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Students passionate about entrepreneurship recently came together at Harvard’s Science and Engineering Complex for FounderCrush 2022, a celebration of startups developed throughout the school year. The event was an expanded version of the demo day that concluded the Fall 2021 semester of ES95R: Startup RAD, a technology entrepreneurship course offered at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). Participants also included startup founders connected to the Harvard Innovation Lab, Harvard Ventures, and the Lemann Program on Creativity and Entrepreneurship (LPCE), which is based in the Harvard Undergraduate Office of Education and supports entrepreneurial ventures aimed at addressing global challenges such as social justice and climate change.
"You learn by putting something out there in the universe, and seeing how the universe reacts," said Paul Bottino, Executive Director of Innovation Education at SEAS and an advisory board member of the LPCE and Harvard Innovation Lab. "I don't distinguish between the engineering and entrepreneurial processes. You're going from a hypothesis, to creating and testing something in an iterative loop, to development."
The LPCE announced its three $15,000 Launch Fund Award winners at FounderCrush. Sapna Saleem, Ed.M. ‘22, founded Firhiya, which empowers young women in Muslin communities in India to pursue leadership careers in the public sector. Nicole Kagan, A.B./A.M. ‘22, founded Home Safe, which helps students plan safe routes home across the Harvard campus. Monica Figueroa, Ed.M. ‘22, founded Learning Momentos, which creates educational resources to help young children improve their English reading skills.
"I wasn't expecting it, because we have so many amazing teams," Saleem said. "This semester has been amazing, learning from all of them. It was a really pleasant surprise, and I'm happy to share it with some of my closest friends."
Check out the slideshow below to see more of the startups presented at FounderCrush.
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