Inaugural President’s Innovation Prize Winners Announced at Penn

University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann today announced the selection of four undergraduates as the inaugural President’s Innovation Prize recipients. Awarded annually, the Prize is intended to help Penn students design and undertake innovative, commercial ventures that make a positive difference in the world.

The recipients of the 2016 President’s Innovation Prize are Sade Oba and Alfredo Muniz for their project, XEED, and William Duckworth and Aaron Goldstein for their project, Fever Smart.

“XEED and Fever Smart are on the vanguard of innovation; they are disruptive, ingenious and pioneering,” Gutmann said. “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.”

Each of the President’s Innovation Prize teams will receive $100,000 to implement their projects as well as a $50,000 living stipend per team member. Winners will also receive dedicated space at the Pennovation Center, as well as continued mentorship from the Penn Center for Innovation

The student winners will spend the next year implementing their projects. Details on their projects are as follows:

  • Seniors Sade Oba and Alfredo Muniz of the School of Engineering and Applied Science will help Parkinson’s disease patients and therapists through XEED, a network of wearable devices that tracks the movements of limbs, syncs the data to a smart phone, and compares the results to benchmarks set by therapists. XEED will enable patients and their families to access accurate, up-to-date data as they actively fight against Parkinson’s. XEED provides a unique quantitative window into Parkinson’s and has the potential to improve the lives of millions affected by the disease. Oba and Muniz, who are both from Houston, Texas, are being mentored by Jonathan Smith, the Olga and Alberico Pompa Professor of Engineering and Applied Science.
  • Seniors William Duckworth of Penn Engineering and Aaron Goldstein of the Wharton School will continue and extend their work with Fever Smart, a simple yet powerful medical device and cloud information system that addresses a problem faced in many areas of medicine: monitoring core body temperature over time. Fever Smart enables patients and healthcare providers to monitor a patient’s temperature in real time and receive alerts when their temperature begins to rise to unsafe levels. The President’s Innovation Prize will be a catalyst over the next year as they introduce their product into a clinical setting. Duckworth, who is from Lake Forest, Ill., and Goldstein, who is from West Palm Beach, Fla., are being mentored by Matthew Grennan, assistant professor of healthcare management in Wharton.

The President’s Innovation Prize strengthens Penn’s commitment under the Penn Compact 2020 to innovation both inside and outside the classroom. The President’s Innovation Prize is the commercial analogue to the annual President’s Engagement Prizes, which were awarded in March.

The inaugural Selection Committee was chaired by Executive Vice President Craig Carnaroli and included Osagie Imasogie of the Board of Trustees, alumni representative and First Round Capital partner Josh Kopelman, Vice Provost for Research Dawn Bonnell, Larry Gladney of the School of Arts & Sciences, Laura Huang of Wharton, Arjun Raj of Penn Engineering and Therese Richmond of the School of Nursing. 

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