Innovation labsResilient Teams: How Harvard Innovation Labs Ventures Are Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Published 3 April 2020

During a time when the world faces unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19, it’s more important than ever to share the stories of the innovators and entrepreneurs who are working tirelessly to keep people healthy and connected to each other.  Harvard says that many startups in the Harvard Innovation Labs Spring Venture Program are creating products and services that have the potential to reduce the spread of the virus, improve patient care, and create community when in person gatherings are not possible. We’ve also recently seen numerous examples of former ventures re-focusing their efforts on inspiring initiatives related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, we’ve highlighted a few of the products and services that current and former Harvard Innovation Labs ventures are working on. In the coming weeks, we will update this post regularly as our ventures continue to respond and adapt to this global challenge. 

Accure Health develops a digital diagnostic platform to enable fast, affordable and highly accurate diagnostic solutions at the point of care. Upon identifying that one of the biggest risks to addressing this pandemic is lack of adequate testing, the venture began devoting significant efforts to create a COVID-19 blood test that will provide rapid and automated diagnosis as well as real-time monitoring of vaccination effectiveness.

Aldatu Biosciences developed test kits for COVID-19 detection, and provided these kits to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Learn more

Buoy Health launched a free symptom checker for COVID-19, which is designed to help people understand whether they should seek care for the virus. The company has also begun socializing its epidemiological data around coronavirus symptom trends, including those that appeared prior to public COVID-19 case confirmation by state authorities. Learn more

ConductScience Founder and ED Physician at Mass General Dr. Shuhan has built GetUsPPE, a platform to connect people looking to donate PPE and to enable distribution of PPE to healthcare workers in need. The platform also connects those looking to volunteer and help in other ways with sourcing, creating, and distributing PPE both in the US and internationally. Learn more

Kinnos is creating a new standard of infection prevention to improve patient and health worker safety. More than 50% of healthcare surfaces are improperly cleaned due to human error, leading to over 99,000 patient deaths and $45B lost every single year. Kinnos’ solution is Highlight, a patented additive for existing disinfectants that colorizes them to ensure complete coverage on surfaces and which then fades to colorless to indicate in real-time when decontamination is done. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kinnos has closed its $6M Series A and provided several Chinese hospitals with Highlight to help them protect their staff. Learn more.    

LaPrincess Entertainment Group (L.E.G.) is a media corporation that produces, distributes and publishes original work that caters to black audiences. At a time when the organization’s performing arts cannot take place, L.E.G. decided to publish a coloring and self-affirmation book to give people a little hope and inspiration during this time. Learn more

June Motherhood recently held its first online childbirth education class, giving expecting mothers whose in-person classes have been cancelled a free session on the stages of labor and the essentials of preparing for delivery. June Motherhood plans on continuing to support this community with free childbirth education classes as well as well as other resources such as live Q&As with their providers around how to manage stress and prepare for delivery during this stressful time. Visit to sign up. 

Molecular Loop makes targeted DNA sequencing easier, faster, and less expensive for genetic testing labs. The company is currently exploring how its technology can help labs test many more people for COVID-19 per day. 

Nilus is using the company’s technology for food rescue to help respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in Puerto Rico. Learn more.  

Nurse-1-1 launched a service that lets anyone in the US text with a nurse for free. Learn more

SupportYourSpot was recently launched by founders of two Harvard Innovation Labs venture teams to help people support Boston area restaurants that have lost income from COVID-19. Learn more

Umbulizer is commencing manufacturing of their low-cost portable ventilator, helping to address ventilator shortages as well as the high cost associated with typical ventilators. They have recently raised funding from the Allston Venture Fund, and are currently looking to close additional funding to expand manufacturing, distribution, and service capabilities. Learn more about the company’s clinical trial here. If you’d like to learn how you can support the Umbulizer, contact co-founder Sanchay Gupta at 

WHOOP was just named Fast Company’s Most Innovative Wellness Company of 2020 for “letting the masses monitor their well-being like elite athletes.” WHOOP recently announced a series of steps it’s taking to help WHOOP customers track COVID-19 symptoms.

This article is published courtesy of Harvard Innovation Labs