Third Annual Penn Wharton Entrepreneurship Startup Showcase: Nearly 30 of the Top Startups Across Penn Compete for Over $135,000 in Prizes

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PHILADELPHIA, APRIL 23, 2018Penn Wharton Entrepreneurship is delighted to announced the third annual Startup Showcase, sponsored by Eric Aroesty, C’92, on Friday, May 3, 2019. This annual exposition showcases 28 of the best student-founded ventures from across the Penn community. The presenting teams are semifinalists of the annual Startup Challenge, a campus-wide competition with participants from eight Penn schools. The event is free and open to the public and will be held at the Wharton School’s Jon M. Huntsman Hall on the University of Pennsylvania campus.

The eight Startup Challenge Finalists will be selected in the morning after two rounds of closed-door pitch sessions in front of entrepreneurs and investors. The nearly 30 semifinalists include winners of various entrepreneurship competitions, such as the Y-Prize, President’s Innovation Prize, Pennvention, and more. These teams solve inventive problems across biotech, travel, health care and fashion sectors, including:

  • #PeriodPainFree: Personalized plant-based healing formulas for women who experience period pain
  • FLOAT/THERE: Curated rental apparel delivered directly to a traveler’s destination
  • Fuego Shoes: Dance shoes with a custom-developed sole made to go from the street to the dance floor
  • Halo: LED monitors on top of Uber/Lyft vehicles that display location-targeted ads
  • Elivade: Career advancement platform to connect people of color with peers, mentors and employers

Additional event features include:

  • Demos from 28 student ventures
  • Live pitches where student entrepreneurs pitch investors in an elevator
  • Voting for the People’s Choice Award and the Crowd Favorite Award

Previous participants in the Penn Wharton Startup Challenge include maker of world’s first portable blood cell counting device Sanguis (2018 winner), digital behavioral health platform NeuroFlow, and medical device maker Avisi Technologies.

Startup Challenge Finals judges are:

  • Bikram Bakshi (WG’05), Entrepreneur & Innovator; Member, Penn Wharton Entrepreneurship Advisory Board
  • Mona Bijoor (C’98, G’98, WG’05), Partner, Kings Circle Capital; Founder, JOOR
  • Maxine Gowen (WG’02), Director, Trevena
  • Sashi Reddi (GRW’94), Founder & Managing Partner, SRI Capital; Member, Penn Wharton Entrepreneurship Advisory Board

Note on abbreviations:

  • C-Penn College of Arts & Sciences alum (bachelor’s)
  • G-Penn College of Arts & Sciences alum (master’s)
  • GRW-Wharton doctoral alum
  • W-Wharton undergraduate alum
  • WG-Wharton MBA alum

About Penn Wharton Entrepreneurship

Penn Wharton Entrepreneurship (PWE) is a resource for students across the University of Pennsylvania who are interested in entrepreneurship and innovation. In a rapidly-evolving world, hungry for impactful change, Penn Wharton Entrepreneurship maximizes the ability of the students and alumni to address challenges through entrepreneurship and innovation. Our far-reaching programs impact students across the Penn community, offering educational programming and granting hundreds of thousands of dollars to students developing innovative concepts and engaging them at each step of their entrepreneurial journey. Each year, more than 2,000 students, alumni, faculty, and staff attend and participate in workshops, networking events, mentoring, and competitions led by PWE. Penn Wharton Entrepreneurship’s disciplined approach challenges concepts, focuses ideas, and provides the knowledge to turn nascent ventures into robust, enduring organizations. For more information, visit

About the Wharton School

Founded in 1881 as the world’s first collegiate business school, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is shaping the future of business by incubating ideas, driving insights, and creating leaders who change the world. With a faculty of more than 235 renowned professors, Wharton has 5,000 undergraduate, MBA, executive MBA, and doctoral students. Each year 18,000 professionals from around the world advance their careers through Wharton Executive Education’s individual, company-customized, and online programs. More than 98,000 Wharton alumni form a powerful global network of leaders who transform business every day. For more information, visit