Startup Foundry Celebrates Pilot Cohort

The Digital Data Design Institute at Harvard’s Startup Foundry launched in 2023 to support and activate academic-led entrepreneurship at Harvard. Like all good entrepreneurs, it began with experiments, testing various formats, processes, and programs, piloting with early customers and tweaking to meet market needs while producing an MVP. As the first program of its kind at Harvard, the Startup Foundry is uniquely designed to bridge the gap between groundbreaking AI-driven research and the dynamic world of startups. This includes faculty, post-doc fellows, doctoral students, and researchers working in AI/ML/digital business innovations.

By offering invaluable resources such as mentorship from seasoned professionals, insights from subject matter experts, and access to a network of investors, the Foundry empowers participants to transform their research into thriving ventures. Participants benefit from an extensive support system through the Institute, gaining access to workshops on product design, data science, AI, and essential business skills like fundraising, pitching, and B2B sales.

Teams can partner with D^3 Labs to further research that aligns with their purpose. Harvard Business School faculty and staff resources also provide tools to build the confidence and capabilities of the leaders of these projects. This comprehensive educational approach ensures a tailored journey for each team, guiding them from the lab to launch with a structured three-month milestone framework inspired by the successful Creative Destruction Lab model of venture acceleration. Moreover, the opportunity to collaborate with a second-year HBS MBA intern adds a layer of practical business acumen to these academic endeavors. The Foundry not only nurtures the initial steps of these ventures but also prepares them for the subsequent stages of growth, marking a new chapter in their development as they evolve into independent entities.

The pilot cohort, featuring four academic-led projects, signifies the Foundry’s commitment to fostering a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship within the academic setting, promising a future where research and business converge to create impactful solutions.


Andy Spielberg,
Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard SEAS, Lewis Lab

MorphAI is transforming industrial engineering using AI-powered CAD used for designing complex robots, heavy machinery, and other large-scale manufacturing equipment. MorphAI is creating a first-of-its-kind software platform that will be a force multiplier for inventing the future. 


Dan Freeman,
PhD Student, Harvard Medical School, Bioinformatics

The immune system is the ultimate data processor, constantly gathering information about the body’s health status and outputting the appropriate response. TerraFlow translates those signals into actionable clinical insights. Our platform performs an exhaustive search for immune biomarkers within the user’s data and compares results to literature, highlighting metatrends that drive treatment outcomes across multiple studies and show up again in the user’s data.

Neru Health

Morgan Moncada,
Blavatnik Life Sciences Entrepreneurship Fellow, Harvard Business School
Maria Grebenshchikova,
Former D^3 Researcher
Catherine Tadina

Neru Health is 24/7 personalized sleep therapy to help 20M+ shift workers improve sleep, mood, health, and productivity. 20M+ US shift workers, including nurses, truckers and pilots, have chronic sleep deprivation leading to $100B in costs for employers (absenteeism/churn, accidents, & healthcare costs). Neru provides comprehensive sleep care on one platform: 1) Profiling sleep issues & factors (shift work schedules, user lifestyle, physical health, and mental health) and 2) Improving sleep with hyper-personalized sleep training & 1:1 coaching and access to sleep care providers (e.g. sleep clinics). 


Dr. Amber Weiseth,
Research Scientist, Faculty at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Program Director, DDI, Ariadne Labs (joint research program with Chan and BWH)

TeamBirth is a care process innovation that has been tested in a federally registered clinical trial and implemented by hundreds of clinicians serving tens of thousands of families at community hospitals around the country. TeamBirth is a shared decision-making process that is interwoven into the obstetric clinical care delivered to patients in the prenatal, labor and delivery, and postpartum spaces to improve the labor and delivery experience and decrease the maternal death rate and complications from childbirth. 

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