Wharton Business Plan Competition Announces “Great Eight” Finalists Including: Plastic-Eating Bacteria, Real Estate Investment in Africa, an App to Stop Drunk Driving

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Finalists to pitch judges, vie for over $125,000 in prizes at April 28 Venture Finals, open to public

PHILADELPHIA, PA., April 18, 2016—Wharton Entrepreneurship is pleased to announce the “Great Eight” finalists who will compete for over $125,000 in prizes at the Wharton Business Plan Competition Venture Finals Thursday, April 28, 2016.  The event is free and open to the public and will take place at the Wharton School’s Jon M. Huntsman Hall on the University of Pennsylvania campus.  Previous participants in the Competition include ventures such as eyeglass phenom Warby Parker, dominant Brazilian baby e-commerce site Baby.com.br, and drug R&D company Integral Molecular. Register here.

The Wharton Business Plan Competition “Great Eight” finalists are:

  • Barn Owl Systems For livestock ranchers who spend significant time and money monitoring resources over large areas, Barn Owl provides drone hardware and software for autonomous data gathering.
  • BioCellection Inc. BioCellection upcycles unrecyclable plastic waste into valuable compound rhamnolipid for textiles using genetically engineered bacteria. This invention has the potential to clean plastic pollution around the world, disrupt the textiles industry, and grow into a $100MM business in 5 years.
  • brEDcrumb brEDcrumb is the only college admission consulting platform that provides free, one-on-one, college mentoring online. The startup connects underserved high schoolers with undergraduates or recent graduates who have shared backgrounds.
  • Daylight OB, LLC Daylight OB, LLC is a medical device company developing technologies to improve health and safety in labor & delivery units. The firm’s first product, now in development, is a disposable obstetrics device, called Daylight, used to elevate a baby’s head to enable a safer, faster, and easier urgent cesarean section delivery.
  • Our Frontier Crowd Our Frontier Crowd is the premiere residential real estate platform dedicated to investment opportunities in Africa. The startup’s technology harnesses the insights of the crowd to connect African real estate developers and potential home buyers with foreign investors.
  • Qorum, Inc. Qorum is a mobile app providing discerning millennials a curated list of quality bars. After enjoying their final beverage, users hail a free ride home through the app.
  • QTEK The QTEK team offers Surfion, a durable, safe, and effective chemical additive that could make any surface antibacterial and antifungal. Surfion will not wash off or wear away; it will provide continuous self-decontamination protection over the lifetime of myriad products.
  • WeTrain WeTrain is a proud Veteran-owned, fitness-technology company building the “Uber of Personal Training.” Every day, 700,000 training sessions are conducted in the US. Using a specially designed application, members request trainers for affordable sessions ($17/half hour or $25/full hour) while trainers receive 30% more compensation than typical gyms.

The Competition is open to any University of Pennsylvania student and is managed by Wharton Entrepreneurship. The eight finalist teams face off at the Venture Finals with 20-minute presentations to judges drawn from the business and venture capital community, who will then evaluate the persuasiveness and viability of each venture. Students will receive up to $128,500 in cash prizes and in-kind awards including the $30,000 Perlman Grand Prize, which is made possible by the generosity of Ellen Hanson Perlman and Richard E. Perlman (W’68). The Venture Finals will take place April 28 at The Wharton School’s Dhirubhai Ambani Auditorium; the event annually attracts over 200 entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, investment bankers, alumni, faculty and students.

Venture Finals BPC judges are:

  • David Cohen (PAR’14/PAR’16/PAR’17), CEO, Chief Investment Officer and Co-founder, Karlin Asset Management, Inc.
  • Carol Curley (WG’81), Managing Director, Golden Seeds
  • Marc Lore (Wharton alum), Founder and CEO, Jet.com
  • Richard Perlman (W’68), Founder & Executive Chairman, ExamWorks Group, Inc.
  • Stephen Tang (WG’92), President and CEO, University City Science Center
  • Tracey Weber (WG’95), Strategic Advisor, Gilt and Hudson’s Bay Company

Note on abbreviations:

  • W-Wharton undergraduate alum
  • WG-Wharton MBA alum

PAR-Penn parent

About the Wharton School and Wharton Entrepreneurship

In 1973, The Wharton School became the first school to develop a fully integrated curriculum of entrepreneurial studies. Today Wharton, through Wharton Entrepreneurship (http://entrepreneurship.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. For more information on the Wharton Business Plan Competition, go to: http://bpc.wharton.upenn.edu.

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 5,000 undergraduate, MBA, executive MBA, and doctoral students; more than 9,000 annual participants in executive education programs; and an alumni network of 93,000 graduates.


Media Contact
Peter Winicov, Director, Wharton Media Relations
215-746-6471 | winicov@wharton.upenn.edu