Pocket Grill, PD Solutions, CampusYap Vie for Top Prizes in Annual PennVention Student Competition

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Media Contact:Jordan Reese | jreese@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604April 8, 2010


PHILADELPHIA –- The Weiss Tech House, a student-run hub of technological innovation at the University of Pennsylvania, will announce the winners of its yearlong inventor’s fair, PennVention, on April 9, 2010 at the Wu and Chen Auditorium at Penn’s School of Engineering and Applied Science.

This year’s finalists will compete for cash prizes, legal and business services and the chance to formally launch their products into the marketplace.

The finalists, chosen for ingenuity and commercialization potential, are:

• PD Solutions: A novel treatment for the symptoms of Parkinson's disease that lasts longer and is less invasive than current treatments.

• Essential Shelter: A simple device meant to aid in constructing temporary to transitional shelters during disaster relief efforts.

• Flipables: Innovative and low cost footwear designs for spas, gyms, and resorts

• U + CAPITAL: U+C allows students to fund their college education by taking out loans with equity-like repayment schedules. In these vehicles, called Personal Equity Issuances (PEIs), U+C funds a student in exchange for a percentage of the student's income for a fixed time after graduation. U+C will invest in PEIs through PEI Funds capitalized by socially conscious investors.

• Pocket Grill: The Pocket Grill targets food enthusiasts on the go: campers, tailgaters, etc. It is a full size camping grill that can fold into the size of a smartphone for storage and transport.

• UTurn: UTurn is a page turner that imitates a human assistant. It allows musicians to use their existing printed-page music scores without pre-loading them page-by-page, and supports forward and backwards turning.

• eCheck: eCheck is the first electronic point-of-sale device designed around consumer interactions. The device synchronizes with the restaurants billing system and allows a party to simply pick what they ordered, pay with their card and then pass the device to the next diner.

• SmartSense: SmartSense brings highly differentiated sensor solutions to market based on Aluminum Nitride Contour-Mode MEMS technology. Their proprietary technology provides solutions for gas detection in homeland security applications as well as alternative, fast and inexpensive solutions for proteomics analysis.

• CampusYap: CampusYap aims to improve communication within groups, organizations, clubs and friend circles across college campuses by providing users with the ability to manage all their extra-curricular activities on one portal and choose the way they receive communications.

• Lumin Biosensors: The Lumin Biosensor team is leveraging recent advances in synthetic biology to create a new class of affordable and reliable water quality tests which can be operated by minimally trained users in the field.

Open to all Penn students, the PennVention competition teaches students how to turn a good idea into a commercial product through three distinct rounds. Participants gain access to the feedback and guidance of more than 40 industry experts as they learn about patenting issues, product design and manufacturing.

Leading up to the Invention Fair, finalists received mentoring from Lowenstein Sandler lawyers, one-on-one meetings with professionals from Bain Capital Ventures, Communication workshop with Mark Bruecks, and a patent workshop with Volpe & Koenig. Prizes are sponsored by Bresslergroup, Lowenstein Sandler PC, QVC, Paramount, RJMetrics, and Jay Tapper.

For more information about PennVention, please visit www.tech-house.upenn.edu.