Sponsored by Eric Aroesty, C’92

May 1 & 2, 2020

Penn Wharton Startup Challenge & Showcase

In light of the COVID-19 outbreak and University of Pennsylvania event restrictions,
the Penn Wharton Startup Challenge Semifinals and Finals will be conducted online.

Friday, May 1, 2020

9:00 am to 4:15 pm ET: Startup Challenge Semifinals
This event is not open to the public.

9:00 am to 5:00 pm ET: Crowd Favorite Voting
View Semifinalist Teams’ Slides and cast your vote!
$2500 to the top 2 teams will be announced at the Awards Ceremony.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

9:00 am to 2:00 pm ET: Startup Challenge Finals

Watch our Finalist Teams pitch live for $135K in cash and awards!

Register here to attend the Finals and receive event login instructions.

FINALIST PITCH SCHEDULE: 

  • Aureum: 9:15 – 9:40 am ET
  • Showcase: 9:45-10:10 am ET
  • MAR Designs: 10:15-10:40 am ET
  • MORNING BREAK: 10:40-10:50 am ET
  • Rent the Rose: 10:50 – 11:15 am ET
  • Frutero Ice Cream: 11:20-11:45 am ET
  • Percepta: 11:50 am -12:15 pm ET
  • LUNCH BREAK: 12:15-12:45 pm ET
  • The Lobby: 12:45-1:10 pm ET
  • My Virtual Veterinarian: 1:15-1:40 pm ET

Thank you to our Finals Judges:

Bikram Bakshi, WG’05
Bikram Bakshi is a seasoned CEO, innovator, and entrepreneur based in the Washington, DC area. His most recent venture – QSSI – rose to prominence as an iconic health technology business that led the turnaround of healthcare.gov and built critical components of health insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act. QSSI was acquired by United Health Group in 2012. Subsequently as a member of the Office of the CEO for Optum, United Health’s services arm, Bikram ran the government business and helped establish Optum as a premier partner to Medicare, Medicaid, Military and Veteran Health. Prior to that Bikram led Optum’s international business across Europe, Asia, Australia, and South America.

 


Mona Bijoor, C’98, WG’05
Partner at King Circle Capital LLC

Mona Bijoor is a partner at King Circle Capital LLC, an investment and advisory firm, where she has holdings in real estate, franchises, start-ups, and online businesses. Mona is also the founder of JOOR, the premier online global B2B marketplace for wholesale buying that directly connects brands and retailers. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with an MBA from the Wharton School of Business, Mona lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two daughters. She is the Amazon best selling author of Startups and Downs, The Secrets of Resilient Entrepreneurs and a frequent contributor to TechCrunchEntrepreneur, and Thrive Global.

 

 

Jenny Lefcourt, W’91
General Partner at Freestyle

Jenny Lefcourt is a General Partner at Freestyle (early-stage VC firm). Freestyle is an SF-based firm whose investments include Airtable, Intercom, Patreon, Narvar, Digit, BetterUp, and many others. She is also a founding member of All Raise, a non-profit dedicated to increasing diversity in funders and founders in tech. Prior to Freestyle, she co-founded WeddingChannel.com (sold: KNOT) and Bella Pictures (sold: CPI). She also angel invested and/or advised companies such as Discord, MainStreetHub, Minted, and StyleSeat. Jenny also attended the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

 

 

Kathryn StewartKathryn Stewart, WG’88
Founder & Managing Director at Cranbrook Capital

Kathryn Stewart is Founder and Managing Director of Cranbrook Capital, which invests in early stage emerging tech focused companies and in Venture Funds. Angel investments include Allstacks, CircleUp, Cybrary, GoCanvas, Homesnap, goTenna, Huntress, NS8 and Passive Capital Management. Kathryn is a member of the Advisory Boards of the Smith School of Business and the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland. She is also a member of the Tech Commercialization Panel at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. She was recently honored as one of DCA Live’s Power Women of DC Tech and was also awarded the Angel Investor of the Year by the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship. Prior to Cranbrook Capital, Kathryn was Managing Director, Institutional Equity Sales, at Baltimore based Alex. Brown/Deutsche Bank. She holds an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Michigan State University.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

4:30 pm ET: Entrepreneurship, Innovation & COVID-19 Alumni Panel moderated by Prof. Mauro Guillen

Join Professor Mauro Guillen, one of the most original thinkers at the Wharton School, as he moderates an online Alumni Panel discussion on Mauro Guilleninnovation and entrepreneurship in the time of the COVID-19. Prof. Guillen, the Zandman Professor in International Management, developed and leads Wharton’s largest class ever – “Epidemics, Natural Disasters, and Geopolitics: Managing Global Business and Financial Uncertainty.” An expert on global market trends, he is a sought-after speaker and consultant. He combines his training as a sociologist at Yale and as a business economist in his native Spain to methodically identify and quantify the most promising opportunities at the intersection of demographic, economic, and technological developments. His online classes on Coursera and edX have attracted over 100,000 participants from around the world. He has won multiple teaching awards at Wharton, where his presentation on global market trends has become a permanent feature of over fifty executive education programs annually.

Register here to attend the Alumni Panel and receive event login details.

A special thank you to Mauro Guillen and our Alumni Panel participants:

Davis Smith

Davis Smith, G’11, WG’11
Founder & CEO at Cotopaxi
Davis Smith is the Founder and CEO of Cotopaxi, an outdoor gear brand with a humanitarian mission. He is a member of the United Nations Foundation’s “Global Entrepreneurs Council” and a Presidential Leadership Scholar. Davis was Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s “CEO of the Year” in 2016 and previously started Baby.com.br, Brazil’s “Startup of the Year” in 2012. Davis holds an MBA from the Wharton School, an MA from the University of Pennsylvania, and a BA from BYU. Davis is an adventurer who has visited 70 countries. He has floated down the Amazon on a self-made raft, kayaked from Cuba to Florida, and explored North Korea.

 

Kathryn Stewart, WG’88
Founder & Managing Director at Cranbrook Capital
Kathryn Stewart

Kathryn Stewart is Founder and Managing Director of Cranbrook Capital, which invests in early-stage emerging tech-focused companies and in Venture Funds. Angel investments include Allstacks, CircleUp, Cybrary, GoCanvas, Homesnap, goTenna, Huntress, NS8 and Passive Capital Management.  Kathryn is a member of the Advisory Boards of the Smith School of Business and the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland. She is also a member of the Tech Commercialization Panel at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. She was recently honored as one of DCA Live’s Power Women of DC Tech and was also awarded the Angel Investor of the Year by the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship.  Prior to Cranbrook Capital, Kathryn was Managing Director, Institutional Equity Sales, at Baltimore based Alex. Brown/Deutsche Bank.  She holds an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Michigan State University.

Michael Vaughan, W’97
Former COO at Venmo and current EIR at Oak HC/FT

Michael Vaughan, former COO at Venmo, helped lead the business from six guys in an apartment in Philly in 2011 to 40 million active users, a $300 million annual revenue run rate and $100 billion in annual payments in 2019. As an operator over two decades, Michael has developed successful businesses across multiple industries, including three exits. Currently, as an EIR at Oak HC/FT, Michael is developing, advising, and investing in new fintech businesses. Independently, he is also working with more than 30 enterprise and consumer tech companies as a board member, advisor and/or angel investor.

5:30 pm ET: Awards Ceremony
following the Alumni Panel

Penn Wharton Entrepreneurship is grateful to Eric Aroesty C’92, whose generous donation supports the Penn Wharton Startup Challenge & Startup Showcase.

Please e-mail Cathy Ogur with questions.