Currently awarded Pilot Fund Projects: 

Below are the student innovation teams who are currently receiving $200 – $500 from HILT to pilot their educational ideas. Any degree-granting student from any school at any level is eligible for HILT Pilot Funds, so you will see a range of schools and student-types represented on the teams; we strongly encourage cross-discipline and cross-school teams.

All of HILT’s Pilot Fund projects are early stage. Most teams, therefore, use HILT’s Pilot Funds to better understand a problem area, refine the theory of change, get user feedback, and/or prototype lean experiments. Some of these teams are new to the HILT community while others have received multiple rounds of funding as they make progress on their ideas.


ACE: Accelerating Civic Engagement

ACE Team LogoJerren Chang (HBS/HKS), Harshini Jayaram (HBS/HKS), Caleb Bradford (HBS/HKS), & Brian Mongeau (HBS/HKS)

ACE seeks to reignite civic engagement nationally by empowering individuals to learn about, participate in, and lead their local communities. An app-based civic engagement platform, ACE creates a seamless way for individuals to learn about and engage with their communities. ACE crowdsources civic learning modules about pertinent local issues from local governments, non-profits, and civic organizations and then connects users to relevant, crowdsourced volunteer opportunities. Individuals receive badges for completing modules and volunteering, which, in turn, will signal civic mindedness to schools and employers and qualify top users to meet with local decision makers.


Team photo of AmanAditi Nangia (HGSE) & Ghazi Taimoor Mirza (HGSE)

Our project aims to tackle hatred and bigotry in India and Pakistan through developing curriculum, guidelines and training for teachers. We want to build skills in teachers andstudents to empathize with people who are different from them, tolerate opposing viewpoints, have difficult conversations and accept diversity.

Arts in a Circle

Yi Chen (HGSE) & Jin Zhai (HGSE)

Arts in a Circle, LogoOur team wants to design an affordable one-stop art education online platform for Chinese families. We want to educate the public about the broad definition of art education and design a series of online courses for families with children aged 5-12. To achieve the first goal, we will host online round-table discussion with art education professionals every week. This series of panel discussion is free and open to the public. To address the second goal, we aim to build online learning modules with the emphasis on reflection, communication, and connection.

Brown Art Ink

Brown Art Ink team photoAmanda Figueroa (GSAS) & Ravon Ruffin (External)

Our goal is to provide tangible, actionable, and effective professional development education for emerging artists, particularly artists of color and artists who are women or gender minorities. Through hands-on workshops in the DC area, we plan to develop and implement a curriculum of professional development designed to help these artists receive more opportunities and greater support for their work.

C2B – Classroom to Boardroom

Ketty Lie (HBS/HKS), Viria Vichit-Vadakan (HBS), and George Oliver Vinton (HGSE)

Classroom to Boardroom, LogoA widening skills gap in Indonesia for start-ups and innovative companies stems from insufficient youth job training. C2B seeks to solve this gap by providing an immersive training program designed in close collaboration with rapidly growing industries (i.e. tech-focused companies). Graduates of the program will be better equipped to take on challenging roles in various institutions having been equipped with key managerial and analytical skills. Our training approach will emphasize on experiential learning, critical thinking and integrative knowledge. Our focus for the next 3 months is to assess in-demand skills with big hiring gaps by doing deep-dive interviews with start-ups founders, corporate hiring managers, local college graduates, and training organizations as well as run training pilot programs in the field.


Conversational Team Logo Lauren Aitken (HGSE) & Ben Green (HBS)

Conversational creates fun, immersive environments for socializing in other languages. Our digital platform connects language communities globally. Conversational is committed to expanding language education opportunities that celebrate multilingualism and multiculturalism.

DEEP Career

DEEP Career LogoDanni Zheng (HLS) & Han Jin (GSD)

DEEP Career strives to “Deliver Equal and Endless Possibilities” for young professionals’ career development in China, where accredited career opportunities are concentrated in Beijing and Shanghai, but young talents elsewhere are excluded. To address this educational inequality, DEEP Career will develop a for-profit digital product to ensure that young talents in different regions enjoy equal access to transparent opportunities. Meanwhile, based on its non-profit platform with 40,000 subscribers on WeChat, DEEP Career will sponsor cross-regional internships and career-related events, and continue its efforts on publication and career talks.


Empathy Core LogoAdam Gavarkovs (HSPH), Kidist Tesfaye (HGSE), & Tania Lee (HSPH)

Through innovative educational experiences leveraging immersive virtual reality, we aim to provide healthcare students and professionals with the opportunity to foster better relationships with patients who are often stigmatized within the healthcare system.


Heard Team LogoChew Chia Shao Yuan (College), Guadalupe Jacobson-Peregrino (College), Shao Wei Chew Chia (Alumni), Shao Min Chew Chia (Alumni), Reuben Ng (External), Xin-Rui Lee (External), Rachel Koh (External), Clara Yeo (External), Wei En Goh (External), Jia Yuan Loke (External), & Chua Jiaho (External)

Heard is an application for parents to use with their children to hold in-person conversations on topics from friendship and school, to divorce and mental health. It facilitates structured conversations through a turn-taking game that is built to be fun, as well as incorporate clinically proven communication techniques.


Knot team photoKyle Wu (HMS), Robert Crum (HMS), Heather Lyu (HMS), Gavin Ovstak (HBS/HMS), Alexander Yang (HMS), David Rubins (HMS), & Antuan Tran (Alumni)

Case logging, which is required for all procedures, is completely manual and consequently time-consuming, inaccurate, and costly. Knot automates this process and enhances the case log to contain all of the knowledge gained from a procedure, and give residents back their time so that they may instead learn, study, perform research or learn surgeries to better serve their patients.


Jingyu Tong (HGSE), Tianchun Xia (HGSE), Mengxi Tan (GSD), Yang Yuan (HMS), & Erqian Xu (HGSE)

Description coming soon.


Oculis logoMikal Lewis (HBS) & Peggy Mativo Ochola (HBS)

Oculis is a platform to address the lack of financial literacy in the classroom. Currently there are many programs, but few focus on the user (the student). Oculis seeks to engage the user through gamification of simple financial concepts.

Oklahoma Science Project

Kayla Davis (GSAS), Rebecca Fine (GSAS), Kate Lachance (GSAS), Jane Huang (GSAS), Emily Kerr (GSAS), & Noah Bloch (GSAS)

The Oklahoma Science Project is an online resource with the goal of improving access to and promoting STEM education in Oklahoma. The project combats strained educational funding by providing students and educators with free computational science lessons that aim to teach students how to use programming to solve science problems while introducing them to the fundamentals of the python coding language and teaching them fundamental principles of science. We combat the shortage of STEM professionals in the state by exposing students to the stories of successful Oklahomans holding STEM degrees and positions on a blog. The Oklahoma Science Project plans to network STEM professionals from Oklahoma to respond to anti-science and anti-education legislation being written in Oklahoma

Pillow Fort

David Maher (HBS) & Padaree Utsahajit (HBS)

At Pillow Fort we believe in the power of personalization to deeply engage children in reading. We are developing personalized books that solve problems for parents looking to create teachable moments on difficult topics and improve vocabulary retention, and solve problems for gift givers who want a gift that they know the kid they are buying for will love.

ProcedReal LogoProcedReal: Enroll

Eric Gonzalez (HGSE) & Yating Xu (External)

Enroll allows you to practice the college application process safely on your device. By failing, practice, and learning you will be more equipped to succeed when it’s time for your real college application!

Reimagine African Schools

Bahia El Oddi (HBS), Aneeqa Rana (HGSE), & Mariam Dahbi (HGSE)

Reimagine Schools LogoThis project envisions the creation of a pan African affordable private K12 schools network (i.e. ReImagine Schools). These schools would provide a lower cost alternative for low-middle income populations to access quality education, drawing on curriculum, operational, and technical insights to lower costs and increase both cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes. ReImagine Schools is an affordable and adaptable 21st century school model anchored in an integrated student led learning and teachers training platform empowered by Artificial Intelligence. We think indeed that there is a need for a AI integrated learning and teaching platform which will be integrated into an exhaustive school model (a kind of “school in a box” or “school at your fingerprints”) that could be delivered though a franchise model to achieve further scale. We would also differentiate ourselves by continuously refining the model leveraging the expertise of Harvard and MIT graduates and faculty.

StEP (Student-Educator Partnerships)

Natalie Owen (HGSE) & Kathleen Jarman (HGSE)

Student Educator Partnerships logo
In order to leverage the strengths of small school communities, we want to bring together teachers and students for conversation around how classroom practices can be relevant and engaging for all students. The funding we receive in this round will sponsor teachers in rural spaces to host lunch for a small group of students. We will support teachers with resources on productive student-teacher partnerships, including norm-setting for productive collaboration around classroom possibilities and including diverse student identities in the conversation.

Thrively Health

Allicen Dichara (HKS), Aleksandra Kozera (HGSE), & Shiyi Zan (HSPH)

Thrively Health logoThe postpartum period is a key window of opportunity for health education and behavior change. At Thrively Health, our mission is to democratize health by empowering women in making better care decisions for themselves and their family. Our current project informs the development of a digital platform that seeks to establish new norms for user engagement with health and supportive services from maternity onwards to impact health and life outcomes throughout the human lifecycle for underserved and marginalized populations in SE Asia.


Lauren Boulanger (HGSE) & Sofya Zeylikman (HGSE)

U D Literature Logo
UDLiterature is an online literature platform created to solve the problem of student demotivation and disengagement while reading complex texts like Shakespeare. Rather than spoon-feeding them the “right answers,” it provides students with the tools to do their own critical thinking as they work to decipher difficult works of literature. Consequently, students can experience the joy of tackling an intellectual challenge—and cultivate their grit and confidence in the process.

Village (in Polish, Wioski)

 Village Logo, which is Wioski in PolishAleksandra Kozera (HGSE) & Nicole Ivey (HBS)

Village supports and educates parents and teachers to create  local communities for creative, joyful, compassionate young learners who use curiosity and innovative thinking to build a healthy, just and sustainable world. We do so by igniting micro-entrepreneurship of early education teachers to start home-based early education centers. Village provides them with Reggio Emilia inspired professional development, mentoring, business and marketing support, IT platform as well as access to community of village chefs. It takes a village to raise a child – welcome to ours!


Kevin Bryant (HGSE) & Hassan Brown (HGSE)

V R satility team photoVRsatility seeks to provide educators with an immersive virtual space to practice their interpersonal and pedagogical skills prior to initial engagement with students in order to minimize potentially harmful interactions. VRsatility serves as a vehicle to close skills gaps while increasing empathetic relations between teachers and students. We leverage virtual reality as a core of instruction to increase student engagement, improve teacher creativity and revolutionize the pedagogical  approach to content delivery.


Samantha Wettje (HGSE), Saadia Sediqzadah (HSPH), & Maria Iqbal (HSPH)

Wellconn team headshot  Wellconn team headshot 2WELLconn is an education and support program designed to empower young people to recognize and resist the negative effects of growing up in a home with a family member who struggles with mental illness and/or addiction, thus enabling them to develop healthy minds and positive coping mechanisms.  We strive to deliver three main points: you are not alone, you are not to blame, and you can avoid repeating the cycle of mental illness through in-person on the ground curriculum and workshops facilitated through schools, online resources and podcasts.