Penn Wharton Innovation Fund

The Penn Wharton Innovation Fund (PWIF) was endowed by Alberto Vitale WG’59, who hopes that it will be “a catalyst to stimulate innovation at the School and to surface the brainpower of its students.”

Eligibility

  • Current Students, Faculty, Staff and Alumni are encouraged to apply.
  • Declined applicants are welcome to reapply at any time
  • Award applicants may also reapply for multiple rounds of funding.

Selection Process

  • Applications for the PWIF are reviewed by the PWIF Selection Committee which is made up of UPenn Students & Alumni who have all previously received a Penn Wharton Innovation Fund Award.
  • Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis = No Deadline.
  • Each application must be reviewed by a minimum of 5 selection committee members before a final decision is made.
  • We evaluate ventures on:
    • Originality of Innovation
    • Scalability/impact
    • Viability/practicality
    • Usefulness
    • The development process

Application

  • First time applicants must complete an online application which includes the following short questions and requirements:
    • Brief description of your venture
    • How is your project innovative?
    • How is your project scalable?
    • Who are your competitors and how is your project different?
    • Next Milestone – What do you hope to accomplish with your award?
    • When will the next milestone be completed?
    • How do you plan to make money?  What are your monetization plans?
    • Upload a 1 minute pitch video
    • Optional: Upload Pitch Deck or additional materials.
  • Returning applicants must complete an online application which includes the following short questions and requirements:
    • Please upload a document (word or powerpoint) reminding the Selection Committee what your venture is, the status of the venture pre-award, your use of the award funding, the current status of your venture and your next steps.
    • Brief description of your venture
    • Describe any changes to your venture from your last application
    • Describe the completion of your previous milestone
    • Describe your plans for monetization of your venture
    • Describe your next milestone for which you are asking additional funding
    • When do you expect to accomplish this milestone?
    • How much funding are you asking for? (Must be less than $5000)
    • Upload a 1 minute pitch video
    • Optional: Upload Pitch Deck or additional materials

Requirements

  • The PWIF does not take equity in ventures.  In order to be eligible for a second or third award, you must report back on the use of funds from your previous award.
  • The PWIF also asks that you report back any news such as name changes, funds raised, acquisitions, exits, and shutting down.
  • Though not required, we hope you keep in touch with us and join the selection committee after graduation.

Awards

  • First round awards are up to $1500
  • Returning awards are up to $5000