Elevator Pitch Winners

On October 24, thirteen talented teams of Penn student entrepreneurs presented their startup ideas at the Weiss Tech House’s Elevator Pitch. Judged by Spencer Weiss (M&T ’19), venture capitalist Brett Topche (W’02), and businessman Harvey Hoffman, contestants could leave with prize funding of $1000 for first place, $250 for second, and $100 for third.

From student projects such as TokenLaunch to GLO, many brilliant ideas were pitched. The judges ruled that in 3rd Place came MyOnlineLocker, 2nd was Fitalyst, and 1st was Inventor Space. MyOnlineLocker provides a secure online cloud service where nonprofits can store the documents of homeless persons for easy access and form filing. Current partners who are working alongside and offering expertise to MyOnlineLocker are Broad Street Ministry and Penn Law. Coming in 2nd Place, Fitalyst utilizes messaging platforms to build data-driven and time-saving wellness tools for students and their institutions. Their first product called Tag, which offers streamlined communication with friends over FaceBook messenger, has already 400 student users and the Fitalyst team seeks to expand to 3 to 5 schools in the near future. Finally, in 1st place, came Inventor Space. Inventor Space seeks to better design High School Makerspaces that are aligned with student interest and teacher expertise. Inventor Space currently pilots their approach with 180 students through a high school in Pennsylvania with partnering teachers. The team behind Inventor Space seeks to expand further and continue to offer new innovations in education.

WeissFund Applications Open

WeissFund is now accepting applications from student-run startups on Penn’s campus for non-dilutive funding of up to $1500. Teams must have at least 1 current Penn student to apply. We encourage any team ranging from “back of the napkin” ideas to those with developed products and customers to apply. Our mission is to support student entrepreneurship and innovation by providing resources to founders to let them take their companies to the next level. Find out more about our funding process here. We look forward to meeting with you to achieve that goal!

Apply here!

Congratulations Pennvention Winners!

This past Tuesday, 8 finalists pitched their start-up ideas to judges in hopes of winning big prizes to make turn their ideas into reality. After two hours of pitches, the judges picked four outstanding teams, with an emphasis on bio-tech and health, to take home prizes. Meet our winners: Sanguis, Carbolytics, NanoXCell, and Stellar.

Sanguis, founded by Divyansh Agarwal (Yale ’15), Daniel Zhang (MIT ’15), and Prateek Agarwal (Harvard ’15), is a portable blood cell monitoring device that allows cancer patients to measure their blood cell counts in a cost-effective, accessible, and simple manner. The device is similar to a glucose  monitor, where patients would prick their finger and use a chip to analyze their blood. This would allow these patients to predict infection before it is too late, and to contact their physicians for preventative treatment instead of having to go to the ER and face high-cost emergency treatment. Their product has been tested on several clinical samples, and they are already in partnership with Jefferson Health. Sanguis took home first place at Pennvention.

The second place winner was Carbolytics, founded by Vikram Krishnamoorthy (C’20, W’20) and George Pandya (M&T ’20).  Carbolytics is a cell therapy platform that uses a microfluidic circuit embedded with a carbon nanopipette that automatically detects the penetration of cells, allowing for automation of the process. This technology can be used to reprogram cells to tackle diseases in a precise and scalable manner with unlimited capacity at a low-cost, beating out current cell therapies that use viral vectors.

NanoXCell Therapeutics, founded by Daniel Lundgren (C’18, W’18), Patrick Lundgren (University of Oxford MsC’18), and Shelby Wilkinson (C’18, W’18), came in third place. Their technology also uses carbon nanopipettes, but aims to help patients with different genetic skin diseases by using a gene therapy process that will allow the transfer of genes larger than the current viral vector technology can store. Treatment is currently difficult because of the size of the gene that leads to these diseases and because of the dominant trait of the disease. NanoXCell solves both of these issues in an automated and inexpensive manner.

Stellar, founded by Hyung Jin Yoo (SEAS ’18), Lila Cohn (SEAS ’18), EricTepper (SEAS ’18), and Haimin Yie (SEAS ’18), took home the Social Impact Award. Stellar is an app that helps those who are dying engage with friends and family, helping to alleviate the social isolation and disengagement that can result when people are near the end of their lives. The app allows the caregiver to form a team of friends and family who can arrange visits, leave voice memos, or contribute to a team album with pictures and other memories that allow for meaningful conversation and engagement. The app will also include product and service recommendations that can help ease the patient’s experience based on what their disease or complication is.

 

Congratulations again to all our winners, and for all the finalists as well!

 

 

 

 

BioBots is Now Allevi

BioBots, a Weiss Tech House Innovation Fund start-up producing 3-D bioprinters that have revolutionized labs across the U.S., has recently changed its name to Allevi.

Ricky Solorzano, CEO of BioBots, says Allevi was “inspired by our community of users who work every day to make living solutions for humanity’s most important problems- to cure disease, to alleviate suffering, to build with life.” Allevi’s mission is to change the course of medicine for generations to come, and to influence the world with their ingenious product.

Allevi also recently launched a new software that aims to standardize experimental methodology and workflow in the field biofabrication. This new software aims to make bioprinting easier and more accessible. The new software can be found here.

The Penn Innovation Conference 2017:

The Penn Innovation Conference was held on October 20, 2017 at Huntsman Hall in the University of Pennsylvania. The Penn Innovation Conference was hosted by the Weiss Tech House, a student-run tech incubator, aimed at fostering an entrepreneurial environment at the University of Pennsylvania. The Conference featured a variety of resources, opportunities, and networking sessions for its’ attendees.

 

It featured Dr. Kathy Crothall, the Chief Executive Officer of Aspire Bariatrics, numerous early to middle staged start-ups, and a venture capitalist panels. The venture capitalist panel was comprised of Genacast Ventures, Red and Blue Ventures, Seventy Six Capital, and Edison Ventures. Daniel Khasahabi, a graduate student in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences discussed how he enjoyed hearing from the Keynote Speaker and the Venture Capitalist Panel. He adds that hearing from Dr. Crothall, the founder of four successful start-ups was incredibly inspiring and that the advice provided from the venture capitalists was additionally helpful for young entrepreneurs.

 

The early to middle-stage startups featured at the conference included Lupeer, Blackfyn, Exyn Technologies, and Burrow. TJ, the co-founder of Jefferson’s List, discussed the importance of being prepared in front of a venture capitalist and talked about his plans of licensing the data from Jefferson’s List next. Joost Wagenaar of Blackfynn, tells students that the most “important thing in being successful is the people you bring into the company”.

 

The Venture Capitalist Panel provided helpful advice to students, including the importance of networking early on and finding great co-founders. The conference concluded with a networking session to help students connect with each other.

 

 

 

Pennvention – Accepting Applications

DEADLINE for first round: February 12, 2017

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.

Learn more and apply: http://pennvention.io/

WeissLabs Startup Incubator – accepting applications

DEADLINE: January 27, 2017 12:00 pm

Working on a startup? WeissLabs is a startup incubator within the Weiss Tech House, providing startups with mentorship, resources, space, and an engaging community for innovation. The incubator leads a cohort of 5-10 startups through a 10-week crash course on entrepreneurship, culminating in a demo day where the cohorts pitch to investors.

Learn more: http://weisslabs.io/

Apply: https://weisslabs.typeform.com/to/slCxQA

Questions? Contact weisstech@gmail.com or Guthrie Gintzler at guthrieg@wharton.upenn.edu