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President’s Engagement Prize 2017 Winner: Solution Loft


– [Will] Software
development today is dramatically inefficient. I may be writing something
today that someone has already written five,
six times somewhere else. But there’s really no
easy way to find the code that you’re looking for. I thought, “Okay, this
is really redundant. “There should be a better
way to develop software.” – Penn is an incredible
place for student start-ups. There’s just been an
explosion of programs all of which are designed to
support entrepreneurship here. And that’s where I met Will. – SolutionLoft is
a platform we built for software development
that allows us to reuse the massive repository of code. And then any new projects
are crowd-sourced lowering both the time
and the cost necessary to develop a software. – They really are taking a very different approach. The intelligence is not just
writing the code blocks, it’s also organizing them
and being able to dip into the pool at the right
time for the right projects and reuse it. Because it is the re-usability
that’s the big advantage. – Penn has been instrumental
in what we’ve done. Anywhere from the human
capital that it takes to get something like
this off the ground to the advising
resources to things as simple as space to meet. Dr. Babin was the first
advisor for SolutionLoft. So he’s really backed
us since day one. We met him in the context of the Venture Initiation
Program at Wharton. Through that relationship,
we’ve really taken this vague idea and
translated it into a solid business plan. – SolutionLoft is a big idea. For me as a mentor
in this process, we like to see students
like Will thinking big and truly survey the
resources available at Penn and then take advantage of
every single one of them. – [Woman] SolutionLoft created
a proprietary code engine. – Innovation and
opportunity go hand in hand. Will is creating both with
his new technology platform. His idea radically
streamlines the way software developers work
and how new technology solutions are created. – The President’s
Innovation Prize is affording Will
the opportunity to have the funds to
pursue the business, which he was going to do anyway. But now he has a little
bit more of a runway to really put into practice some of the things
that he’s learned. – My advice for people
coming into Penn, thinking about
starting a company, is definitely do it
while you’re a student. There’s never going
to be another time where you have so many
resources and so low downside. – If you have an idea that
really is burning a hole, and you need to do something
about it, pursue it.

Bernard Jenkins

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