Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs’ 2011 Wharton Business Plan Competition Chooses 26 Semi-Finalists as Prize Pool Increases 53% to $116,000

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26 Teams Named Semi-Finalists with Concepts Including: Vice-stopping mobile app; Disposable Flip Flops for Public Showers; Nasal Allergy; Drug Therapy; Probiotic “Healthy” Soda; Brazilian Baby Buying Site

PHILADELPHIA, PA–The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania announces that the Wharton Business Plan Competition has chosen its 26 semi-finalists. The semi-finalists of the Competition, which is open to any University of Pennsylvania student and managed by Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs, will compete for $116,000 in prizes and the chance to present full business plans at the annual Venture Finals on April 27, 2011.

Showing its commitment to the Competition, Wharton this year has increased combined in-kind and cash prizes 53%, attracting a diversity of students. In fact the semi-finals include students from the University of Pennsylvania’s schools of Engineering, Medicine, Arts and Sciences and Wharton. Five teams are led by undergraduates, two by Wharton | San Francisco executive MBAs and three teams are past or present members of the Wharton Venture Initiation Program, an educational incubator open to all Penn students. This year’s semi-finalist teams include:

  • Baby.com.br: Brazil’s “one-stop-shop” for baby products online with free 24 hr delivery
  • Flipables: Low cost, hygienic footwear designs for spas, gyms, and resorts
  • Cyrano Nasal Science: drug therapy for nasal allergies (i.e. hay fever)
  • MindMyStop: public transit advertising via “Next Stop” announcements to connect shoppers with nearby retailers
  • Zoda: all natural soda containing beneficial probiotic cultures as well as vitamins and antioxidants
  • Pledge4Good: mobile application that allows users to pledge money for charity for personal goals achieved e.g. weight loss, smoking cessation, cursing

New for 2011, the semi-finalist teams, who are required to complete full business plans, will also deliver a five-minute pitch before a panel of distinguished judges from their industry track. This change will allow more students than before to present their business ideas and receive real-time feedback from alumni experts representing firms such as First Round Capital, Bain Capital Ventures, Blue Run Ventures and Canaan Partners.

The most successful semi-finalists earn the right to become one of the “Great Eight” finalist teams facing off with 20-minute presentations before distinguished judges at the Venture Finals, the Competition’s culminating event. At the Venture Finals the finalists will vie for $116,000 in cash prizes and in-kind awards including the Gary Karlin Michelson, M.D. Charitable Foundation $30,000 Grand Prize. The Venture Finals program takes place April 27, 2011 at the Wharton School’s Dhirubhai Ambani Auditorium and annually attracts over 200 entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, investment bankers, alumni, faculty and students.

For more than a decade, the Wharton Business Plan Competition has seen numerous student teams go on to become successful businesses including Warby Parker, Kembrel, PetPlan USA, PayMyBills.com, BuySafe, NetConversions, DealMaven, and MicroMRI. Information about past participants is available on the Wharton BPC Web site: http://bpc.wharton.upenn.edu.

About the Wharton School and Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs

In 1973, The Wharton School became the first school to develop a fully integrated curriculum of entrepreneurial studies. Today Wharton, through Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs <www.wep.wharton.upenn.edu>, supports and seeds innovation and entrepreneurship globally through teaching, research and outreach to a range of organizations through its many programs, initiatives and research centers. At the same time, Wharton students and alumni are helping to build entrepreneurial enterprises around the world and impacting virtually every industry.

The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania— founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school — is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education. The most comprehensive source of business knowledge in the world, Wharton bridges research and practice through its broad engagement with the global business community. The School has more than 4,800 undergraduate, MBA, executive MBA, and doctoral students; more than 9,000 annual participants in executive education programs; and an alumni network of 86,000 graduates.

For more information on the Wharton Business Plan Competition, go to: