Technology to help Newborns in the NICU wins 2023 President’s Innovation Prize

Penn President Liz Magill awarded the 2023 President’s Innovation Prize to Penn students Gabriella Daltoso, Sophie Ishiwari, Gabriela Cano, Caroline Amanda Magro, and Tifara Eliana Boyce for their new company, Sonura, a startup developing a device to help with the cognitive and socioemotional development of newborns in the NICU.   The wearable product in development is a beanie-like device that aims to protect newborns from the auditory hazards of their environments, while also fostering greater parental connections. 


The winning group included bioengineering majors from Penn Engineering who also participated in the PCI-managed Penn I-Corps program last fall.  PCI serves as a partner of the President’s Innovation Prize and provides technical assistance and support for all prize applicants. The Sonura team is mentored by Penn alum Brian Halak, an experienced venture capitalist and lecturer in the Engineering Entrepreneurship Program. 


The President’s Innovation Prize is designed to empower Penn students to design and undertake post-graduation projects that make a positive, lasting difference in the world. As the winner of the 2023 President’s Innovation Prize, Sonura will receive $100,000 to support the further development of their company and product concept, as well as a $50,000 living stipend per team member and office space at the Pennovation Center. Read more here

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