Penn President Amy Gutmann Penn President Amy Gutmann

Message from the President

From chewing gum that helps fight dental disease in the developing world to eye glasses whose sales support the donation of eyewear to people in need, Penn students have long been leaders in innovating for social change.

The President’s Innovation Prize is Penn’s newest — and biggest yet — vehicle for awarding student innovation and entrepreneurship.  With a cash award of $100,000 plus a one-year $50,000 living stipend per team member, it is the largest opportunity of its kind in higher education today.  Awarded annually to a graduating Penn senior or team of seniors, the President’s Innovation Prize provides our students a unique path to be inventive and to think broadly about cutting-edge commercial projects that also have social impact.

Everything we do to reward student innovation and impact fuels Penn’s core missions of teaching, research, and service.  This is a big prize because we are committed to having Penn graduates do big things.  When I announced the Penn Compact 2020, one key goal was to encourage innovation and innovative thinking at all levels.  The President’s Innovation Prize shows that students are central to innovation at Penn, both now and in the future.

The two projects that received the inaugural President’s Innovation Prize — XEED and Fever Smart  — embody all that it is inspiring and exciting about innovation at Penn.  These projects are disruptive, ingenious, and pioneering, and their founders are well on their way toward making a positive and lasting difference in the world.  The President’s Innovation Prize is off to a tremendous start, and like the innovation ecosystem across Penn’s campus, there is abundant cause to be optimistic about what the future will bring.

Amy Gutmann, President

Architect's conceptual rendering of interior space at the Pennovation Center Architect's conceptual rendering of interior space at the Pennovation Center

What do Prize winners receive?

Prize winners will receive a $100,000 project budget, plus a $50,000 living stipend per team member.  Students may apply in teams of up to five.

But that's not all...

In addition to the financial award, President’s Innovation Prize winners will receive space at the University’s new Pennovation Center for a period of one year.  Winners will also received ongoing guidance and mentorship from staff at the Penn Center for Innovation.