Penn Center for Innovation

Penn Contests

Through the structure of contests, Penn provides faculty, students and staff with various opportunities to transform their ideas into businesses in a competitive yet supportive environment.  UPstart and UPadvisors partner with the following contests to provide company formation and continued incubation for the winning ideas.



AppItUP is a mobile application design contest that gathers the best app ideas across the University and helps make them a reality by connecting the inventors with local venture capital firms and professional software developers.  At the end of the competition, five finalists will have a fully formed company, a manager to run it, a functioning prototype, and the opportunity to present to our VC partners.  AppItUP is run annually; the submission period begins at the start of the Fall semester.

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develupmed logo

DevelUPmed Challenge is a new medical device development resource available to the Penn community. DevelUPmed identifies medical device and diagnostic technologies with commercial potential and accelerates them from idea to prototype stage and beyond through a startup company mechanism. The best ideas as judged by outside business experts and investors will be turned into companies, founded by the inventor team and Penn. The new entities will be partnered with university resources, an entrepreneur, industry developers, and the regional investment community to support business operations, the raising of capital, and prototype development towards full commercialization and patient benefit.

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The Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition


Penn and the Milken Family Foundation have come together to be a joint catalyst for innovation in education, to help “create a space” for education entrepreneurs.  This is the first business plan competition to focus exclusively on educational ventures.  Business plans are awarded in a wide variety of categories, including Innovation in Online Education; Open Educational Resources; Borderless (International) Education; and Special Education and At-Risk Students.

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Organizations and Resources for Entrepreneurs

  1. Greater Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies
  2. New Jersey Technology Council
  3. Pennsylvania BIO
  4. BioNJ
  5. Wharton Small Business Development Center
  6. The College of New Jersey Small Business Development Center
  7. Small Business Administration
  8. Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania
  9. BioAdvance Biotechnology Greenhouse of Southeastern Pennsylvania
  10. SeedPhilly
  11. Select Greater Philadelphia
  12. Venturef0rth
  13. Philadelphia Health IT Circle
  14. DreamIt Ventures
  15. PA Angel Network
  16. Benjamin’s Desk
  17. Indy Hall
  18. Department of Making and Doing
  19. NextFab
  20. Digital Health Accelerator
  21. Pharmaceutical Consulting Consortium International, Inc.
  22. University City Science Center
  23. BioStrategy Partners
  24. University City Keystone Innovation Zone
  25. StartUP PHL
  26. Laurence A. Baiada Center for Entrepreneurship
  27. Mid-Atlantic Diamond Ventures
  28. Alliance of Women Entrepreneurs
  29. Novotorium
  30. SCORE Philadelphia
  31. JumpStart New Jersey Angel Network
  32. Robin Hood Ventures