Innovation Fund provides financial support to Penn student entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs at Penn with a promising idea may acquire important early-stage assistance from the Weiss Tech House Innovation Fund. The mini-venture capital fund provides student inventors with grants of up to $1,000 to help develop their product or service. Judging criteria is based on the level of innovation in each proposal, be it a seemingly simple concept or a technologically complex product.

The Fund, which is now accepting applications, requires students to submit a detailed description of their project, identifying their team’s proficiencies and specifying potential associated obstacles and risks. “There is a review process of all applications,” says Weiss Tech House Director Anne Stamer. “Students applying should show they have done some research into the area of their innovation.”

The Innovation Fund has already awarded grants to more than 50 student projects, including a new hip replacement prosthetic, a water-distribution system in Honduras and a mechanical holder that enables football kickers to practice and enhance performance. Samuel Reeves, a Wharton School graduate, developed an early prototype of a robotic minesweeper with the help of the Innovation Fund. Recently, Reeves received a $2 million Department of Defense grant for this project, which he has named SCAMP.

Students who want to submit a proposal, and others who would like more information, may visit the Weiss Tech House website: www.tech-house.upenn.edu/.

Originally published March 11, 2009

Originally published on March 11, 2009