Innovation Accelerator

Providing funding to assist Penn Nursing students and faculty with the creation and testing of early stage solutions to improve health and health care outcomes with a priority on populations of greatest need.

About Penn Nursing Innovation Accelerator


The Penn Nursing Innovation Accelerator provides up to $10k for research and development of a proposed innovation idea that has an existing low-fidelity prototype which has been minimally tested. The award amount will be determined by the budget and justification provided by the applicant (maximum of $10k). Mentorship & coaching will be provided by Penn Nursing’s Innovation team and others from the Penn Innovation and Entrepreneurship community, as appropriate.

New for 2024 - In partnership with Pennovation Works, the Penn Nursing Innovation Accelerator winners will be accepted into the 2024 Pennovation Accelerator and participate in the six-week summer program to further develop their business strategy and cultivate their network. Dates are still being set, but the accelerator will run from June-July 2024 (not including the week of July 4th), one afternoon, in person at the Pennovation Center. Check out the 2023 Pennovation Accelerator here.

Applicant Qualifications

The lead innovator for the application must be a full-time member of the Penn Nursing faculty (standing, associated, and teaching faculty) or matriculated student in a Penn Nursing Program with a minimum of one calendar year remaining in their program. Nurses employed full-time in the Penn Medicine hospitals are welcome to participate in the innovation accelerator if they partner with a Penn Nursing faculty lead or co-lead. Projects will be funded for one year.


Winners will develop their innovation with ongoing advice from their assigned mentors throughout one year (June-May). Quarterly progress reports will be submitted to Penn Nursing’s Director of Innovation. Budget expenditures must be compliant with all university rules, and changes in budget allocation must be approved by the Director of Innovation and the Executive Director of the Office of Nursing Research. The award cannot be used for salaries or education materials. Travel for research and development of the innovation will be considered in accordance with University policies.

Award distribution will be based on the approved timeline and milestones submitted with the application. All funding will be contingent upon the completion of the approved timeline and milestones. A final report and budget reconciliation will be due within thirty (30) days after the completion of the project. In addition, the lead innovators will provide an oral pitch of the status of their project at the following year’s pitch event. Projects funded through the Penn Nursing Innovation Accelerator are subject to the University patent policy.

Supported by

Carolyn E. Bennett (NU’91) and Thomas L. Bennett;
Seth Ginns (C’20) and Jane Ginns; and
Andrea B. Laporte (NU’69)


2024 Call for Proposals

The application is now closed.

How it Works

Participation Details




Marion Leary
Director of Innovation

Supported by Carolyn E. Bennett (NU’91) and Thomas L. Bennett; Seth Ginns (C’20) and Jane Ginns; and Andrea B. Laporte (NU’69).