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i-lab Launches New Alumni-Led Ventures Program

Inspiration at the i-lab
Budding entrepreneurs work at the i-lab.
Applications opened last week for the i-lab’s new alumni-led ventures program called Launch Lab X, a new initiative designed to support eligible start-ups and ventures created by Harvard alumni.

Launch Lab X—which is set to start in September—will offer mentorship, guidance, and resources to accepted applicants for nine months, according to the i-lab’s website. The program is divided into “milestones”—three 90-day “sprints” followed by meetings with investors, customers, and industry experts.

Unlike the many other programs that i-lab offers, Launch Lab X offers support for everyone in the accepted venture, not just the founder.

The i-lab, according to the Launch Lab X’s application page, is looking for 10 teams “driven to create exceptional ventures and contribute to our vibrant community of next-generation innovation” for the program. Launch Lab X does not require rent or equity stake. Accepted teams will also have the opportunity to receive $100,000 through a new alumni category in the annual President’s Innovation Challenge.

Jodi Goldstein, Executive Director of the i-lab, said the purpose of the program is to assist Harvard alumni-founded ventures in the early stages of building a businesses.

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“I think most importantly, we’re looking for founders and teams that are really looking to make sustainable ventures that are going to have a real impact on the world,” Goldstein said. “Whatever point you enter the program at, the staff will design a customized program for them.”

Howard Kaplan, Director of Advising at i-lab, said the program is geared towards Harvard alumni founders “looking to disrupt their industry.”

Kaplan said that through this program, the i-lab is giving alumni seeking to grow their business ventures an opportunity “to engage with the Harvard Innovation Lab and join this community that maybe they didn’t have while they were in school.”

Goldstein said that she is looking for teams “from across the globe” who will “reflect the diversity and breadth of ventures and industries that we currently see at the i-lab.”

She added she is also seeking for ventures to “become a part of this community of like-minded founders that we like to call ‘next generation innovation.’”

The application period will last until May 30. Teams who submit written applications before the early deadline of May 1 are guaranteed a tour of the i-lab and an opportunity to meet the team coordinating Launch Lab X. In-person interviews will follow the written applications, when teams will have the opportunity to meet other applicants.

Final decisions for the program will be announced in June.

—Staff writer Truelian Lee can be reached at truelian.lee@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @truelian_lee.

—Staff writer Jacqueline P. Patel can be reached at jacqueline.patel@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @jppatel99.

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