About the Competition

About the Competition

The Y-Prize is a contest in which members of the Penn community compete to propose the best applications for an emerging technology.

The 2018-2019 Y-Prize competition featured two new technologies inspired by natural phenomena.

How It Works

In Round 1 of the competition, teams propose novel applications for one or more of the featured technologies. Each team must submit a video pitch and slide deck that the judges will evaluate on market opportunity, value proposition, team strength, and execution plan. Four finalist teams are notified by November that they have been selected to advance to the Grand Finale.

The competition culminates in late January, when the finalists pitch their ideas to an audience and a panel of judges selected from the local innovation community. The winning team receives the $10,000 Grand Prize.

The winner of the Y-Prize Competition will also be granted automatic entry into the Semifinals round of the Penn Wharton Startup Challenge, and given the opportunity to pitch live at the Penn Wharton Startup Showcase, as long as the team, venture, and application materials meet the eligibility requirements for the PWSC Semifinals round.

Get Started

Start by getting acquainted with this year’s technologies, or get motivated by checking out the past winners. Then attend an event to learn more, talk to technical consultants who can explain the technologies, and meet potential teammates. If you miss an event, you can also seek out teammates online. And check out our resources page, a repository of incredibly helpful links.

Who Can Enter?

Teams must include one current Penn student (in any program and at any level). Although individuals may successfully enter the competition, we encourage participants to form teams of people in different fields. Your chances improve when your team includes a diverse skill set, and you will learn from each other’s expertise.

How to Enter

Entries for the 2018-2019 competition are due by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, November 4. View the submission guidelines here. The entry form will be made available online closer to the submission date.

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