Exit Interview: Aaron Goldstein W’16, Co-founder of Fever Smart

During his time at Wharton, Aaron Goldstein received the President’s Innovation Prize, a Wharton Venture Award, a Wharton Innovation Fund award, a Weiss Tech House Innovation Fund award and a Snider Seed Award, Fever Smart won Second Prize in the 2015 Wharton Business Plan Competition, and he was a member of the Venture Initiation Program. Before he graduated last month, we asked him a few questions about what it was like being a student entrepreneur. Here’s what he said:

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Exit Interview: Jennifer Meller WG’16, Co-founder of Navimize

Recent Wharton Executive MBA grad Jennifer Meller took advantage of every entrepreneurial resource while she was a student, including becoming a member of our incubator, the Venture Initiation Program. Before she graduated last month, we asked her a few questions about her experience as a student entrepreneur. Here’s what she said:

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It’s About the People

By Stephen Robert Morse C’07, Co-founder of Skillbridge

I didn’t go to Wharton.

I majored in English and history—I know what you’re thinking… but at Penn, I started making films and founded a documentary film production company that focused on films that created social change. I teamed up with two friends, Jeff Levin C’07 and Jon Levy W’07 to pitch the company to the Wharton Venture Initiation Program (VIP). Somehow, we beat out a load of talented competitors and were selected for the program.

The Skillbridge team.
The Skillbridge team.

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A Tale of Transformation

By Mike Kijewski LPS’10/WG’12, Founder of Gamma Basics

After undergrad, I was teaching AP chemistry and physics to suburban Philadelphia seniors.  My young, undergraduate vision included inspiring them to look at the world in an inquisitive and analytical way and to strive for personal evolution.  After three years of trying to help them discover their own dreams, I understood that I was failing at my own teaching.  While I loved my experiences inside the classroom, I realized that I wanted a career that was more entrepreneurial while still helping to improve the lives of those around me.

Mike used WVA funds to attend the 2011 American Association of Physicists in Medicine converence in Vancouver. At that show, they met their second largest customer.
Mike used WVA funds to attend the 2011 American Association of Physicists in Medicine converence in Vancouver. At that show, they met their second largest customer.

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NOMsense Bakery Celebrates the Holiday by Giving, Collaborating, and Innovating

By Alina Wong C’16 and Roopa Shankar W’16, Co-founders of NOMsense Bakery

‘Tis the season to celebrate indulgent moments through dessert with NOMsense Bakery, an e-commerce start-up that specializes in gourmet and handcrafted cookie sandwiches. The business, now officially a part of the Wharton Venture Initiation Program, is led by Alina Wong (C’16) and Roopa Shankar (W’16) and aims to add some innovation to the dessert space on the Penn campus… and to make the experience surrounding dessert fun again for Penn students.

Red velvet cookies, chocolate ganache filling, sugar drizzle, crushed Oreo topping.
Red velvet cookies, chocolate ganache filling, sugar drizzle, crushed Oreo topping.

Read more NOMsense Bakery Celebrates the Holiday by Giving, Collaborating, and Innovating

A Startup Ecosystem Made for Ambition

By Matt Carey C’07/WG’15, Co-founder of Abaris

Editor’s note: This post was previously published on the Wharton Magazine blog.

Conventional wisdom used to be that Wharton was strictly a finance school. At a certain point, Wharton became known as a factory that churned out bankers and consultants. But this stereotype is wildly outdated. (To an extent, was it ever accurate in the first place?) Exhibit A: The new dean, Geoffrey Garrett, has put innovation and data analytics at the center of where Wharton is going. This is exciting because it reflects not only the future direction of the institution but also validates the foundations that already exist.

Abaris Financial Co-Founders (left to right) Adam Colombo, Matthew Carey and Nimish Shukla
Abaris Financial Co-Founders (left to right) Adam Colombo, Matthew Carey and Nimish Shukla

Read more A Startup Ecosystem Made for Ambition

Reflections of a New VIP Member: To Good Beginnings and Sound Sailings!

By Tess Michaels C’15/W’15, Founder of Soceana

Editor’s note: Tess Michaels was recently accepted into our educational incubator, the Venture Initiation Program. We asked her to reflect on why she wanted to join VIP, and what she hopes to gain from the experience.

On my 21st birthday, I learned a doozy of a lesson from a serial entrepreneur. If I want my company to be valuable, I must have a secret—one that results from charting an uncommon vision and exploring uncharted frontiers. The advice came from Peter Thiel, who was in Philly for a book signing.

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$7500 Each to Tesorio and Take Command Health

By Nadine Kavanaugh, Associate Director, Wharton Entrepreneurship

The spring is an action-packed time for Wharton Entrepreneurship. The Venture Finals capped another exciting year of our Business Plan Competition, the Wharton Venture Award was given out, and a new class of Venture Initiation Program members was admitted.

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Read more $7500 Each to Tesorio and Take Command Health

A Walk and Talk with Prof. Kartik Hosanagar

Wharton Professor Kartik Hosanagar invites students to join him for his walk home from work. Katlyn Grasso W’16, founder of GenHERation, Venture Initiation Program member, Wharton Venture Award winner, walked with him one night, and they talked about her interest in social entrepreneurship.

Talks like this between professors and students are what make the Wharton experience truly exceptional—and turn aspiring entrepreneurs in to founders. Click here for their Walk and Talk.

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