Penn Apps: Hack for Resilience

Every September, the University of Pennsylvania hosts PennApps – one of the largest student-run hackathons in the world.  Teams of up to four students spend the weekend developing innovative software and hardware solutions to real-world problems.  These projects range in platform and application, including elements of web development, mobile applications, drones, and more. The Wharton Risk Center and the Insurance Information Institute/Resilience Accelerator co-sponsor the “Hack-for-Resilience” and “Insurtech” routes and encourage you to apply!

Learn more about the 2018, 2019, and 2020 top resilience hacks!


The Wharton Risk Center and the Insurance Information Institute are again teaming up to sponsor a “Hack-for-Resilience” route during this year’s Penn Apps and encourage you to participate!

Natural disasters are occurring more frequently and causing more damage than ever before. In 2017 and 2018, the U.S. saw five land-falling hurricanes, a multitude of floods, storms, droughts, and the most destructive wildfires in California’s history – resulting in nearly $400 billion in damages. As more people move into hazard prone areas and climate change alters the frequency and severity of extreme events, losses are expected to escalate even further.

Despite the growing risk, many families, businesses and communities are ill-prepared for today’s disasters, let alone tomorrow’s. As the risk grows, we all need to become more resilient; that is, we must improve our ability to prepare for, absorb, and recover from extreme events.  In this year’s PennApps “Hack-for-Resilience” route, you’ll have the chance to help people do just that, by developing apps, tools, and other technologies to help people in harm’s way.

This year, students are also encouraged to think about how “Insurtech” can be used to advance resilience. That is, how can innovative technologies and software be applied to insurance decisions and business operations to help more households get financial protection against disaster risks.


First prize winners also will be entered to participate in special edition of Lightning Rounds–part of the Resilience Accelerator initiative, a collaboration of Triple-I, ResilientH2O Partners and The Cannon–that showcases technology solutions creators before a live panel of insurance and non-insurance investors.