Graduate Students

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I go if I have an idea that I want to turn into a startup?

Harvard Grid and many other entrepreneurial student, University, and Boston-area ecosystem organizations offer events and ways to connect with others who are similarly venture-minded. The Grid website has a section for Grid events, community venturing-focused events, team building, and more: Events, Resources, and Community Events.

How do I report an invention or intellectual asset to the Harvard Office of Technology Development (OTD)? Why is reporting important?

The Office of Technology development provides guidance and instructions on how to submit a Report of Innovation form. Completing the Report of Innovation form is a crucial first step toward protecting your interests and your innovation’s potential.

OTD’s ability to protect intellectual property falls in jeopardy if you publish, present, or share your findings with others on a non-confidential basis before OTD files a patent application. If you plan to disclose any information about your innovation to others, please contact OTD immediately.

Harvard OTD has created The Inventor’s Handbook to serve as an introductory guide to intellectual property and development for Harvard faculty, researchers, and innovators. 

Does SEAS offer classes in entrepreneurship?

Students can register for courses that provide a variety of entrepreneurial experiences. Students can also pursue innovation through academic projects and elective courses while completing degree requirements. Current and prospective students can learn more about graduate program learning outcomes and degree requirements by exploring the SEAS academic programs

Students can review the course catalog for a complete listing of available entrepreneurial courses. Suggested terms to search in the catalog include: entrepreneurship, innovation, startup, venture, and design. 

Students are also encouraged to discuss course options with academic advisors.


Are there Harvard makerspaces, coworking spaces, and labs that I can access to work on my startup?
  • If you are a current, full-time, degree-seeking Harvard student, you can access coworking-space at the Harvard i-lab where you can work on ventures and collaborate with students across all Harvard schools. The i-lab offers resources for student ventures including the Maker Studio for prototyping and manufacturing, the AR/VR Studio with immersive technologies, and the Media Studio for multimedia content creation.
  • The Pagliuca Harvard Life Lab is a wet laboratory with co-working space for early-stage, high-potential biotech and life science startups founded by Harvard students, alumni, faculty, and postdoctoral scholars. As part of the Harvard Innovation Labs ecosystem, ventures in this space have access to robust programming and resources.
  • The SEAS Active Learning Labs offer resources for individual/club-related student projects including industrial-grade 3D printers and desktop computers with a variety of engineering software. To gain access, students must complete a yearly general lab safety training along with any lab-specific training.
What entrepreneurship programs can I participate in to learn about venture formation?

Harvard Grid hosts events on campus year-round including office hours with serial entrepreneurs, panel events with recent company founders, tough tech venturing and business skills bootcamps, networking events and more. Visit the Events page to learn more. Also, speak with the staff of the Harvard Grid to discuss your work and how to step forward along your venturing journey.

Does Harvard have mentors and experienced entrepreneurs available to share advice about launching a venture?

Harvard Grid hosts the Lab-2-Market series, a monthly, walk-in/walk-out office hours session with two or more serial entrepreneurs and/or angel investors sitting around table at the ready to talk about your ideas. Bring curiosity and questions for a no-risk, no experience required discussion. Or, just come for a bite and a listen. Check the Events page for upcoming Lab-2-Market meet-ups and many other opportunities to connect. Also, let the staff of the Harvard Grid know how we might support you, such as in making introductions via our extensive networks.

Who can I contact for legal advice?

For one-on-one advice, students can book appointments with legal guides through the Harvard Innovation Labs’ office hours appointment calendar.

How can I find out about entrepreneurial career opportunities, such as working for a startup?

SEAS students seeking career advice should schedule an appointment to meet with the SEAS Office of Student Career Development.

The Harvard Office of Career Services (OCS) is a Harvard-wide resource available to help students explore potential career pathways. Students can view and apply for open opportunities through Crimson Careers, a centralized hub for job and internship posting.

What are some examples of startups that have launched to commercialize Harvard innovations?

Harvard innovations have formed the basis of many new startup companies in Massachusetts and around the world. Harvard's Office of Technology Development describes some of the Harvard startups with origins in academic research that are now striving to impact education, health care, food and agriculture, energy, sustainability, high-tech goods, and more.

Harvard's entrepreneurs benefit from our proximity to Boston and the startup communities surrounding our campuses. Boston is a hub for innovation with highly active entrepreneurial ecosystems. Learn more about the resources available on campus and in the region through the resource lists below. 

Harvard Office of Technology Development list of resources: Resources for Entrepreneurs