On Saturday, 11/15 we teamed up with the Tech Club and took over 2401!  Fifteen teams competed to address customer needs spanning three tech product categories:

  1. FinTech & Payments
  2. Retail IT & Customer Analytics
  3. Healthcare IT & Connected Health.

Throughout the day, the Innovation & Design Education Team guided ProductHackers through an immersive workshop covering the five stages of design thinking (examine, define, ideate, prototype, and test) from start to finish. Led by Greta Carlson and Justine Lai, the workshop began with a fun warm-up exercise of Ninja, which got everyone’s creative juices flowing. During the examine stage, ProductHackers learned about need-finding and looked to each other’s experiences to determine what mattered most to potential users. From there, teams focused their attention on a specific need during the define phase, during which the teams utilized the Education Team’s rubric to narrow their scope. In the afternoon, teams were unleashed, using their ascertained needs as the basis for a plethora of ideas, from wristband gizmos to luxury shopping doodads. They tested their ideas and received feedback from others, which they used to prototype and refine their products throughout the afternoon.

The results? 15 awe-inspiring product creations that wowed the judges, which included Peter Bressler (founder of the Bressler Group), Mark Yim (Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics), and David Robertson (Wharton Professor of Innovation and Product Development). The first place cash prize of $500 and hardware prize of $200 (and entry into Pennvention) went to Wrapit (Paul Ginart P’MD-PhD, Kunal Nayyar WG’16, & Eva Wei WG’16) for their innovative wristband technology that helped in monitoring elderly loved ones. The second place prize went to Pied Piper (Monica Myers WG’16, Alden Gordon WG’16, John Chen WG ’16) for their hospital transfer system that matches patients with emergency beds. And amongst tough competition, the $200 software prize went to BasketHound (Swathi Rao WG’16, Ben Peskoe WG’16 & Greg Dubin WG’16) for their shopping app that helps consumers find that specific must-have product. Congratulations to the winners and to all ProductHack teams for an inspiring and excitement-filled day. Interested in building similar skills and being a ProductHacker? Come to Innovation & Design Club’s Design Wednesdays, and look out for ProductHack 2015 coming soon!

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