A team of Penn students—Dayo Adewole (ENG’15, GEN’15, GR’21) Matthew Hanna (ENG’18) and Michael Wong (W’19)—won the first Hult Prize Ivy Competition, held earlier this month. About 25 teams of students from across the Ivy League gathered at Penn to present their ideas to answer the 2018 Hult Prize challenge: “Build a scalable, sustainable social enterprise that [would harness] the power of energy to transform the lives of 10 million people by 2025.”
The winning team pitched an attachment for light switches called InstaHub, which attaches onto pre-existing toggle light switches and utilizes motion sensor technologies to automatically turn lights on or off when people enter or leave a room. The device eliminates the high installation cost and finds sustainable measures for minimal maintenance to simplify lighting automation. Thirty of these devices have been successfully installed in Harnwell College House, Stouffer College House, W.E.B. Du Bois College House and Jon M. Huntsman Hall.
The Hult Prize was established in 2009 in partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative. Winners from national and regional competitions attend an accelerator program at Hult’s estate in England and ultimately have the chance to compete for $1 million at the United Nations final. With their Ivy League win, the InstaHub team now moves on to the accelerator program.