Hours of Operation: Mon - Fri 8:00am - 8:00pm

If you believe in service and purpose

We are incubating and accelerating social enterprises

We Believe in Impact

We live in a world of complex challenges.  There are huge disparities and inequities that affect many of us differently.  We need clever insight and bold initiatives to help us solve our problems. 

We know many talented social entrepreneurs who try to address key societal issues.  Some experience success, but far too many never quite attain their goals.  We intend to change that.  Society needs more of our purpose-minded innovators to succeed.  Our goal is to help make that happen.

We are introducing a new social enterprise incubator and accelerator in Harvard Square that will serve social entrepreneurs at Harvard University and other selected innovators around the world, as they strive to create, develop, and commercialize social enterprise ideas that will make a lasting difference for society.

We want to do things differently . . .

First of all, we apply a ten-step process for vetting and strengthening ideas, projects, and ventures.  We then deliver honest feedback and guidance.  Our techniques are similar to those being used by leading venture capital firms in Silicon Valley.  They leverage outside-in perspective, creative modeling, competitive thinking, and fast piloting to enhance the probability of success.

. . . in order to multiply the outcomes.

By following a methodical process, we deliver better outcomes - more projects that attract more talent and more capital at an earlier stage of their development and more projects that achieve real scale and sustainable impact.  The net benefit is a higher yield on both talent and donor dollars.


Here's why we're so excited

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Change the Game

No one can expect better results by doing the same thing over and over.  Social enterprise is no different.  We need to act like venture capital funded companies - become focused, assertive, and competitive with other services that might claim our customers, talent, and supporters.  We need to bring our best thinking and our best effort to win on behalf of the people we want to serve.

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Deliver More Impact

Social enterprise is about impact.  How many lives are improved?  Changed?  Saved?

Knowing these answers is critical to establishing focus, building the right skills, and finding resources.  We commit to defining this impact early in our conversations so that we all have a clear orientation about why the effort is not only important but compelling.

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Build NewTalent

We have a unique opportunity to cultivate talent at the Harvard Square Lab.   The projects we work on are interesting and offer lots of learning possibilities.  Our Research Associates obtain a powerful learning experience that can help shape career interests and mold character at the same time.  Working on exciting concepts and breakthrough ideas is an  opportunity too rare to pass up.

A Cross-Section of Our Current Projects

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Zambia Innovates

Training Entrepreneurs

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Sing For America

Unity Concert

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Becoming American

Immigration Stories

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Democracy Studio

Dialogue and Debate

Zambia Innovates

Zambia is a sub-Saharan African nation with enormous human and economic potential, and recent political changes have paved the way for strong economic development.   Dr. Mwaba Kawese-Bota, the former Zambian Ambassador to the United Nations, is leading a new initiative to inspire, train, and guide Zambian entrepreneurs in key industries such as healthcare, high tech, ag business, and minerals and mining.  The  Zambian Centre for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development has selected the Harvard Square Lab methodology as the basis for instruction and guidance in working with  client companies, which is a distinct honor.

Sing For America

Sing Across America is a unity concert that will draw on music and song to bring people together to celebrate our nation.  The concert will be hosted in Chicago and streamed nationally.  A unique feature will be the ability of all Americans participating to sing along via their phones and then “see” their participation on a video representation shown live.

Becoming American

We Are America seeks to crowdsource videos about heritage and immigration from 1 million Americans as a way to establish a story wall of positive messaging in the face of so much negativity about immigration.

Democracy Studio

Create a meeting place where we can discuss politics and the current state of democracy in the midst of politically-themed art sourced from local artists. By juxtaposing images and words, we offer the possibility of a different kind of discussion – one that is more powerful, more insightful, and more engaging.

What's So Special?

We believe that  social enterprises need to adopt a competitive attitude in order to thrive.  They are not seeking profits but they have to behave as if they are - they need to know about alternatives and ensure their own uniqueness.  Donors and backers respect social enterprises who know how to add distinctive value - and are more motivated to invest in them.

Will All Ventures Succeed?

The reality in both for-profit ventures and social enterprises is that most  ventures do not succeed.  This is actually not only okay but desirable from a societal vantage point. 

Many ideas appear interesting initially but later fail to become compelling once alternatives are discovered in the marketplace.  This might sound harsh, but realizing the limitations of an idea or project early in its development is a powerful finding that will save time and resources, which can ultimately be invested in more efforts that will be more worthwhile.


Incubating and Accelerating Social Enterprises

Societal issues are of great concern to a majority of Americans, but conventional approaches to change are falling short. Income inequality, immigration, education, democratic…