$400,000+ from Wharton Entrepreneurship to Student Entrepreneurs

By Nadine Kavanaugh, Associate Director, Wharton Entrepreneurship

At Wharton Entrepreneurship, we believe in putting our money where our values are.


We know that entrepreneurship is a complex path, full of twists and turns, successes and failures, brilliant right choices and frustrating mistakes. We believe in putting money in the hands of our student entrepreneurs so that they can claim this path for themselves, owning both the successes and the mistakes. That’s why we gave away $401,750 to student entrepreneurs in the past year in grants, prizes, and in-kind services. And we didn’t take a cent of equity in return.

There’s a lot more to supporting student entrepreneurs than handing them checks, of course. We offer workshops and competitions; networking receptions and one-on-one sessions with alumni; stipends to supplement summer earnings and awards that allow some students to skip the internship altogether and spend the summer working on their startups—all this and constant cheerleading and commiseration, as required.

These are all great resources, and we work hard to provide them and to make them as useful as they can be. Students tell us over and over how much these connections and validations mean. But at the same time that we’re spending money on their behalf, running these programs, we also know that it’s crucial to allow students to spend money themselves. This is why we give so many awards, and give them to students at various points in their entrepreneurial endeavors: because our mission is to “enable entrepreneurship at Penn,” and while money cannot substitute for inspiration, hard work, or tenacity, it is a great enabler.

To learn more about all the awards Wharton Entrepreneurship gives, click here.

For information about the Wharton Business Plan Competition, click here.

Want to apply to join the Venture Initiation Program? Click here.

Finally, many of these grants and prizes were made possible by our generous sponsors and donors. We thank them for putting their money where their values are as well, and supporting our amazing student entrepreneurs.

Join them by clicking here to donate to Wharton Entrepreneurship.