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Fostering an Environment of Innovation – TetraScience and the Harvard Innovation Lab

30th March 2015
By Katy Alexander

One of the great benefits of being part of the Digital Science portfolio is that most of our companies are all in the same physical space. This provides an opportunity for our companies to work with each other, fostering an environment of innovation; the key ingredient for the success of any startup company.

On Tuesday, we were lucky enough to visit the aptly coined Innovation Lab at Harvard University to meet with our latest Catalyst Grant awardee, TetraScience.

TetraScience is an Internet-of-Things platform for research & development. They build hardware and software that enables scientists & engineers to monitor and control their experiments, manage their data and analyze it all in the cloud.

Alok Tayi, one of the co-founders of TetraScience, applied for a spot at the Harvard innovation Lab (i-Lab), which maintains a co-working space and provides resources for students from across Harvard who are interested in entrepreneurship and innovation.

As we were exploring the space offered up to a collection of startups, it was notable the obvious similarities with their environment and that of Digital Science: culture, comradery, and collaboration.

Encouraging a culture that makes it easy to discuss with others helps build creativity, and promotes the sharing of knowledge, another key ingredient for the success of a startup.

Alok explained that by being able to work in the communal space at the i-lab, interacting with other companies and non-profits, he’s been given the rare opportunity to learn from the expertise of others, saving time, and ultimately accelerating innovation.

This is also the case for the Digital Science portfolio where each portfolio company is able to tap into a growing pool of knowledge, generated from a wealth of expertise. Even trips to the kitchen can provide a chance to share knowledge says Alok (and that’s not just to use their cool drinks machine).

John Hammersley, one of the founders of Overleaf explains,

“Being part of the Digital Science family and office space means I get to work with different people with different expertise. It means that when I want to source feedback on something, or if I want to share ideas, or generate new ones – I just need to turn around to my colleagues sat around me.”

We all thoroughly enjoyed our tour around the Harvard Innovation Lab – and we can’t wait see how the TetraScience team end up using the Catalyst Grant.

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