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Announcing the 2016 iDesign Prize Championship

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Aspiring Entrepreneurs Compete for $50,000 and Mentoring from the Integrated Product Design Program

PHILADELPHIA—The University of Pennsylvania’s graduate program in Integrated Product Design presents the 2016 iDesign Prize Championship. Five teams led by Penn students, narrowed from a field of 31, will compete for $50,000 to bring an innovative product to market. The event takes place Monday, April 25, 6:30pm at Meyerson Hall, Upper Gallery, 210 South 34th Street, Philadelphia. The pitch session will culminate in an awards ceremony and public reception; admission is free.

The annual iDesign competition, open to teams led by any Penn student, promotes the design of physical objects that solve a real-world problem by offering both financial support and mentorship to realize the winning concept. This year’s five short-listed proposals present life-changing solutions for millions of Americans of all ages, from adults recovering from knee surgery and those managing emphysema to breast-feeding mothers and girls experiencing their first menstruation. In addition, a new device for cervical cancer screening could save the lives of millions of women in developing countries.

“We were overwhelmed with the quality of this year’s submissions for the iDesign Prize,” says Sarah Rottenberg, Associate Director of the Integrated Product Design Program. “The finalists reflect the fact that there is tremendous opportunity to use design to improve people's health and wellness, especially at those junctures where clinical care ends and daily life and routines begin.”

The final elimination round will be judged by: Turi McKinley, ‚Ä™Participatory Design Director, frog, Inc; Elliot Menschik, Managing Partner, DreamIt Ventures; Lisa Roberts, designer, author, and TV personality; Brett Topche, ‚Ä™Managing Director, MentorTech Ventures, Fraser Stirling, Senior Vice President, Hardware Development, Comcast; Karl Ulrich, Vice Dean of Innovation, The Wharton School.

The first-round jury consisted of alumni and PennDesign Overseers Jay Abramson (W’83, L’86), Laurence Goldberg (W’89), Mason Haupt (W’77) and Kevin Penn (W’83). 

Animotion (Peter Gebhard, Feini Qu, Brendan Stoecki, Laura Taddie)
Despite the rapidly increasing number of knee surgeries in the US, there is insufficient patient-clinician communication during join rehabilitation. Animotion’s solution is a wearable device and mobile platform that allows patients and healthcare providers to track joint function.

HINT (Monica Butler, Alicia Siman, Yichen Huang)
HINT is a “smart pouch” designed to help young girls be prepared for their first period and manage those following. Hint knows when a girl is on her period and reminds her before she gets it next so she can always be prepared with her supplies. HINT aims to replace embarrassment and shame with empowerment through a global community of girls supporting girls.

Lilu (Clementine Gilbert, Sujay Suresh, Adriana Vazquez, Allie Looney)
Lilu is a dual-purpose nursing and pumping bra that automates breast compression and increases the efficiency, output and comfort of using a breast pump for working mothers and mothers with concerns about their breast milk supply. Lilu lets mothers focus on being productive, being with their baby, or just relaxing.

RightAir (Jake Brenner, Chris Polster, Perry Dubin, Mike Sims)
Millions of Americans feel like they are suffocating when they do the simplest activities as a result of COPD (emphysema), making it the second leading cause of disability in the US. RightAir's AIR-AD is a portable respiratory assistance device intended to help COPD sufferers finally breathe easy again.

SelfCerve (Divyansh Agarwal, Lindsey Fernandez, Dr. Harvey M. Friedman, Sonya Davey, Alex Kubo, Dr. Mark Yim)
If diagnosed and treated early, cervical cancer is highly and inexpensively curable; however, 1 billion low- and middle-income women between the ages if 21 and 65 globally do not have access to cervical cancer screening, and over 80% of cervical cancer cases and deaths occur in less developed countries. SelfCerve stands to revolutionize women’s health in the developing world through an inexpensive, self-administered cervical cancer screening device.

About the iDesign Prize
Established jointly in 2015 by the University of Pennsylvania’s Integrated Product Design Master's Program and the School of Design (PennDesign), the iDesign Prize nurtures the next generation of product design leaders and promotes the design of physical objects that solve a real-world problem. The $50,000 prize supports Penn students in successfully launching an innovative product design venture after graduation, using selection criteria of holistic design, engineering and business plan for its realization. The iDesign Prize is generously supported by alumni and PennDesign Overseers Jay Abramson (W’83, L’86), Laurence Goldberg (W’89), Mason Haupt (W’77) and Kevin Penn (W’83). 

About the Integrated Product Design Program
The University of Pennsylvania's Integrated Product Design Master's program merges the disciplines of design, engineering and business for the purpose of creating compelling new products and experiences. The program is designed to train students in technology, business, manufacturing, aesthetics and human-product interaction and provide them with a framework for bringing these disciplines together to create something new. 

About PennDesign
PennDesign is an inventive place of learning where the many fields of architecture, planning, preservation, landscape and the fine arts come together on shared ground. At PennDesign, we are dedicated to design that is creative in nature and transformative in impact. In a collaborative environment that fosters inquiry and experimentation, faculty and students seek to recast the distinction between theory and practice, expand knowledge and invention through research, and contribute works of value and beauty.

Media Contact: Michael Grant,, 215.898.2539.

Image: Animotion.