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Seed for Change

The Mittal Institute is excited to relaunch the Seed for Change Competition this semester!

The Seed for Change (SFC) competition aims to develop a vibrant ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship in India and Pakistan through an annual competition run by the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute at Harvard University. Grant prizes will be awarded to interdisciplinary student projects that positively impact societal, economic, and environmental issues in India and Pakistan.

The Mittal Institute recognizes that as a result of COVID-19, we have all had to adjust our daily lives. We also know that students are doing their best under the circumstances to continue learning in new and creative ways and are constantly adapting to the ever-changing and unpredictable state of the pandemic. In light of this, we’re hosting a unique format for our SFC Competition to this year, with a two-stage award distribution.

This year, the SFC Competition will award up to three (3) winners for India-related projects, with each winner receiving up to $10,000 in grant funds. We’ll also be awarding up to $10,000 in grant funds for a project focused on Pakistan. These awards will be distributed in Summer 2021.

Additional “second round” funding will be made available to winning teams in Winter 2022. An additional $20,000 in total funding will be available to the India finalists, and an additional $5,000 will be available to the Pakistan finalist. This allows for a second round of funding to continue advancing their projects, or to support potential travel costs if travel is feasible next year.

Applications must be submitted by February 26, 2021 (check the “Apply” section for further details on the application process and eligibility).

Please reach out to Selmon Rafey ( with any questions.


The Seed for Change competition is made possible by a generous grant from KP Balaraj MBA ’97 and Sumir Chadha MBA ‘97.

2019 Winners

Gramhal: Gramhal is a social enterprise that builds smallholder farmers’ agency and increases their income by unlocking post-harvest services of storage, credit, and market linkage via a digital platform.

  • Vikas Birhma, MPP ’19 at Harvard Kennedy School
  • Pankaj Mahalle, Tata Institute of Social Science, Mumbai

Riskboard: Riskboard is an app in development that will harness online data via social media and open source media data sites to monitor political risk and human rights abuses in India.

  • Pradeepan Parthiban, ALM ’19 at Harvard and Tech + Human Rights researcher at Harvard Kennedy School
  • Ori Pleban, MPP ‘19 at Harvard Kennedy School
  • Arjun Bisen, MPP ’19 at Harvard Kennedy School
  • Ryan Jiang, BA ’20 at Harvard College

MeetMeet is an employment app for India that connects verified employers and job-seekers, providing both with trusted information, such as reviews, job openings, and profiles to support better matching.

  • Vish Srivastava, MDE ’19 at Harvard Graduate School of Design and Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
  • Ankit Chugh, Medha, India