Awards & Fellowships

Startup Funding

Penn Wharton Innovation Fund

The Penn Wharton Innovation Fund provides seed funding to innovative, scalable startups founded by Penn students, faculty, staff, and even recent alumni. It seeks to stimulate creative thinking about big problems.

Startup Internship Award

Available to: Penn rising Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors, First Year MBAs, select Penn Grad students

Wharton Entrepreneurship’s Startup Internship Award is awarded to students who will spend the summer interning at a startup and who demonstrate both a commitment to entrepreneurship at Penn and to pursuing an entrepreneurial career. The objective of this award is to provide financial support for students who would be making a financial sacrifice by taking unpaid or underpaid summer internships at startup companies.

Summer Venture Award

The Summer Venture Award (SVA) of $10,000 is intended to assist students financially over the summer in lieu of full-time internships so that they can concentrate on developing their entrepreneurial ventures. Winners are required to work on their ventures full-time over the summer.

Eligibility: available to Penn and Wharton undergraduate Juniors,  First-Year MBA Students, and Penn graduate students in their last internship period. SVA cannot be combined with any other cash award given for the same purpose (e.g., the Jacobson Venture Award). An existing business is only eligible if before the start of the current academic year it has received less than $100,000 in institutional funding. Institutional funding includes any funding from angel investors, VCs (any stage, including seed) and/or accelerator/incubator programs.

Application Process: deadline for submission is February 15. Finalists will be announced on March 16 and will be required to pitch to a panel of judges on March 31. Learn more about the application process here.

Questions? Email Valentina Goutorova.

Funding for this award is provided in part by the generosity of The Heller Family Foundation.

Awards for Program Participants

Gloeckner Award - Startup Challenge

Available to: Undergraduates

Application Process: Awarded to the highest ranking Undergraduate team competing in the Startup Challenge.

Awarded each year in conjunction with the Startup Challenge, this award of $10,000 supports the best business plan by an undergraduate team in entrepreneurial management. The Gloeckner Award will be given to the highest-ranking Wharton undergraduate team in the Startup Challenge. At least 50% of the team must be made up of Wharton undergraduate students. The team must reach the semi-finals (the top 25) and submit a deck for consideration as a finalist.

Check the Startup Challenge website for information on the competition and award winners.

If no team meets these criteria, the Award will be given at the discretion of Wharton Entrepreneurship.

Sol C. Snider Seed Award - VIP-X

Dedicated seed funding for members of VIP-X.

Emil K. Woods Award - VIP-X and VIP-SF

Dedicated seed funding for members of VIP-X  and VIP-SF who have made significant progress in their ventures.

Academic Awards

Loveman Award

Available to: Undergraduates

Application Process: based upon GPA.

Each year the Loveman Award, a cash prize of $1000, is given to the student(s) with the highest cumulative GPA graduating with a Specialization in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Winners are notified in the spring.

Ian C. MacMillan Award For Excellence in Research & Leadership

Available to: Undergraduates

Application Process: based upon discretion of the Sol C. Snider Research Center

This award is for an outstanding undergraduate who has worked as a research assistant at the Snider Entrepreneurial Research Center for at least 2 years. The recipient must be able to demonstrate creative abilities in doing Internet and library research, data compilation and data analysis. This individual must also demonstrate strong leadership qualities, especially while working with team members and the willingness to take the extra step in pursuing various research projects. Candidates will be selected from the Snider Entrepreneurial Research Center’s team of Research Assistants.

The Edward B. Shils/Leonard L. Zeidman Fellowships in Entrepreneuship

Available to: MBA Students

Application Process: based upon discretion of the MBA Financial Aid Office

The Shils-Zeidman Fellowships in Entrepreneurship are awarded by Wharton Entrepreneurship annually to select incoming MBA students from under-represented US minority groups, developing countries, and Israel who have financial need and an intent to study entrepreneurship. Up to $10,000 is awarded to entering first-year students who meet eligibility criteria and demonstrate a commitment to entrepreneurship in their admissions essays. Fellowships are renewable in the second year of the MBA program contingent on good academic standing.