The M&T Innovation Fund is a University- and M&T-backed student run organization looking to provide value creation for seed-stage ventures. Along with value creation tasks, non-equity grants will be provided for specific expenses.
The Fund is managed and operated by current M&T students from all class years. Faculty advisers, M&T Program administration, and M&T alumni act as support for the Fund.
The Fund is similar to an incubator or accelerator. Candidate ventures should be as interested in venture development as they are in the non-equity grants. Grants will likely fall between $1000~5000.
The Fund will only give out grant money for expenses that are 1) specific, 2) near-term, and 3) related to the venture development in which the Fund is involved. That is, the Fund is not interested in handing out non-equity grants for "black box" expenses, or for expenses a venture anticipates having in a year's time.
The M&T Innovation Fund differentiates itself as a unique provider of both financial and strategic support for the ventures it selects. Grants from the Fund will provide initial capital that help seed stage ventures achieve particular goals. Perhaps more importantly, the fund will continue to be of support to the ventures we fund. Chosen startups can leverage the varied experiences and insights of current M&T students, who will provide critical strategic insights into bringing a product to market. These companies can also gain valuable connections and mentorship from successful M&T alumni to further their venture.
Group K Diagnostics is working to develop a multi-test modular point-of-care (POC) diagnostic device that offers accurate, fast, and affordable diagnoses. The aim to reduce and eliminate the delay in clinical decisions caused by lab tests and prevent mis-reporting of abnormal results. Group K’s first test solution for Liver Function Testing has been submitted to the FDA, and they are working on bench trials for their Comprehensive Metabolic Panel and Liver Cancer Diagnostic.
Arium offers a convenient platform where lenders can easily collect, verify, and analyze bank statements. Users can search through transactions, identify overdrafts, estimate revenue, and more with information updated in real time. Arium is able to access financial information and verified transactions from major banks and institutions in the US, including Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and PNC.
Acention Digital develops a free-to-play mobile app where you make money by beating other plays in multiplayer games. Each player will get 1 cent upon download of the app and will play against another beginner player. The player who loses will have to watch a commercial to gain back another cent. For the past year, Acention had been doing beta testing but their games recently became public in August 2018.
Plasticity is working to make robotic chat conversations feel human through a Natural Language Processing (NLP) system that learns concepts and conversation from real world contexts. Their product is API called Sapien that packages this powerful natural language capability for use in conversational interfaces and rich content development. Two other APIs, Lingua and Brevis, are also in the works and to be released.
The M&T Innovation Fund is supported by the University of Pennsylvania, the Jerome Fisher Management and Technology Program, and M&T alumni as well as various corporate sponsors.
Are you a current Penn student (undergraduate or graduate), recent M&T alum, or Penn-affiliated employee or professor with an idea you’d like us to consider funding?
Submit your information below! The deadline for the Winter 2020 cohort is November 22nd at 11:59 PM.Apply Now
Boon's research focuses on distributed data management systems, Internet-scale query processing, and the application of database technologies to networked systems. He is particularly interested in developing information-centric network architectures that can be easily extended, composed, and formally verified. His recent projects include applying declarative networking techniques in the areas of dynamic network composition, adaptive mobile ad-hoc networks, and scalable knowledge-based networks. He is also exploring novel database-inspired techniques for diagnosing, securing, and verifying network protocols.
Want to learn more about the M&T Innovation Fund? Interested in participating in the Fund as a sponsor or mentor? Please feel free to reach out to us with your questions and inquiries.