University of Penn Team Wins 2016 Y-Prize Contest

Winners of Grand Prize at the 2016 Y-Prize Competition

NEW YORK (TIP): The University of Pennsylvania recently announced that the student team ‘Fermento’ of the Wharton School and the School of Engineering and Applied Science won the Grand Prize at the 2016 Y-Prize Competition.

The team of students, with two of its three members being Indian Americans, plan to speed up the fermentation stage of beer brewing by three times, and possibly more.

As Grand Prize winners, the team received $10,000 and the rights to commercialize the technology through their company, Fermento.

The prize was awarded on the University of Pennsylvania’s campus at the fourth annual Y-Prize Grand Finale Jan. 25.

Co-sponsored by Penn Engineering, the Mack Institute for Innovation Management, Wharton Entrepreneurship, and the Penn Center for Innovation, the Y-Prize is a cross-disciplinary competition in which student teams propose innovative commercial applications for technology invented by Penn researchers.

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“Microdroplets to speed up fermentation have been tried in labs, but none of the technologies so far are scalable,” Narain says. “This patented technology actually makes the process industrially scalable for the first time, and in a financially feasible manner,” says Narain.

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