Photo gallery: FounderCrush 2023

SEAS hosts celebration for student start-ups

The Harvard John A. Paulson School Of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) is quickly becoming Harvard’s home for not only technological innovation, but entrepreneurial innovation as well. SEAS recently hosted FounderCrush 2023 at the Science and Engineering Complex, bringing together student start-ups from throughout Harvard. Courses featured in the event include “ES95R: Startup RAD,” taught by Paul Bottino, Executive Director of Innovation Education at SEAS, as well as “CE11: StudioLab on Creativity and Entrepreneurship,” run through the Lemann Program on Creativity and Entrepreneurship, 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. Other sponsors included the Harvard Grid, Harvard Innovation Lab, Harvard Ventures and Harvard HealthLab Accelerator.

“It’s a great merger, great energy, of the different cohorts and teams,” Bottino said. “Everyone’s start-up has a core problem at its heart, and technology is the solution a lot of the time.”

Three winners of the Harvard HealthLab Pitch Competition were announced at FounderCrush, each of which will receive $20,000 to further their start-up ideas. DetoXyFi, founded by Dhananjay Goel (MPA ‘23) and Rishon Benjamin (MBA ‘22), seeks to improve access to clean drinking water around the world. Lotus, founded by Margaret Cote, Kate Stevens and Kira Traylor, is a social media platform for women to safely discuss reproductive health concerns. Vocadian, founded by Yujie Wang (MDE. ‘24) and Boyu Zhang (MIT), uses clinically validated AI voice technology to improve safety, health and productivity management.

“Thank you for the courage that it takes to be an entrepreneur,” said Lumas Helaire, Assistant Dean for Population Health Management and Health Equity Education at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, after announcing the awards. “The only thing that’s going to make this world better is folks like you.”

Check out the slideshow below to see more of the startups presented at FounderCrush 2023.

Topics: Academics, Entrepreneurship, Industry

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Matt Goisman |