Nikil Ragav, founder of inventXYZ, was awarded the 2020 Penn President’s Innovation Prize. 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.
inventXYZ aims to empower the inventors of tomorrow through practical, real-world experiences and education for all students regardless of income or background. Its principal focus is setting up makerspaces—collaborative work spaces—at high schools across the country. inventXYZ’s standardized makerspace design, called “inventorspaces,” includes equipment for automated manufacturing, electronics design, augmented/virtual reality, filmmaking, and digital music. Its innovative curriculum, called “inventcurriculum,” enables students to build and code a hands-on technology project in each academic class and blends tech industry standards with Common Core and Advanced Placement standards. Ragav is being mentored by Adam Mally, lecturer in computer and information science in the School of Engineering and Applied Science.
inventXYZ is the third graduate of PCI’s I-Corps program that went on to win the President’s Innovation Prize. It follows in the footsteps of InstaHub and Strella Biotechnology.