President’s Innovation Prize Winners Aim to Streamline the Health Care Supply Chain

William Danon and Luka Yancopoulos
William Danon and Luka Yancopoulos pose in front of College Hall in April 2022. They are co-founders of Grapevine and the winners of the 2022 President’s Innovation Prize. (Photo: Eric Sucar)Luka Yancopoulos and William Danon are the best friends and partners behind the 2022 President’s Innovation Prize-winning software Grapevine.

In a recent article from Penn Today,  2022 President’s Innovation Prize winners Luka Yancopoulos, an environmental studies major and a bioengineering major in the School of Engineering and Applied Science and William Danon, a history major, discussed how the company and partnership came to be, how the software works and what the future holds for Grapevine.

The idea of the company, a software solution and professional networking platform that connects small-to-medium-size players in the health care supply chain, began to take form  at the Stephenson Foundation Educational Laboratory & Bio-MakerSpace. When David Meaney, Solomon R. Pollack Professor of Bioengineering and Senior Associate Dean in the School, challenged students to design a lab project that involved stimulating a cockroach leg by sending signals to the leg and moving it, he noticed the ambition and creativity of Yancopoulos. He “found the status quo a bit boring,” said Meaney. When the time came, Yancopulos asked Meaney to be the mentor on the Grapevine project.

The company is the evolution of a project that Yancopoulos and Danon began at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, called Pandemic Relief Supply, which delivered $20 million of health care supplies to frontline workers.

Read  “Streamlining the health care supply chain” by Brandon Baker at Penn Today.