Exterior of the Pennovation Center.

How Comcast NBCUniversal is Sparking Innovation at the Pennovation Center

58,000 square feet. Three stories. A melting pot of faculty, entrepreneurs and students. And now, a robust range of Comcast-sponsored programs fostering the entrepreneurial spirit at the University of Pennsylvania.

Comcast NBCUniversal is excited to be the official sponsor for entrepreneurial education at the Pennovation Center, the University of Pennsylvania’s new business and technology incubator. The company’s Entrepreneurial Engagement program will support the community with mentors, a speaker series, and pre-accelerator challenges.

The first challenge kicks off today following a panel discussion among the partners. Comcast Senior Executive Vice President David L. Cohen and Senior Vice President of Strategic Development Ebony Lee join University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann and Dean of Engineering Vijay Kumar to discuss tech in Philadelphia and future trends.

"Once a small startup itself, Comcast believes in supporting innovators and inventors across the country. The Pennovation Center will inspire both entrepreneurs and university students as it combines the University of Pennsylvania’s best talent and resources with those of the private sector," said Sam Schwartz, Chief Business Development Officer at Comcast. "Comcast is dedicated to giving back to the local community. Our support of entrepreneurial programming at Pennovation will help these future tech and business leaders innovate to build great businesses and solve the problems of tomorrow."

The Comcast-Pennovation challenge announced today offers faculty and student teams, as well as entrepreneurs, the opportunity to create innovative solutions for the Internet of Things on the machineQ platform.

Today’s event at the Pennovation Center is the first of many in which Comcast is leveraging its internal and partner resources and experience as a former startup to bolster innovation in its hometown. As an active participant in the local tech scene, Comcast experts will hold monthly office hours and lead regular discussions and presentations. And, Comcast will continue to organize pre-accelerator challenges, enabling participants to design, create, and pitch solutions tied to real product innovations.

All Comcast programming will be open to faculty and students from all colleges and universities from the region. And in addition to the educational component, Comcast Business is powering the Pennovation Center with fast, reliable Internet services. All together, it’s an exciting first step as Comcast helps pave the way for further collaborations fostering innovation across the country -- one discussion, presentation, and challenge at a time.

"This partnership brings together two really important institutions to collaborate around innovation and new product and new idea creation," says Laurie Actman, Chief Operating Officer at Penn Center for Innovation at the University of Pennsylvania. "I think the goal for both Comcast and Penn is to position Philadelphia as a center of innovation. This is a great opportunity to demonstrate how bringing together the best minds in the industry and academia can create cutting edge ideas."

If you are interested in participating in the Comcast-Pennovation Challenge: Internet of Things, submit your team's proposal by January 30.