This year’s President’s Innovation Prize recipients are joining the Pennovation Center, the University’s Division of Facilities and Real Estate Services announced on June 28. The prize was awarded to two start-up companies, Fever Smart and XEED, founded by four 2016 Penn graduates.
“XEED and Fever Smart are on the vanguard of innovation; they are disruptive, ingenious and pioneering,” Penn President Amy Gutmann said in an interview with Penn News from April when the winners were announced. “Both of these projects have the potential to fundamentally alter the way distance monitoring can improve healthcare. From helping Parkinson’s patients, therapists and families to fighting and mitigating disease at home and abroad, XEED and Fever Smart embody the ability of Penn students to do good in the world.”
The President’s Innovation Prize was founded by Gutmann to support innovative and commercial initiatives with positive social impact. The recipients were announced in April 2016, in the inaugural year of the award. The awards include $100,000 towards the project, a $50,000 living stipend for each team member, a place in the Pennovation Center’s community and support and guidance from the Penn Center for Innovation. Both start-ups have also been awarded a desk in the co-working space in the Pennovation Center.
“The Pennovation Center provides the resources and facilities for them to take their work to the next level,” Gutmann said to Penn News in April. “XEED and Fever Smart are joining a community of innovators that is taking shape at the Pennovation Center, and we are excited to welcome them.”
“The Pennovation Center will be a great part of helping XEED make bigger and better strides in the early stages of our venture, Sade Oba, one of the founders of XEED said in an earlier interview with Penn News in April. “This opportunity provides our team the chance to brainstorm, test, and further iterate in an environment designed for innovation.”
XEED was founded by School of Engineering and Applied Science graduates Sade Oba and Alfredo Muniz. XEED helps Parkinson’s disease patients and therapists by tracking limb movements through wearable devices that sync the information they collect to a smartphone and compare results to standards established by therapists.
“Mentorship from PCI will help ensure that we are making smart business decisions and growing our company in a strategic manner,” Oba said. PCI also has connections with the National Science Foundation, which may be key to gaining more funding in the coming year.
“The biggest benefit is the network,” she said. “A community of innovators is like a form of roadside assistance. If we are stuck in a rut or want to gather a second opinion there will be other entrepreneurs right down the hall to help give us a push in the right direction!”
Fever Smart, a medical device which operates as a cloud information system that tracks core body temperature over time, was founded by 2016 Engineering graduate William Duckworth and 2016 Wharton graduate Aaron Goldstein.
“We will have the amazing opportunity to connect with like-minded innovators who are fellow Center members,” Duckworth said in an April Penn News interview.
The Pennovation Center is opening in August 2016 and will support start-up companies, entrepreneurs and inventors. It will measure 58,000 square feet and include a full service technology incubator, wet and dry laboratories, private offices and a co-working space for 200 members managed by Benjamin’s Desk, a co-working network and management company based in Philadelphia. It will be a part of Penn’s 23-acre Pennovation Works development on the southern bank of the Schuylkill River designed to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship among researchers, innovators and startups from both the University and the private sector.
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.