Things and Have Them Matter
Catalog Number: 9676 Enrollment: Limited to 40.
David A. Edwards and Beth Altringer
Half course (spring term). M., W., 1–3. EXAM GROUP: 6, 7
This aspirational design course teaches students to generate, develop and realize breakthrough ideas in the arts, sciences, and engineering. Students learn basic skills of engineering design, brainstorming, prototyping, and public presentations. Funding is available for continued project development following the course. This year’s theme is "Virtual Worlds."
Note: Open to all students by permission of instructor.

*Engineering Sciences 21. The Innovator’s Practice - (New Course)
Catalog Number: 70925    Enrollment: Limited to 25. Permission of instructor required.
Beth Altringer
Half course (fall term). M., W., 2–4. EXAM GROUP: 7, 8
This class focuses on the human behavior side of practicing innovation. Students spend the first week exploring themes they are passionate about, and their challenge is then to develop a tangible project that excites them, and has real world, measurable impact by the end of the term. In teams, students practice: applying design and behavior methods for finding good ideas; working well with others to build them; leading creative projects; figuring out how their designs will integrate with user behavior; and attempting to create and measure real world impact. Project experience is complimented by a discussion seminar, in which students deepen their understanding of innovation and human behavior, and learn practical lessons in collaboration, negotiation, planning and leadership for creative projects. The class is open to students from diverse disciplines, and features guest speakers and affiliated thought leaders from industry and academia. More information.

Engineering Sciences 139. Innovation in Science and Engineering: Conference Course
Catalog Number: 0994
David A. Weitz
Half course (fall term). M., W., 2:30–4. EXAM GROUP: 7, 8
Explores factors and conditions contributing to innovation in science and engineering; how important problems are found, defined, and solved; roles of teamwork and creativity; and applications of these methods to other endeavors. Students receive practical and professional training in techniques to define and solve problems, and in brainstorming and other individual and team approaches.
Note: Taught through a combination of lectures, discussions, and exercises led by innovators in science, engineering, arts, and business.

Commercializing Science (with Harvard Business School)

I^3 Imagine Invent Impact

TECH is a proud co-sponsor of the Harvard College Innovation Challenge.  Enter your innovative idea and get help and resources to realize it

Harvard Entrepreneurship Forum

The Harvard College Entrepreneurship Forum (HCEF) was created in 2006 to fill in the gap of entrepreneurial resources for Harvard undergraduates. Though still a young organization, HCEF stands out for its plethora of events throughout the year, broad and passionate membership base, and meritocratic character.

Harvard Alumni Entrepreneurs

Harvard Alumni Entrepreneurs (501c3) is a Harvard Alumni Association Shared Interest Group dedicated to the advancement of entrepreneurship and the ideals of leadership and learning. Since its beginnings, the group has served as a meeting point for founders worldwide. HAE celebrates entrepreneurs from all of Harvard's schools.