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From the World’s Safest Battery to a Chance at a Second Date: 13 Teams Working Out of Harvard’s Innovation Lab

When Harvard’s Innovation Lab opened its doors in November, Mayor Thomas Menino remarked, “It’s a great day in the neighborhood, isn’t it? This is a great day, a great beginning.”

Over the course of the last four months, the i-lab’s given several startups the opportunity to have that great beginning Menino referenced.

Nearly 70 companies are now working out of the i-lab. From a mobile biosensor platform for large-scale cattle feedlots to the “world’s safest battery,” the i-lab’s been living up to its promise, acting as the bridge between, what Harvard President Drew Faust calls, “imagination and implementation.”

Here’s just a look at 13 of the teams currently working out of the i-lab. For the full list of long-term residents, you can click here.

BetaDater — A web and mobile service that allows daters to provide honest feedback to one another in order to improve their first date behaviors and maximize their second date potential.

Blackwell Timepieces — A veteran-owned, American-made watch company that supports wounded combat veterans. For each watch purchased, Blackwell donates a dog to a service dog training program for wounded veterans, training dogs to provide balance, post-traumatic stress relief, hearing assistance and other life-improving tasks.

Bon’App — A calorie counter available on iPhone and Android phones that helps users identify the right food for them, near them.

FairSetup — A profit-sharing model where participants are compensated according to their impact. FairSetup offers a web-based calculation suite and consulting services to deploy FairSetup-based solutions into startups, growth-stage and established companies to improve capital deployment, company culture and management transparency.

GiftPlum — GiftPlum combines a unique gift sourcing methodology with social data inputs to build a gift recipient “taste profile” and generate customized recommendations.

JGOOD — A social shopping site that rewards members for inviting their friends to the community by offering them 10 percent of their referrals’ purchases in points indefinitely. JGOOD also offers a premium partner membership whereby members can pay a subscription fee to earn 30 percent of their referrals’ purchases in cash, thus essentially operating their own online retail stores without ordering inventory or managing shipment and operations.

Learning Catalytics — An interactive technology to drive student engagement and learning in the classroom. Instructors can engage students with questions about the material — soliciting numerical, algebraic, textual and graphical responses — and the platform can automatically group students for follow-up discussions and track their responses over the course of the semester.

Meater — A mobile biosensor platform for large-scale cattle feedlots. The system’s core component is the “Meater Tag,” a low-cost affixable electronic device that collects data on animal temperature and behavior trends. Meater employs sophisticated analytics to enable feedlots to detect and treat illness early, increasing gross margin and minimizing operating risk.

OrganJet — OrganJet provides affordable, on-demand private jet and ground logistics for patients to travel for an organ transplant from one region to another.

Pymetrics — Pymetrics assesses people’s cognitive and emotional abilities using short computer tasks that, unlike self-report questionnaires, are objective, free of bias and cannot be gamed. The product is aimed at HR departments looking to reduce churn and costs. It provides a quantitative assessment of employee fit, performance and/or engagement that can be used by HR to do more cost-efficient and selective hiring, development and retention of employees.


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