Applications for our 2017 competition are now closed! Stay tuned for another innovative year!

Meet the 2016 Winners & Finalists.

8 finalist teams have braved the most competitive and rigorous Pennvention ever to compete for the top prize. Click below to see the results and learn more about the teams!


How it Works

Build the next big thing in tech. The sky really is the limit.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Pennvention?

Pennvention is Penn's tech innovation competition, open to all students at the University of Pennsylvania. For the duration of the competition, teams develop their MVP or a new feature for their product with the help of outstanding mentors, dedicated engineering development resources, and over $20,000 in cash and development prizes.

I just submitted for the Wharton Business Plan Competition. Can I submit my idea to Pennvention?

A Pennvention submission must have some sort of technological innovation that has not yet been implemented in existing products. If your idea also has some sort of business model innovation (an ecommerce model, for example), that is awesome but certainly not required.

What if my project idea is not for-profit?

Pennvention is excited to accept non-profit and civic projects this year, in addition to for-profit projects. Even if you don't have a profitable business model, remember that you must explain how your idea will need to be sustainable in order to advance in the competition.

Is this competition only for hardware?

The competition is open to all types of technology innovation, including hardware, software, biotech, consumer products, applied materials science, and similar areas. However, we select Semifinalists and Finalists based on the merit of their innovation.

Can I submit my webapp idea?

As a tech innovation competition, Pennvention certainly welcomes any sort of software (whether a desktop, mobile, or web application) for a project submission. However, we caution those teams to make sure that they have a particular, novel innovation that has not been implemented in similar products before, and cannot be easily duplicated. Do you use a unique algorithm or integrate a hardware extension into your app? Or is your webapp a data analytics platform with a particularly new way of analyzing information? Questions like these can help ensure that you have integrated a novel technological innovation into your webapp.

Who can apply?

Pennvention is open to project teams with at least one current Penn Undergraduate or Graduate Student in any School or Center! Unfortunately at this time we cannot fund teams that do not have a current Penn student on the team.

Past Winners

These teams developed incredible products. You can too.



A novel 3D printer specifically tailored for bioengineering applications.



A better anti-glare coating for your glasses, devices, and car windshield.



A Microsoft Kinect-powered haptic belt to help the blind know what's around them.



Infrared-powered wireless energy charging for all your devices.

Past Mentors

These distinguished mentors have worked to help teams develop their products.

Lawrence Gelburd

MGMT Professor, Wharton

Jake Stein

Founder & COO, RJMetrics

Karl Ulrich

OPIM Professor, Wharton

Rahul Mangharam

ESE Professor, UPenn

Zal Bilimoria

Partner, Andreessen Horowitz

Jeffrey Babin

MEAM Professor, UPenn


Over $20,000 in cash and development prizes, courtesy of our incredible sponsors. Want to see your company's logo below? Check out our sponsorship program.