Harvard Asian Alumni Summit 2014

ELEVATE Pitch Competition

ELEVATE Pitch Competition Finals @ Northwest Labs

Oct 25 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Come watch the exciting Live Pitch Finals of HAAAA’s Second ELEVATE Pitch Competition. Finalists will vie for cash prizes and services and will receive invaluable feedback from a panel of expert judges. The audience will also get to vote on their favorite pitch!


Semi-final round judges: 

Amy Chen, AB ’11, Associate, FirstMark Capital
Judith Li, AB ’06, HBS ’13, Principal, Lilly Asia Ventures
Janie Yu, MA ’07, Vice President, Fung Capital

Final round judges: 

Sameer Bhargava AB ’95, MBA ’00, Managing Director and Director of Corporate Development, The Carlyle Group
Lisa Hsia AB ’80, Executive VP, Bravo and Oxygen Digital Media
Michael Hsieh AB ’80, MBA ’84, President, Fung Capital USA Investments, Inc.
Samuel Sia PhD ’02, Founder, Harlem Biospace Incubator and Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Columbia University (Winner of The Perkins Coie Award for Innovation and The DFS Audience Award, 2010 ELEVATE Pitch Competition)


Melissa Lee AB ’95, MBA ’00, Host, “Fast Money” and “Options Action,” CNBC

The deadline for entry has passed. Please read about our semifinalists and finalists!

Our 2014 Semi-finalists 

Our 2014 Finalists 

Entry Deadline:                        *Sunday, September 28th (11:59pm EDT)
Semi-Finalists Selected:         Wednesday, October 1
Semi-Final Round:                  Monday, October 6 – Friday, October 10
Live Pitch Finals:                    Saturday, October 25


In 2010, the inaugural ELEVATE Pitch Competition attracted over 130 entries with $25,000 in cash and prizes awarded (read an update on the 2010 winners here). As the Harvard entrepreneur community has expanded over the last few years, we want the 2014 ELEVATE to be even bigger, with over $35,000 in cash and prizes awarded. The ELEVATE alumni/student/faculty “elevator pitch” competition gives creative thinkers across both for-profit and non-profit fields the chance to present their ideas for potential funding. 

Two ELEVATE Tracks
  • For-Profit: Innovative entrepreneurs building a for-profit company in any sector
  • Non-Profit / Not-for-Profit: Social entrepreneurs making an impact on societal issues
Rules and Eligibility

Entrants will select one track and submit brief answers to our registration form and either a short video or pitch deck for initial consideration. ELEVATE is open to both individuals and team entrants. At least one presenting co-founder, however, must be an Asian/Asian American student, alumnus, faculty member or staff member of any Harvard school.

You do not need to register for the Summit to enter ELEVATE. Finalists must, however, appear in person to compete. Finalists will be admitted free to the live-pitch competition, but must register for the Summit to attend other events.


Teams will be assessed based on innovation, impact, viability and potential for social change. Chosen semi-finalists will have up to 10 minutes to pitch and receive Q&A from a panel of independent judges via web-conference. Up to 5 Finalist Teams will be selected and assigned a VC or industry expert mentor to prepare for the Live Pitch Finals, held at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct 25th, on the Harvard Campus in Cambridge, MA.

A panel of senior VCs and industry experts will select one first-place and one runner-up winner for each ELEVATE track. The organizers reserve the right to adjust the judging process and prizes. 

The contest organizers reserve the right to adjust the judging process and prizes.


The Elevate Pitch Competition is designed to help you transform your ideas and take them to the next level. You will benefit from:

  • Networking with influential leaders, entrepreneurs, investors and partners
  • Mentorship and feedback by seasoned professionals
  • Connecting with and recruiting like-minded individuals
  • Experience in idea generation, planning and pitching
  • Media exposure and PR buzz

Questions and sponsorship inquiries may be directed to elevate@haaaa.net.


Samsung Open Innovation Center

William Chang AB ’78


Techstars Logo

General Assembly

WeWork logo