By Nadine Kavanaugh, Associate Director, Wharton Entrepreneurship
Every year, Wharton Entrepreneurship goes through the bittersweet process of seeing our students graduate. We’ve watched them come up with a venture concept, do research, cold-call industry leaders, write plans, change plans, find co-founders, chat up alumni, have disagreements with co-founders, scrap venture concepts completely come up with new ideas, plan these out based on better research with new partners, launch their business, raise funds, pivot… and on and on. The entrepreneurial life is one of many twists and turns, a unique journey for every person who engages in it.
We’ve done our best to help along the way, with workshops, classes, competitions, awards, programs, and sometimes just a sympathetic ear.
So we can’t help getting a little misty eyed when our students graduate. Whether they go on to use their entrepreneurial skills to launch their own companies or transform existing corporations from within, we know that the students who come through Wharton Entrepreneurship are going to make their mark in the world and impact on the economy.
We wish the best to every student graduating this weekend, and at this auspicious moment when our grads are heading out into the wide world, we thought we’d mention a few who have already gotten some great external validation there:
Evan Rosenbaum W’14, co-founder of Blend:
- Blend, a college-exclusive app, lets students share unique experiences and get free stuff from their favorite brands.
- Blend raised $2.7M in seed funding.
Divya Dhar WG’14 and Lane Rettig WG’14/G’14, co-founders of Seratis:
- Seratis is a team transparency platform that enables care coordination for healthcare providers. Unlike pagers and simple secure messaging software, Seratis captures the patient-centric context of each message, enabling powerful analytics.
- 2nd place in the Verizon Powerful Answers Award, which came with a prize of $850,000.
- DreamIt Health; $42,000 in seed capital.
- Pilots sites in Texas at the Solara Hospital and, coming soon, at Penn Medicine in the psychiatric unit.
Zach Simkin C’06/WG’14 and Annie Wang C’06/G’13/WG’13, co-founders of Senvol:
- Senvol works with manufacturers and analyzes their industrial parts. Using its proprietary algorithm, Senvol determines which of these parts can be more cost-effectively made using additive manufacturing (3D printing) versus the status quo. Senvol’s algorithm analyzes the entire supply chain and factors in secondary costs such as inventory, downtime, and shipping.
- Senvol won the “NYC Next Idea” Global New Venture Competition, which came with a prize of $35,000, office space, and business services to assist them in launching their venture in New York City.
Justin Sapolsky W’08/WG’14 and Nicole Capp WG’14, co-founders of Matt & Marie’s:
- Matt & Marie’s is a modern Italian sandwich store, bringing great food and hospitality elements of fine dining to an efficient fast service setting.
- Matt & Marie’s is in the process of building their first store; they plan to open in summer 2014.
Well done, 2014 graduates! We know we’ll see many more successes from each and every one of you. Keep in touch, and come to the networking events—next year’s students will want to meet you.