A Message from the President

From chewing gum that helps fight dental disease in the developing world to eye glasses whose sales support the donation of eyewear to people in need, Penn students have long been leaders in innovating for social change.

The President’s Innovation Prize is Penn’s biggest vehicle yet for awarding student innovation and entrepreneurship.  With a cash award of $100,000 plus a one-year $50,000 living stipend per team member, it is the largest opportunity of its kind in higher education today.  Awarded annually to a graduating Penn senior or team of seniors, the President’s Innovation Prize provides our students a unique path to be inventive and to think broadly about cutting-edge commercial projects that also have social impact.

Everything we do to reward student innovation and impact fuels Penn’s core missions of teaching, research, and service.  This is a big prize because we are committed to having Penn graduates do big things.  When I announced the Penn Compact 2020, one key goal was to encourage innovation and innovative thinking at all levels.  The President’s Innovation Prize shows that students are central to innovation at Penn, both now and in the future.

-- Amy Gutmann

in the Fisher Fine Art librarypresenting the President's Innovation

What is the President’s Innovation Prize?

Created by Penn President Amy Gutmann to strengthen Penn’s commitment  to innovation, the President’s Innovation Prize awards a graduating Penn senior, or a team of graduating seniors, $100,000 (plus a $50,000 living stipend per team member) to envision and implement an innovative, commercial venture that makes a positive difference in the world.

Group portrait of 2019 PIP and PEP award winners with President Gutamnn and Provost Pritchett

The President’s Engagement and Innovation Prizes would not be possible without the generous support of Emerita Trustee Judith Bollinger, WG’81, and William G. Bollinger, in honor of Ed Resovsky, C’65; Trustee Lee Spelman Doty, W’76, and George E. Doty, Jr., WG’76; Emeritus Trustee James S. Riepe, W’65, WG’67, HON’10, and Gail Petty Riepe, CW’68; Trustee David Ertel, W’87, WG’88, and Beth Seidenberg Ertel, W’88, WG’92; Wallis Annenberg and the Annenberg Foundation; and an Anonymous donor.