By Nadine Kavanaugh, Associate Director, Wharton Entrepreneurship
Slidejoy, founded by Sanghoon Kwak G’14/WG’14, Jaeho Chung alumnus, Robert Seo WG’12, has won the $30,000 Perlman Grand Prize at the 2014 Wharton Business Plan Competition. The prize was awarded at the Wharton School’s annual Venture Finals, May 1, 2014, where student finalists received more than $125,000 in combined cash prizes and in-kind legal/accounting services.
Slidejoy is an intelligent Android app that pays users to view beautifully designed ads every time they unlock their phones. Sanghoon Kwak, Jaeho Chung, and Robert Seo explained that over time Slidejoy learns the preferences of a user based off of previous behaviors during different times of day and at different locations and curates a more profitable and relevant user experience. Users are paid between $5-$15 per month for using Slidejoy.
In the three months since the app has launched, Slidejoy has achieved great success, with over 20,000 app downloads and over 26 million ad impressions delivered. Initial advertisers and merchants include Sephora, Groupon, Best Buy, Target, Adidas, J. Crew, and Macy’s. While Slidejoy is currently on available to Android phone users, an iOS version is expected by fall 2014.
The Venture Finals, which is the year-long Wharton BPC’s culminating event, attracted nearly 300 venture capitalists, business leaders, faculty members and students. This year the competition had a record-setting 181 venture concepts submitted, with 492 individual participants. While the Venture Finals judges deliberated the top three prizes, the “Great Eight” finalist teams competed for the Michelson People’s Choice Award which allowed the audience of hundreds to vote for their favorite elevator pitch. The crowd favorite was PhaseOptics, which walked away with a $3,000 prize.
The 2014 Wharton Business Plan Competition winners are:
- Perlman Grand Prize: $30,000 and $15,000 in in-kind legal and accounting services to Slidejoy
- Second Prize: $15,000 and $15,000 in in-kind legal and accounting services to PhaseOptics
- Third Prize: $10,000 and $15,000 in in-kind legal and accounting services to VeryApt
- Wharton Social Impact Prize: $10,000 to Dana Cita
- Gloeckner Undergraduate Award: $10,000 for the highest ranking Wharton undergraduate team to Black Box Denim
- Michelson People’s Choice Award: $3,000 to PhaseOptics
- Committee Award for Most Disruptive Company: $1,000 to Senvol
- Committee Award for Best Use of Technology: $1,000 to Identified Technologies
- Committee Award for Committee’s Choice: $1,000 to Command Health
Over the years, the Wharton Business Plan Competition, which is open to any University of Pennsylvania student and managed by Wharton Entrepreneurship, has seen numerous student teams go on to become successful businesses. Previous participants in the Competition include ventures such as eyeglass phenom Warby Parker, dominant Brazilian baby e-commerce site Baby.com.br, and drug R&D company Integral Molecular.
Venture Finals WBPC judges are:
- David Cohen (PAR’14/PAR’16/PAR’17), CEO, Chief Investment Officer and Co-founder, Karlin Asset Management, Inc.
- Doug Given, MD (WG’93), Advisor, Bay City Capital
- Marc Magliacano (W’96), Partner, Catterton Partners
- Richard Perlman (W’68), Founder & Executive Chairman, ExamWorks Group, Inc.
- Kathryn Stewart (WG’88/PAR’12/PAR’17), Managing Director, J. Moore Partners