Minimal viable products for new technology ventures

Lying in bed each morning, listening to the water run as her roommate took a seemingly endless shower, Emily Batt felt a mixture of frustration and exhaustion. She wanted to be able to sleep until the shower was free, but had no way of knowing when her less-than-considerate roommate would vacate the bathroom.

Those frustrating mornings served as motivation during a team project in the Technology Venture Immersion (TVI) program, a unique, two-week course in the University’s new MS/MBA program, jointly offered by the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Harvard Business School.

Batt’s team created a connected device and app that delays a smartphone alarm from sounding until the shower is empty. During the first week of TVI, the team buckled down during a series of fast-paced work session in the SEAS Active Learning Labs, developing electronic sensors, crafting a watertight chassis, designing WiFi components, and producing an alarm-sounding app.