New Ventures

HST MD-PhD student Leonard Nettey was one of the winners in the HBS New Ventures Competition. Nettey is third from the right. Photo credit: Harvard Business School, Susan Young.

The competition is open to all students and alumni interested in launching new business and social impact ventures.

Leonard Nettey, an HST MD/PhD student, and Ashley Kyalwazi (MD/MPP 2024), were the grand prize winners in the Student Social Enterprise Track of the Harvard Business School 2023 New Ventures Competition (NVC), winning $75,000 for their endeavor, the MV3 Foundation. Kyalwazi is the founder and CEO of the organization, and Nettey is the Chief Operating Officer and Research Lead.

The mission of the MV3 Foundation is to build and empower a community of Black undergraduate scholars across the US, who will positively impact the future of health and biomedical sciences through three pillars: education, service, and advocacy.

According to the Harvard Business School, the NVC is open to all students and alumni interested in launching new business and social impact ventures. The School’s Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise Initiative (SEI), in partnership with HBS Alumni Clubs & Associations, host the annual competition. This year, 318 teams entered the competition—122 in the Student Business Track, 57 in the Student Social Enterprise Track, and 139 Alumni Track teams in eight regional competitions around the world. Since its inception in 1997, there have been 6,022 participants, and $2,980,000 has been awarded to the students and alumni who are creating groundbreaking new businesses and social impact ventures.

This year’s new venture pitches were vetted by more than 300 judges, including many HBS graduates, from fields such as venture capital, private equity, law, accounting, philanthropy, impact investing, and social entrepreneurship. The result was 20 finalists, eight in the Student Business Track, four in the Social Enterprise Track, and eight in the Alumni Track, in fields as varied as healthcare, sustainability, artificial intelligence, cosmetics, and even hair braiding.

To learn more about the competition and to see a video featuring Nettey and Kyalwazi, you can read more here. The Social Enterprise Track video is the third video.