The insider's guide to the Jerome Fisher Program at the University of Pennsylvania

Weiss Tech House: Promoting Innovation on Campus

by Jeff F., Class of 2013

by Jeff F., Class of 2013

Almost every single M&T student has had some degree of exposure to the Weiss Tech House during his or her time at Penn, and there is little surprise why. The Weiss Tech House is a hub of technological innovation based out of Levine Hall that supports students in the development of innovative ideas and technologies, a mission that ties closely with that of the M&T Program. When I arrived at Penn in the fall of 2009, the Tech House was one of the first organizations I applied to. Now, more than three years later, it remains my longest standing commitment on campus.

One of the reasons why I love the Tech House so much is its incredible diversity both in terms of the students who make up its committees, as well as the committees themselves. From the Innovation Fund, the in-house venture capital fund; to PennVention, the annual innovation competition; to Community Relations, which seeks to inspire technological innovation within the West Philadelphia community; the Tech House promotes innovation in a variety of ways. Despite starting out on the PennVention Committee in my first year and later chairing that committee as a sophomore, my experience as a Student Director in the past two years has helped me gain a broader perspective of how the Tech House operates as a whole.

One of the greatest aspects of the Weiss Tech House is that it is truly a student-run organization. Student Directors, Committee Chairs, and Committee Members alike have the opportunity to take responsibility of events, propose new ideas, and provide feedback for existing programs. This year marks the Tech House’s 10th year on campus and with this notable milestone has come a variety of changes, including a restructuring of the committee system and a new program geared towards freshmen who want to get involved with the Tech House. Although not all of these changes are guaranteed to be successful, the Weiss Tech House, much like the aspiring entrepreneurs it serves, has always remained nimble enough to initiate new programs in order to make the best use of its existing resources.

The Weiss Tech House recently completed a very successful Innovation Week and hosted a Mini-Mentoring Marathon at the end of the fall semester. To learn more about the Tech House, visit the website at http://www.tech-house.upenn.edu/.

 Jeff is a current M&T senior in the Class of 2013. He is majoring in Computer Science within Penn Engineering and concentrating in Finance and Accounting in the Wharton School.

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