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4 teams win i3 Harvard College Innovation Challenge

Annual startup competition awards grants to student founders

Harvard College i3 Innovation Challenge logo

The winners of the 2021 i3 Harvard College Innovation Challenge are four student startup teams that exhibited outstanding ingenuity and extraordinary perseverance.

Now in its 14th year, the annual i3 Harvard College Innovation Challenge, which is sponsored by the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center (TECH) at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), awards equity-free grants to student-led startups.

As if entrepreneurship isn’t arduous enough, this year’s winners were faced with the additional hurdles of leading and cultivating their startups in a remote environment.

“I’m so proud of and amazed by our student-innovators who keep creating value, undaunted by all of this year’s added challenges,” said Paul Bottino, Executive Director for Innovation Education at SEAS. “And I’m grateful for our sponsors and student organizers who carried on the i3 tradition so we can reward the students and give them the recognition they deserve.”

Evera Technologies was named the Gold Medal Grant Winner of the McKinley Family Grant for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Leadership in Commercial Enterprise, and winner of the TECH Outstanding Undergraduate Founders Prize. The startup, which provides on-demand, at-home health care services, received a $12,500 award. Evera Technologies was founded by Nabeel Quryshi, A.B. ’22, a molecular and cellular biology and computer science concentrator.

Shouldertap was named the Silver Medal Grant Winner of the McKinley Family Grant for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Leadership in Commercial Enterprise. The startup, a workflow integrated expertise management platform, received a $2,500 award. Shouldertap was co-founded by Carlo Kobe, A.B. ’23, a statistics and economics concentrator, Moritz Pail, A.B. ’23, an applied math concentrator, Scott Smith, B.A. ’22, a finance major at Cornell University, and Moritz Stephan, B.S. ’23, a computer science major at Stanford University.

Keto Kind was named the Gold Medal Grant Winner of the McKinley Family Grant for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Leadership in Social Enterprise, and winner of the TECH Outstanding Undergraduate Founders Prize. The startup, which produces a science-backed keto meal replacement drink, received a $12,500 award. Keto Kind was co-founded by Mauricio Moel, B.A. ’21, a neurobiology major at Boston University, and Andres Rosales, A.B. ’22, an applied math concentrator.

Debate Spaces was named the Silver Medal Grant Winner of the McKinley Family Grant for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Leadership in Social Enterprise. The startup, which empowers and connects youth through debate, received a $2,500 award. Debate Spaces was co-founded by Tessa Holtzman, a master’s in public policy student at the Harvard Kennedy School, and Matt Summers, a J.D. candidate at the Harvard Law School.

The winners were selected from a field of 19 semi-finalists by a panel of distinguished judges from the realms of entrepreneurship and venture capital.

In an entirely virtual capacity this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the i3 program offered student founders a number of programs designed to give them an entrepreneurial boost, from coaching sessions with mentors to pitch workshops.

Since its inception, hundreds of Harvard students from 50 different concentrations and graduate disciplines have participated in the i3 Harvard College Innovation Challenge, which has awarded more than $700,000.

Topics: Entrepreneurship

Press Contact

Adam Zewe | 617-496-5878 | azewe@seas.harvard.edu