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The Seed for Change Program aims to develop a vibrant ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship in India and Pakistan through an annual competition run by the Harvard University South Asia Institute (SAI), in which grant prizes will be awarded to interdisciplinary student projects that positively impact societal, economic, and environmental issues in India and Pakistan. Projects in the early ‘seed’ stages are prioritized rather than start ups that, while may be in stages of infancy, have previously received substantial support.
- Two runner-up teams will each receive $5,000
- One final team will receive up to $40,000
- One final team will receive $15,000
Teams with at least one current Harvard student at the time of submission, which can include undergraduates, graduates, or postdoctoral fellows.
All interested applicants will submit a one-page Letter-of-Intent (LOI) by December 8, 2017 that acts as an initial proposal. Applicants will then receive feedback and support while they prepare their final application. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with a PDF copy of the LOI by December 8, 2017 11:59 PM with the subject title “Seed for Change 2018 LOI”.
All applicants will submit a formal proposal and selected applicants will be asked to participate in a pitch presentation in late March. The tiered review process involves an initial internal review feasibility, methodology, and ethical implications. The review panel will recommend proposals for the pitch presentation. At the pitch presentation, three finalists for each India and Pakistan projects will be chosen by a panel of faculty. Finalists will then develop their project before the showcase event in May where the grand prize winners will be announced. Grants will be used for the duration of one year, from May 2017 to May 2018. The grant prize will contribute to establishing partnerships with local organizations and conducting experiments to test the viability of ideas in India and Pakistan.
Applications will be reviewed by an interdisciplinary panel of faculty and area entrepreneurs.
Deadline to apply: February 15, 2018 for Spring 2019
The Seed for Change competition is made possible by a generous grant from KP Balaraj MBA ’97 and Sumir Chadha MBA ‘97.
- Sakhi: the team wishes to further develop menstrual cups that are high-quality, affordable, and environmentally safe in India
Congratulations to Sakhi, winners of the 2017 Seed For Change Competition!
- Anantara, which converts collector-only economies into craftsmen communities whose culturally rich, value-added activities positively reinforce forest ecosystems.
- Barakat Bundle, which reduces preventable infant and maternal mortalities and morbidities in South Asia by packaging together demand-inducing newborn essentials such as baby clothes and baby powder as well as low-cost evidence-based public health items such as clean delivery kits for safe births and oral rehydration salts for diarrhea.