An Ecosystem of Innovation

Harvard is at the heart of Massachusetts' vibrant innovation ecosystem. The academic and research expertise of Harvard, coupled with that of its affiliated teaching hospitals, create a powerhouse for attracting funding and generating early stage ideas, driving innovation, discovering cures, and building the regional economy.

Beyond the Campus

2011-2015

Between 2011 and 2015, Massachusetts companies were consistently among the top recipients of venture capital investment nationwide. Harvard and its affiliated teaching hospitals’ high rate of connection – from researchers, physicians, students, faculty, and alumni – to the funders and innovative companies that received these investments, demonstrates the University's integral role in helping Massachusetts continue to thrive as an engine of entrepreneurship.

$4.2 Billion
Total research dollars attracted to Massachusetts by Harvard.
$19.2 Billion
Total venture capital dollars invested in Massachusetts companies.
64%
The rate of Harvard's connection to venture backed companies.
21
Harvard-connected biotech companies that received venture capital and have become publicly traded companies since 2011

Year-by-Year Data

2011-2015

Between 2001 and 2015, 64 percent of the companies that received venture capital investment had a high-level connection to Harvard. In the biotech sector alone, 91 percent of the companies that received venture capital funds had Harvard connections, nearly two-thirds of which also had ties to one of its affiliated teaching hospitals.

$2.5 Billion
Total National Institutes of Health research dollars awarded in Massachusetts.
$3.0 Billion
Total venture capital dollars awarded in Massachusetts (across all sectors).
$5.5 Billion
Total dollars invested in the Massachusetts economy.

Developing Ideas and Founding Companies

34 of 37
Biotech companies that received venture capital dollars had a Harvard connection.

Harvard Hospital Connections

70
Connections

In 2011, individuals connected to both Harvard and an affiliated teaching hospital were involved in 18 of the 37 funded biotech companies. The 70 individuals who shared these connections, most of whom are physicians, contributed the practical expertise that allowed treatments and cures to be developed.

Harvard Affiliated Hospitals

The 10,000-plus physicians and researchers who work at one of Harvard's 14 affiliated hospitals and have a Harvard Medical School appointment bring the specialized knowledge knowledge needed to attract research funding and translate discoveries into treatments.

  • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center*
  • Boston Children's Hospital*
  • Brigham and Women's Hospital*
  • Cambridge Health Alliance
  • Dana-Farber Cancer Institute*
  • Hebrew SeniorLife
  • Joslin Diabetes Center
  • Judge Baker Children's Center
  • Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary*
  • Massachusetts General Hospital*
  • McLean Hospital*
  • Mount Auburn Hospital
  • Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital
  • VA Boston Healthcare System

* Denotes a top 20 independent hospital recipient of FY ’16 National Institutes of Health research dollars nationally

Investing in Breakthroughs

8 of the top 9
most prolific venture capital funders have a Harvard connection.

Beyond the Biotech Industry

Harvard can be connected to the following percentage of venture-backed companies by industry:

$2.5 Billion
Total National Institutes of Health research dollars awarded in Massachusetts.
$3.2 Billion
Total venture capital dollars awarded in Massachusetts (across all sectors).
$5.7 Billion
Total dollars invested in the Massachusetts economy.

Developing Ideas and Founding Companies

25 of 27
Biotech companies that received venture capital dollars had a Harvard connection.

Harvard Hospital Connections

53
Connections

In 2012, individuals connected to both Harvard and an affiliated teaching hospital were involved in 17 of the 27 funded biotech companies. The 53 individuals who shared these connections, most of whom are physicians, contributed the practical expertise that allowed treatments and cures to be developed.

Harvard Affiliated Hospitals

The 10,000-plus physicians and researchers who work at one of Harvard's 14 affiliated hospitals and have a Harvard Medical School appointment contribute to thebring the specialized knowledge needed to attract research funding and translate discoveries into treatments.

  • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center*
  • Boston Children's Hospital*
  • Brigham and Women's Hospital*
  • Cambridge Health Alliance
  • Dana-Farber Cancer Institute*
  • Hebrew SeniorLife
  • Joslin Diabetes Center
  • Judge Baker Children's Center
  • Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary*
  • Massachusetts General Hospital*
  • McLean Hospital*
  • Mount Auburn Hospital
  • Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital
  • VA Boston Healthcare System

* Denotes a top 20 independent hospital recipient of FY ’16 National Institutes of Health research dollars nationally

Investing in Breakthroughs

6 of the top 7
most prolific venture capital funders have a Harvard connection.

Beyond the Biotech Industry

Harvard can be connected to the following percentage of venture-backed companies by industry:

$2.4 Billion
Total National Institutes of Health research dollars awarded in Massachusetts.
$3.0 Billion
Total venture capital dollars awarded in Massachusetts (across all sectors).
$5.4 Billion
Total dollars invested in the Massachusetts economy.

Developing Ideas and Founding Companies

17 of 19
Biotech companies that received venture capital dollars had a Harvard connection.

Harvard Hospital Connections

61
Connections

In 2013, individuals connected to both Harvard and an affiliated teaching hospital were involved in 10 of the 19 funded biotech companies. The 61 individuals who shared these connections, most of whom are physicians, contributed the practical expertise that allowed treatments and cures to be developed.

Harvard Affiliated Hospitals

The 10,000-plus physicians and researchers who work at one of Harvard's 14 affiliated hospitals and have a Harvard Medical School appointment bring the specialized knowledge needed to attract research funding and translate discoveries into treatments.

  • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center*
  • Boston Children's Hospital*
  • Brigham and Women's Hospital*
  • Cambridge Health Alliance
  • Dana-Farber Cancer Institute*
  • Hebrew SeniorLife
  • Joslin Diabetes Center
  • Judge Baker Children's Center
  • Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary*
  • Massachusetts General Hospital*
  • McLean Hospital*
  • Mount Auburn Hospital
  • Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital
  • VA Boston Healthcare System

* Denotes a top 20 independent hospital recipient of FY ’16 National Institutes of Health research dollars nationally

Investing in Breakthroughs

6 of the top 6
most prolific venture capital funders have a Harvard connection.

Beyond the Biotech Industry

Harvard can be connected to the following percentage of venture-backed companies by industry:

$2.3 Billion
Total National Institutes of Health research dollars awarded in Massachusetts.
$4.4 Billion
Total venture capital dollars awarded in Massachusetts (across all sectors).
$6.7 Billion
Total dollars invested in the Massachusetts economy.

Developing Ideas and Founding Companies

26 of 29
Biotech companies that received venture capital dollars had a Harvard connection.

Harvard Hospital Connections

72
Connections

In 2014, individuals connected to both Harvard and an affiliated teaching hospital were involved in 17 of the 29 funded biotech companies. The 72 individuals who shared these connections, most of whom are physicians, contributed the practical expertise that allowed treatments and cures to be developed.

Harvard Affiliated Hospitals

The 10,000-plus physicians and researchers who work at one of Harvard's 14 affiliated hospitals and have a Harvard Medical School appointment bring the specialized knowledge needed to attract research funding and translate discoveries into treatments.

  • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center*
  • Boston Children's Hospital*
  • Brigham and Women's Hospital*
  • Cambridge Health Alliance
  • Dana-Farber Cancer Institute*
  • Hebrew SeniorLife
  • Joslin Diabetes Center
  • Judge Baker Children's Center
  • Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary*
  • Massachusetts General Hospital*
  • McLean Hospital*
  • Mount Auburn Hospital
  • Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital
  • VA Boston Healthcare System

* Denotes a top 20 independent hospital recipient of FY ’16 National Institutes of Health research dollars nationally

Investing in Breakthroughs

4 of the top 4
most prolific venture capital funders have a Harvard connection.

Beyond the Biotech Industry

Harvard can be connected to the following percentage of venture-backed companies by industry:

$2.4 Billion
Total National Institutes of Health research dollars awarded in Massachusetts.
$5.5 Billion
Total venture capital dollars awarded in Massachusetts (across all sectors).
$7.9 Billion
Total dollars invested in the Massachusetts economy.

Developing Ideas and Founding Companies

27 of 30
Biotech companies that received venture capital dollars had a Harvard connection.

Harvard Hospital Connections

91
Connections

In 2015, individuals connected to both Harvard and an affiliated teaching hospital were involved in 18 of the 30 funded biotech companies. The 91 individuals who shared these connections, most of whom are physicians, contributed the practical expertise that allowed treatments and cures to be developed.

Harvard Affiliated Hospitals

The 10,000-plus physicians and researchers who work at one of Harvard's 14 affiliated hospitals and have a Harvard Medical School appointment bring the specialized knowledge needed to attract research funding and translate discoveries into treatments.

  • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center*
  • Boston Children's Hospital*
  • Brigham and Women's Hospital*
  • Cambridge Health Alliance
  • Dana-Farber Cancer Institute*
  • Hebrew SeniorLife
  • Joslin Diabetes Center
  • Judge Baker Children's Center
  • Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary*
  • Massachusetts General Hospital*
  • McLean Hospital*
  • Mount Auburn Hospital
  • Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital
  • VA Boston Healthcare System

* Denotes a top 20 independent hospital recipient of FY ’16 National Institutes of Health research dollars nationally

Investing in Breakthroughs

13 of the top 15
most prolific venture capital funders have a Harvard connection.

Beyond the Biotech Industry

Harvard can be connected to the following percentage of venture-backed companies by industry:

Ecosystem at Work

Harvard University and its affiliated teaching hospitals contribute to the creation of companies that deliver solutions to society's pressing problems – improving lives and impacting the world.

Rubius Therapeutics
Applying Expertise, Improving Lives
Founded 2013
Cambridge, MA
Rubius Therapeutics is leveraging breakthrough science to develop a new set of treatments for human disease. Using a technique that allows scientists to modify stem cells, Rubius is able to create red blood cells that contain the proteins necessary to treat a wide array of diseases.
View Case Study
View Harvard-Connected Investors

Rubius Therapeutics

Venture Capital Investors

  • Flagship Ventures (Cambridge, MA)
There are so many mistakes young companies can make and most of them can be fatal. So, to execute correctly is key. Having the right people around the table is absolutely critical, so to have this extended Harvard family infrastructure is just spectacular.
Dr. Ulrich Von Andrian
Mallinckrodt Professor of Immunopathology at Harvard Medical School and Member of the Scientific Advisory Board
Catabasis Pharmaceuticals
Developing Research, Treating Disease
Founded 2008
Cambridge, MA
Catabasis is a biotechnology company advancing new treatments for cardiovascular, metabolic, and inflammatory diseases. The company is developing drugs that target multiple causes of disease, resulting in safer, less toxic, and more effective treatments than are currently available.
View Case Study
View Harvard-Connected Investors

Catabasis Pharmaceuticals

Venture Capital Investors

  • Advanced Technology Ventures (Boston, MA, and Menlo Park, CA)
  • Clarus Ventures (Cambridge, MA, and San Francisco, CA)
  • MedImmune Ventures (Gaithersburg, MD, and Mountain View, CA)
  • SV Life Sciences (Boston, MA, San Francisco, CA, and London, UK)
Harvard has broader strength than almost any other institution in the world because of its people and facilities. Between the University and the Medical School, there is an incredibly dense amount of good work and that, along with MIT, has provided the anchor that supports a local biotech community that has become the best and the biggest worldwide.
Dr. Steven Shoelson
Professor at Harvard Medical School, Helen and Morton Adler Chair at the Joslin Diabetes Center, and Co-Founder and Member of the Scientific Advisory Board
Editas Medicine
Uniting Resources, Revolutionizing Treatment
Founded 2013
Cambridge, MA
Editas Medicine is a genome-editing company founded by the scientists who discovered the revolutionary CRISPR technique that allows nearly any gene to be manipulated. The company, located in Cambridge, MA, hopes to use the CRISPR technique to develop treatments for a broad range of genetically driven diseases. Editas’ work has the potential to revolutionize the treatment of genetically caused diseases – of the estimated 6,000 diseases known to be caused by a genetic mutation more than 95 percent have no approved treatment.
View Case Study
View Harvard-Connected Investors

Editas Medicine

Venture Capital Investors

  • Polaris Partners (Boston, MA, San Francisco, CA, and Dublin, Ireland)
  • Third Rock Ventures (Boston, MA, and San Francisco, CA)
  • Flagship Ventures (Cambridge, MA)
  • Partners Innovation Fund (Cambridge, MA, and Somerville, MA)
  • bng0 (Seattle, WA)
  • Casdin Capital (New York, NY)
  • Deerfield Management (New York, NY, Shanghai, China, and Epalinges, Switzerland)
  • Fidelity Investments (Boston, MA)
  • Khosla Ventures (Menlo Park, CA)
Being in the Boston area was critical to Editas’ founding. The density of talent and spirit of collaboration in the Cambridge/Boston area is astonishing. Editas is a partnership between colleagues based at institutions across the region — marrying the expertise of basic bench scientists with the bedside knowledge of physicians — resulting in a company that has the potential to change lives.
Dr. David Liu
Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University and a Founding Scientific Advisor of Editas Medicine
Dr. J. Keith Joung
Associate Chief of Pathology for Research and Pathologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School, and a Founding Scientific Advisor of Editas Medicine
Kyruus
Improving Health Care, Developing Local Expertise
Founded 2010
Boston, MA
Kyruus is using big data to reduce the cost and increase the quality of health care. The company has united scholars, executives, physicians, and technologists with the expertise necessary to leverage big data to track the variation across physician practice styles, and then develop strategies to maximize the value of every physician and match him or her with the right patients in the right setting to achieve the best outcomes.
View Case Study
View Harvard-Connected Investors

Kyruus

Venture Capital Investors

  • Highland Capital Partners (Cambridge, MA, and Palo Alto, CA)
  • Venrock (Boston, MA, New York, NY, and Palo Alto, CA)
  • Fidelity Biosciences/ F-Prime Capital (Cambridge, MA, and London, UK)
  • Leerink Partners (Boston, MA, San Francisco, CA, and Charlotte, NC)
  • McKesson Ventures (San Francisco, CA)
  • New Leaf Venture Partners (New York, NY, and San Mateo, CA)
Powerful things happen at the intersection of different ideas and novel partnerships. Nearly every Harvard school is represented at Kyruus. In addition to Harvard College graduates, we have people from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the medical school, and the business school, as well as Harvard Ph.D.s. At Kyruus, we've brought people with different perspectives together to solve really hard problems in healthcare and the diversity of Harvard schools represented reflects that effort.
Graham Gardner
CEO of Kyruus
Blavatnik Biomedical Accelerator
Funding Ideas, Mentoring Companies
Founded 2007
Cambridge, MA
The Blavatnik Biomedical Accelerator, located at Harvard University, bridges the gap between Harvard's early stage life-science research and the successful commercial development of high-impact biomedical technologies. The Accelerator’s integrated approach combines essential research funding with development and business expertise, validating innovative technologies and leading to successful partnerships (collaborations, licenses, and startups) that advance these new biomedical discoveries to benefit patients and society.
View Case Study
Funding from the Blavatnik Accelerator has allowed me to pursue a dream I have had for years: to treat disease by drugging the gut microbiome. Our project is attempting to accomplish something that has never been done before, and the Blavatnik Accelerator provides incredible opportunities for those of us working toward high-potential, unprecedented scientific discoveries.
Emily Balskus
Morris Kahn Associate Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
North Bridge Venture Partners
Investing in Concepts, Building Market Leaders
Founded 1994
Waltham, MA
North Bridge Venture Partners primarily invests in businesses operating in the communications and infrastructure, software, materials, health care, and digital media sectors. Considered one of the premier venture capital firms for much of its history, 80 of the companies North Bridge has invested in have successfully transitioned off venture capital funding. In 2015, North Bridge made 14 investments in Massachusetts companies.
View Case Study
I think Harvard has true thought leaders – people who are at the top of their game. If I find someone who is zeroed in on a problem I care about and doing it in a way that I see a future in, on many occasions it’s a Harvard professor, or a Harvard student or post-doc.
Carmichael Roberts
General Partner, North Bridge Venture Partners