Harvard Business School has announced nine winners of the Minimum Viable Product Fund, money awarded to student entrepreneurs each winter semester.
Candidates had to submit written proposals and present their ideas to a selection committee last month.
It’s a pretty neat way to encourage startups coming out of its business school.
Of the nine that won, we were intrigued by AfterSteps, “an end-of-life planning platform with tools to create a plan, store it, and transfer it to designated beneficiaries,” and Vinamea, “a platform that allows people to rent a portion of a vineyard, follow an online wine production process from grape to bottle, and receive their share of the year’s vintage in a customised package.”
A full list of winners appears below.
- Adiply (Omar Restom, 2012): A self-serve tool that executes online advertising direct deals (that is, instances in which an advertiser works directly with a publisher–the Web site selling ad space) to buy ad inventory on that site.
- AfterSteps (Jessica Bloomgarden, Alex Stratoudakis, and Emma Taylor, all 2012): An online end-of-life planning platform with educational resources and tools to create a plan, store it, and transfer it to designated beneficiaries.
- Children’s Stories for American Muslims (Mohammed Aaser, 2012): A children’s entertainment and education brand for the underserved North American Muslim population. The business will start as a subscription service delivering monthly stories and will later expand into toys, books, games, videos, and licensing.
- MatchLend (Jeffrey Engler, 2011, and Charles Deutsch) A tool to improve loan underwriting accuracy by incorporating data often missed by traditional methods.
- MyDayz (Vasile Tofan, 2012, Ecaterina Demcencov, and Alex Rishojis) A web application that allows women to keep track of their health data, focusing on period and fertility monitoring.
- Rewardly (Aleem Mawani, 2011, and Jasen Kimis) A rewards program that works with the customers’ existing credit cards wherever they make purchases.
- UpStart (Sarah Dillard, Jevan Soo, and Shiyan Koh, all 2011) A program that seeks to do for entrepreneurship what Teach for America did for teaching by creating a well-branded path for young talent to work at promising startups and learn entrepreneurial skills.
- Vinamea (Gurvan Rallon and Cornelius Frey, both 2012) A platform that allows people to rent a portion of a vineyard, follow an online wine production process from grape to bottle, and ultimately receive their share of the year’s vintage in a customised package.
- Zumper (Anthemos Georgiades, Tom Dye, and Ken Sim, all 2012) An online real estate market in which students and others can bid on and secure properties in a more efficient and transparent manner.