By Nadine Kavanaugh, Associate Director, Wharton Entrepreneurship
The beginning of the school year is always an exciting time on campus. Students return, and suddenly Locust Walk is again crowded with people and leaflets, lines at the bookstore wend through the building, and we at Wharton Entrepreneurship put the finishing touches on the semester’s programming. We can’t wait to see new faces (and welcome back familiar ones) in our WE Weds workshops, WBPC info sessions, and VIP application pool.
We’re especially excited because the Class of 2016 is already incredibly entrepreneurial. We can’t wait to see what amazing startups they’ll start.
This year, 5% of the class has prior entrepreneurship experience. This includes Ekshita Kumar WG’16, who founded Hachicko, an “educational firm working on developing interactive educational software and games for children around the world.” Also Henrique Setton WG’16, founder of Silicon House, which “offers the ability to immerse yourself in the culture and community of Silicon Valley.” Having already accomplished so much, who knows what these two, and their classmates, will do next—especially with Wharton Entrepreneurship to help.
In addition, 82 students in the Class of 2016 have held significant roles at startups—that’s up from just over 30 last year. So we know they’ve got the startup bug.
The biggest jump is in the percentage of the class who plan to start their own company after Wharton: a whopping 23% (that’s 203 students, more than double the number in last year’s class). We look forward to a lifetime of supporting these dynamic individuals as they pursue the often complex career path of entrepreneurship, whether they launch their first businesses the day before graduation or 25 years after.
We hope that the Class of 2016—and all entrepreneurial members of the Penn community—quickly find their way to Wharton Entrepreneurship’s many programs, contests, and awards. After all, Enabling Entrepreneurship at Penn is what we do. And it looks like this is going to be a busy year.