Weiss Tech House Announces 2009 PennVention Competition Winners

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Stealthrowing, the designer and manufacturer of specialized rower's training equipment aimed at making rowing more accessible to inner-city youth, was awarded the Grand Prize at the Fifth Annual PennVention competition for student inventors at the University of Pennsylvania's Weiss Tech House. This year's PennVention competition drew more than 60 submissions, featured 10 finalists, attracted five corporate sponsors and involved more than 65 local entrepreneurs in the judging of the final business plans.

A few years ago, after experimentally rowing a 32' pair boat at the edge of his neighborhood pool, Harbuck started developing this idea for year-round rower's training and StealthRowing was born. Any athlete, YMCA or community pool can now participate in the sport of rowing year-round without needing $500,000 for a rowing tank.

Stealthrowing, the designer and manufacturer of specialized rower's training equipment aimed at making rowing more accessible to inner-city youth, was awarded the Grand Prize at the Fifth Annual PennVention competition for student inventors at the University of Pennsylvania's Weiss Tech House. This year's PennVention competition drew more than 60 submissions, featured 10 finalists, attracted five corporate sponsors and involved more than 65 local entrepreneurs in the judging of the final business plans.

Undergraduate Wharton student, Daniel Dickson Harbuck, won $5,000 to develop specialized rower's training equipment that allows rowers to experience the full effects of on-the-water training while indoors.

"A few years ago, after experimentally rowing a 32' pair boat at the edge of his neighborhood pool, Harbuck started developing this idea for year-round rower's training and StealthRowing was born. Any athlete, YMCA or community pool can now participate in the sport of rowing year-round without needing $500,000 for a rowing tank."

This year's second place prize of $2,500 was awarded to Synerscribe, led by medical student Jae-Won Shin, who is developing a multi-functional platform to facilitate scholarly research by integrating automatic reference searching, citing, annotating and writing a paper. MBA Candidate at The Wharton School, Anton Popov, and team members Sunthar Premakumar and Anoop Kumar, won a third place prize of $1,000 for FlyBy, a company developing innovative ways to monetize music on the web and on portable devices.

Other prizes awarded in this year's competition included:

  •     Meltwater Social Innovation Award: A $2,500 prize for the innovation with the greatest social impact was awarded to RecWave for creating a national online community for Recreation and Park professionals.
  •     Bresslergroup Best Product Concept Award: $2,500 worth of professional services to be used at the winner's discretion towards research, concept development or computer-assisted design modeling in the production of their invention was awarded to UTurn, a nod-actuated page-turner for musicians and the disabled.
  •     Paramount Rapid Prototype Award: $1,000 worth of Selective Laser Sintering Rapid Prototyping was awarded to UTurn.
  •     Audience Pick Award: UTurn caught the attention of the audience and the award with a successful, live demonstration of the prototype by glancing at a camera and turning a page.
  •     Lowenstein Sandler PC Legal Mentor Award: Five hours of legal counsel from the law firm of Lowenstein Sandler PC was awarded to Synerscribe.

Open to all Penn students, the PennVention competition teaches students how to turn a good idea into a commercial product through three distinct rounds. Participants can access the feedback and guidance of more than 40 industry experts as they learn about patenting, product design and manufacturing.

Previous PennVention prizewinner, Sam Reeves, received funding from the U.S. Department of Defense. Reeves, co-founder of Humanistic Robotics, Inc., used the award and in-kind services to secure intellectual protection and continue with prototype testing. His robotic invention clears land mines at a fraction of the cost of traditional machines.

About The Weiss Tech House:
The Weiss Tech House is a student-run hub of technological innovation at the University of Pennsylvania that encourages and supports students in the creation, development and commercialization of innovative technologies. The 3,000 square foot facility offers student meeting space, computer labs and other resources for student inventors and entrepreneurs including our in-house Innovation Fund, PennVention inventors' competition, educational workshops, speaker series, and business mentoring programs. For more information, visit http://www.tech-house.upenn.edu

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