Pitch Competition

Since its founding in 2015, Pitch Competition has served as a platform for founders and startups interested in the China market to showcase their ideas and raise funding. It has also allowed professional judges to hear the ideas of young innovators and discuss the future of investing with their peers. Over the past three years, the pitch competition has received over 200 business plans on average and selected eight teams to enter the final round each year.

In 2018, the three finalist teams received a total of $95,000 as cash prize. Out of the three, XtalPi, which provides accurate predictions on the physiochemical and pharmaceutical properties of small-molecule candidates for drug design using cloud computing and big data, has received 5 million dollars from Tencent and other investors in the Series Pre-A round funding. BrainCo, which was the winner of the 2015 pitch competition and focuses on brain technology, has received 5.4 million of investment.

The 22nd annual Harvard College China Forum will be held at the Harvard University from April 12 to 14, 2019. Harvard College China Forum Pitch Competition will take place on April 14th.

We look forward to reading your business proposals.

The top eight teams will be selected to pitch in the final round and present on stage at the 2019 Harvard College China Forum Pitch Competition for a $75,000 cash prize, provided by ZhenFund and GGV Capital. The first prize is $40,000, second prize $20,000, and third price $15,000. All team members presenting will receive a free pass to Sunday's programs. In addition to the cash prizes, judges and investors from the audience may choose to directly invest in the finalist teams. Last year, all eight finalists received funding by judges or other investors in the audience.

Sponsored by: ZhenFund GGV Capital
2 $20,000
1 $40,000
3 $15,000

The confirmed judges of this year include

(in alphabetical order)

Anna Fang

Partner and CEO, ZhenFund

Saman Farid

Partner and Head of the US team, Baidu Ventures

Wei Jiang

Investing Partner, ZhenFund

Feng Li

Founding Partner, FreeS Fund

Xiaojun Li

Partner, IDG Capital IDG

Hans Tung

Managing Partner, GGV Capital GGV

Andrew Yan

Managing Partner, SAIF Partners

Haifei Zhang

Founding Partner, AB Initio Capital


Hear from out past winners

Harvard China Pitch brings impact of international scale to startups. The team of XtalPi is grateful for this opportunity to showcase our work at Harvard College China Forum. We received comments and advice helpful for our future development from top-tier investors at the Harvard China Pitch. Immediately after the Forum, we also received investments from ZhenFund and FreeS Fund, which served as the judges in the pitch competition. The organizers of the Forum provided helpful assistance throughout the process, including the rehearsal before the pitch and the media coverage after the competition. They’ve also arranged recruitment opportunities for participants.              

Wen Shuhao

Founder and CEO, XtalPi


Past Winners

2015 Winners BrainCo

BrainCo, incubated in the Harvard Innovation Lab, develops brain-machine interface (BMI) technology products. BrainCo applies its expertise in machine learning, design, and neuroscience to create innovative brain-based applications in the education, fitness, and wellness spaces.

2016 Winners XtalPi

Focus on crystal of drugs based on super cloud computing and big data type high accuracy prediction technology, has won tencent’s $5 million investment institutions, such as the Pre – A round of investment.

2018 Winners YouSkin

YouSkin, created by a Harvard dermatologist and leading medical imaging expert, is revolutionizing how people take care of their skin. China’s skincare market is soon to become the largest in the world, and yet, over 50% of consumers express frustration with choosing the right product for their skin. With YouSkin, we offer clinical grade technology to measure the skin’s moisture level, pores, fine lines, luminosity, and spots in a standardized fashion to provide consumers with personalized skincare recommendations. Our algorithm uses big data and AI to provide the most up-to-date scientific findings and skincare knowledge, and evolves with consumers to account for changes in season, stress levels, and sleep patterns. Get ready to look good and feel great!


Meet Our Past Judges


Bob Xu is the founder of ZhenFund. He is known as one of China’s pioneering angel investors, with distinctions from Founder Magazine including “2011 Angel Investor of the Year,” “2012 Best Angel Fund in China,” and “2013 Best Angel investor in China.” Prior to founding ZhenFund, Xu was a Co-Founder of New Oriental Education & Technology Group, the largest provider of private education in China. In 2006, China Southern People’s Weekly voted Xu to be one of China’s “50 Most Charismatic People” and in 2004, Forbes Magazine listed Xu as one of China’s “Top 100 Celebrities.”

Founder, ZhenFund

Pan Shiyi

Pan Shiyi is Co-Founder and Chairman of SOHO China, one of Chinas largest prime office property developers. Born to a humble family in rural Gansu Province, Pan Shiyis rise to success has made him a celebrity role model for aspiring entrepreneurs, a social media pioneer in China, and a highly followed opinion leader with over 18 million fans on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter. Deeply committed to environmental causes, Pan Shiyi has been a leading voice raising public awareness for air pollution, leveraging his public profile to inform citizens about the dangers of PM 2.5 contaminants. He spearheaded efforts to develop Energy Saving and Air Purification systems for all SOHO China projects, challenging industry-peers to follow suit. Openly crediting his personal success to the opportunities made available to him through Chinas economic reform and growth, Mr. Pan is also an active philanthropist. He founded the SOHO China Foundation in 2005 with his wife Zhang Xin, and in 2014 launched the SOHO China Scholarships a US 100 million initiative to fund financial aid scholarships to Chinese students admitted to top international universities. Pan Shiyi and Zhang Xin are also members of the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, a group of global business leaders brought together by Bill Gates to invest in technologies that will transition the world to a zero emission energy future. Mr. Pan is currently a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School. His research interests are in the area of climate change and the environment. He is interested in best practices for corporations endeavoring to lower emissions and curtailing energy use with the ultimate aim of producing a source of solutions for Chinese companies and companies around the world.


Xiaochuang Wang is the Sogou CEO, co-dean of the Tiangong Intelligent Computing Research Institute of Tsinghua University, Former senior vice president and CTO of Sohu.

Won the gold medal in the International Informatics Olympic Games at 18 years old, Became Sohus youngest vice president at 21 years old

More than 500 million people in China are using the Sogou input method he invented. Sogou search is the second largest search engine in China.

Sogou CEO

Janet Tang

Vice President of Corporate Strategy


In 1993, Mr. Shong co-founded Chinas first technology venture capital firm, IDG Capital, backed by Patrick J. McGovern, Founder and Chairman of International Data Group (IDG). Till February 2017, IDG Capital has invested in over 500 Chinas most successful internet companies such as Tencent (QQ), Ctrip, Baidu, Sohu, Soufun, HomeInn, Hanting, Tudou, 91.com, Baofeng, Xiaomi, and Meitu. In January 2017, IDG Capital led the acquisition of IDG Ventures, the investment business under IDG. Mr. Shong completed the Harvard Business Schools Advanced Management Program in the fall of 1996. He conducted graduate studies at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy 1987-88 and earned his MS degree from Boston Universitys College of Communication in 1987. He studied Journalism at the Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences from 1984 to 1986 and he received a B.A. degree from Hunan University in 1982. Mr. Shong has been a member of the Board of Trustees at Boston University since 2005, and the non-executive director of WPP plc since 2013.

Founding Partner, IDG Capital IDG


Mr. Yu Cheng serves as a Partner at Morningside Venture Capital wherein he specializes in the mobile internet, artificial intelligence, sharing economy, and internet finance sectors. He has more than 11 years of venture capital experience.

Partner, Morningside Venture Capital

Zhang Lu

Lu Zhang is the Founding and Managing Partner of NewGen Capital. She was recently awarded the Forbes US 30 under 30 & Featured as the Honoree of VC category in US. Meanwhile, She was also awarded the Forbes Asia 30 under 30 investor. Prior to starting NewGen, she was a Venture Partner at Fenox Venture Capital. She participated in over 20 investments and assisted M&A of the portfolios. Lu was also the Founder and CEO of Acetone Inc. (acquired 2012), a start-up focused on non-invasive technology for the early diagnosis of Type II diabetes. She has also worked as a consultant at the United Nations Industrial Development Agency. Lu received her Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering from Stanford University and holds several patents. She is an advisor and mentor to several innovation programs and incubators in Silicon Valley. Lu has won numerous awards and is frequently invited to speak at events.

David Tang