Am I ready for VIP?

VIP is a group of three incubators that exists to help students as they build businesses. It is open to all students at the University of Pennsylvania.



VIP-Community is an incubator that provides the community, support, and resources you need to grow your startup. For VIP-C, we are looking for:

  • A basic understanding of entrepreneurship concepts
  • A well-thought-through venture concept
  • Measurable objectives that you are planning to reach while in the program.
  • A team with all vital expertise (e.g. a tech venture must have technical talent, a restaurant venture needs restaurant experience on the team, etc.)
  • In addition: We like to see students move on from “thinking” to “doing,” although that can be manifested in myriad different ways (e.g., talking with potential customers, developing a website, surveys, networking with others in the industry area, etc.)

While in the program, students are expected to work on their ventures to reach set objectives and develop a product or service, market, and team.

Applications to VIP-C are accepted on a rolling basis.


Once per semester, the VIP committee will conduct assessments to select VIP-C ventures for VIP-X. VIP-Xcelerate is an intense 4 month accelerator program for students who have made progress in developing their venture by actively participating in VIP-C programming, and who have reached their objectives.

The goal of VIP-X is to help students have an operational businesses by the end of the term. Once your VIP-X term is complete, your venture will graduate, but you can continue to engage with VIP-C.

The application process for VIP-X is highly competitive. 

Questions about VIP-C or VIP-X? Sign up for a Start Here Monday session with a member of our knowledgeable staff, or email Valentina Goutorova.

San Francisco


VIP-SF is an accelerator open to currently enrolled Penn students and alumni entrepreneurs who are developing their own ventures. The team must be based in the San Francisco/Bay Area during their time in VIP-SF.

For VIP-SF, we are looking for:
  • Knowledge of business fundamentals
  • Validated product-market fit
  • Measurable traction
  • Necessary expertise on the team

The application process for VIP-SF is highly competitive. 

Applications are open twice a year, in spring and fall. The next application cycle opens Spring 2019.

Questions about VIP-SF? Email the San Francisco team.