Each year, the Harvard Business School New Venture Competition brings together the best and the brightest to compete for $300,000 in cash prizes. Designed for both HBS students and alumni, the competition offers two tracks: the Business Track and the Social Enterprise Track. Both tracks require teams to present a new venture idea that will have a substantial impact on their respective market. Winners have the opportunity to go ahead and implement their proposal using the provided seed money.
For 2019, 48 teams from across Harvard University applied for the Social Enterprise Track. Then, sixteen semifinalists were chosen to present their ideas to a panel of expert judges in their fields. Finally, four finalists were selected. Here’s who they are.
Presented by Vikas Birhma (HKS 2019) and Pankaj Mahalle, Gramhal offers post-harvest services of storage, credit, and market linkage for smallholder farmers. Having witnessed the problems that smallholder agricultural households in India face first hand, the team came up with an idea to help farmers keep more money by giving them the chance to save their harvest until they can sell it when prices are more favorable.
Developed by Jordan Lebovic (HBS/HMS 2020), Senan Ebrahim (HMS 2021), Erik Grueter, and Zahra Allkhateeb, Hikma Health creates customized data management systems for healthcare providers caring for refugee patients. The idea initially started with a health education app for NGOs in Jordan. However, after talking to more health workers, the team realized that a free health data platform, tailored to refugees, would be far more valuable.
New Teachers Thriving
Created by Tyler Hester (HGSE 2020), Crystel Harris (HGSE 2021), and Akash Wasil, New Teachers Thriving offers training for early-career teachers. Many new teachers become burned out in their first years because they don’t have the training, support, and help they need to succeed. New Teachers Thriving is a year-long training sequence that will support new teachers as they navigate their first year in the classroom.
Put together by Jacob Keteyian (HSPH 2019), Shalen De Silva (HSPH 2019), Ollie Osunkunle (HBS 2020), and Han Jin (HGSD 2019), Vincere Health helped people get paid for digitally proving health compliance while offering data control. The idea behind the product is to motivate health behaviors by offering daily rewards. In particular, they are attacking the smoking cessation market.
Read more from each of the finalist about entrepreneurship, concept creation and more on the HBS website.