Penn Wharton Entrepreneurship Announces Inaugural Startup Showcase Featuring the Best Student Entrepreneurs From Across the University of Pennsylvania

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2016 Wharton Business Plan Competition Grand Prize Winners Miranda Wang C’16, Jeanny Yao and Alexander Simafranca C’18

PHILADELPHIA, PA., April 20, 2017—Penn Wharton Entrepreneurship is pleased to announce the inaugural Startup Showcase on Friday, April 28, 2017, a new event showcasing the best student-founded startups from across the University of Pennsylvania. 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. Register here.

The event includes:

  • Finals of the Startup Challengeversion 2.0 of the Wharton Business Plan Competition—with eight finalists who will compete for over $135,000 in cash and prizes;
  • Demos of student ventures;
  • Breakout sessions including an Incubators & Accelerators Panel, Scale School Workshop, and Penn Center for Innovation & Partners;
  • Real elevator pitches, where student entrepreneurs pitch live in an elevator to investors;
  • Expo of Penn entrepreneurial resources;
  • Voting for the Michelson People’s Choice Award and the Crowd Favorite Award

The eight Startup Challenge finalists will be chosen the morning of the event in closed-door pitch sessions to panels of entrepreneurs and investors. The nearly 30 semifinalists include winners of various campus competitions, including the Y-Prize, Pennvention, and more.

Previous participants in the competition’s predecessor, the Wharton Business Plan Competition, include ventures such as eyeglass phenom Warby Parker, dominant Brazilian baby e-commerce site, and drug R&D company Integral Molecular.

Startup Challenge finals 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
  • Karen Griffith Gryga, GEN’93, WG’93, Chief Investment Officer, DreamIt Ventures
  • Marc Lore, Wharton alum, Founder and CEO,; President and CEO, Walmart U.S. Ecommerce
  • Richard Perlman, W’68, Founder and Executive Chairman, ExamWorks Group, Inc.
  • Stephen Tang, WG’92, President and CEO, University City Science Center

New this year is the option for those who can’t attend in person to:

  • Live Stream the finalist pitches 1:45 pm – 4:00 pm ET here–
  • Watch the finalists’ elevator pitches at 4:00 pm ET on Facebook Live
  • Vote remotely for the Michelson People’s Choice winner

Note on abbreviations:

  • W-Wharton undergraduate alum
  • WG-Wharton MBA alum
  • PAR-Penn parent
  • GEN-Master of Science in Engineering

About the Wharton School

Founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education. With a broad global community and one of the most published business school faculties, Wharton creates economic and social value around the world. The School has 5,000 undergraduate, MBA, executive MBA, and doctoral students; more than 9,000 participants in executive education programs annually and a powerful alumni network of 95,000 graduates.