Business & Tech

Harvard Innovation Lab awards $310,000 in prizes

Boston, MA -- 11/16/11 -- A view of the front of the new Harvard innovation lab, located in Allston, MA. The opening ceremonies for the Harvard innovation lab will be held on Friday, November 18, 2011. (Kayana Szymczak for the Boston Globe)
Kayana Szymczak for the Boston Globe/file 2011
The Harvard innovation lab.

The Harvard Innovation Lab, a university-wide initiative that fosters student entrepreneurship, awarded $310,000 in prize money Tuesday night to winners of the sixth annual President’s Innovation Challenge, an interdisciplinary competition for students to develop solutions to pressing problems within the health and life sciences industry.

According to Jodi Goldstein, managing director of Harvard Innovation Labs, judges sorted through more than 200 proposals before selecting seven winning teams in four categories: Health and Life Science; Social Impact and Cultural Enterprise; an open submission track; and a crowd favorite category.

The winning projects include UrSure Inc., an HIV prevention company; Lightmatter, an artificial intelligence software development company; and Upsolve, a non-profit that assesses if an individual should file for personal bankruptcy.

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The grand prize teams each received $75,000 to fund their ventures. Goldstein said in the past six years the collegiate incubator has given away more than $2 million in funding.

“We focus on inputs and not outputs,” Goldstein said. “Our real focus is to nurture and support students as they turn their ideas into business proposals.”

Shelby Grebbin can be reached at shelby.grebbin@globe.com.