By Marypatton S. Davis WG’16, Director of Marketing for the Business Plan Competition
On Wednesday, February 4, the Wharton Business Plan Competition announced this year’s twenty-five semifinalists. Roughly 300 judges sifted through 175 business plans in industries ranging from healthcare to technology to fitness, submitted by students from the undergraduate level to the Executive MBA level. These twenty-five business plans set out to solve a variety of problems: finding affordable renter’s insurance, optimizing businesses’ in-store operations, or even ordering a drink quickly at a bar. Check out the Semifinalists’ elevator pitches below to see the cool and innovative companies that could be coming out of UPenn soon!
Team Leader: Tom Austin WG’15
Team Member: Zack Stiefler WG’15
Bungalow Insurance is fixing the way we buy renters insurance by offering, for the first time ever, an easy-to-use platform where renters can get the protection they need.
Team Leader: Arun Villivalam WG’16 (WEMBA-West)
Team Members: Nick Prieto WG’16 (WEMBA-West), Shika Pappoe WG’16 (WEMBA-West), Tom Ronay WG’16 (WEMBA-West), Charlie Tseng WG’16 (WEMBA-West), Aravind Aluri WG’16 (WEMBA-West), Stephen Tahta WG’16 (WEMBA-West), Dan McDole WG’16 (WEMBA-West)
Curifi is an online marketplace that lowers costs significantly by bringing together high quality healthcare providers and facilities in a seamless way using technologically advanced custom algorithms. Our team has an incredible insight into how to bring a fresh, advanced, and efficient solution into the healthcare staffing industry.
Team Leader: David Fajgenbaum M’13/WG’15
Team Members: Grant Mitchell M’14/WG’14, Daniel van den Bergh WG’15, Greg Davis
Cure Accelerator (CA) is a centralized data repository and collaboration platform that collects clinically-actionable information on rare diseases to accelerate drug development and help patients to get the right drug based on thousands of aggregated cases.
Team Leader: David Trecker WG’15 (WEMBA-East)
EntrepreNourish repairs the $600B small business lending market by consolidating financing and customer acquisition into one process.
Team Leader: Aaron Goldstein W’16
Team Members: Collin Hill W’16, William Duckworth ENG’16, Becca Goldstein C’14
Fever Smart is a smart patch thermometer that allows you to monitor temperature continuously and remotely using your smartphone.
Team Leader: John Li ENG’07/W’07/WG’15
Team Member: Jeff Zhou WG’15
Fig (smalldollar.herokuapp.com) is a non-profit that provides small dollar, short-term loans to borrowers who otherwise would be payday, title or pawn loan customers. Fig loan bridges the gap between traditional credit options and predatory small-dollar products, offering a better alternative for good borrowers who have fallen on hard times.
Team Leader: Anastasia D’Orazio WG’16
Team Members: Matt McGuire WG’16, Sydney Shaffer, Rohan Joshi
A venture dedicated to bringing to market an innovation that uses RNA FISH to diagnose influenza in under 5 minutes.
Team Leader: Julia Kurnik WG’15
Team Member: Geoff Becker
FOCUS Foods’ urban aquaponics farm will be a self-sustaining symbiotic fish and produce system serving the local Philadelphia community.
Team Leader: Behrad Javed WG’15
Team Members: Priyanka Aggarwal WG’15, Emily Newkirk WG’15
From: Earth is a natural oral-care company offering consumers a suite of simple, effective, elegantly designed products that are gentle, chemical-free, and built with both consumers and the environment in mind. We offer a subscription service that delivers a suite of natural oral-care products to your doorstep for $5 per month.
Team Leader: Katlyn Grasso W’15
GenHERation© is a female empowerment network for high school girls. We provide girls the opportunity to work with national corporations and nonprofit organizations to develop their own advocacy campaigns to address community issues through our online platform.
Team Leader: Evan Glickman WG’16
Team Members: Mark Kozlowski WG’16, Kiran Pookote WG’16, Tyler Neal L’16
Ignite is a mobile bar ordering and crowdsource promotion app that will reduce wait times for drink orders and pay users to bring their friends to participating bars.
Team Leader: Neil Vangala WG’16
Team Members: Rishi Reddy WG’16
KidFoods is a revolutionary service that delivers healthy, affordable meals to children through a solution that is more convenient and comprehensive than any other product on the market.
Team Leader: Mayank Gandhi WG’15 (WEMBA-East)
Team Member: Patrick DellaValle C’02/WG’15 (WEMBA-East), Bryan Winther WG’15 (WEMBA-East)
Learn.Dev is a unified platform where the best existing eLearning content is curated across Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) platforms (Coursera), and delivered for corporate training needs. Unlike traditional providers, Learn.Dev is revolutionary in that it brings MOOCs to corporations, creating additional revenue and a new market for content creators.
My Best Friend’s Weekend
Team Leader: Tisha Vaidya WG’15
Team Member: Lauren Raouf WG’15
My Best Friend’s Weekend is a Wharton startup in the travel & hospitality space. Our mission is simple: being the maid of honor’s wing woman throughout the whole bachelorette planning process. We are a full-service concierge service focused on creating customized bachelorette weekend experiences. We started the company in March 2014 and formally launched in June 2014. To date we have planned 20 bachelorette party weekends across 12 cities.
Team Leader: David Coleman WG’16 (WEMBA-East)
Team Members: Greg Hagin WG’16 (WEMBA-East), Carolyn Kim WG’16 (WEMBA-East)
Phili is a universal philanthropic web based platform for donors. It engages new donors in the joy of giving; enables convenient giving for regular donors; and elevates the sophisticated donor experience. Phili uses micro transactions and free-to-play concepts to help established philanthropists invest in the next generation of philanthropic behavior.
Team Leader: Yash Kothari W’15
Team Member: Pranshu Maheshwari C’15/W’15
Prayas Analytics is an analytics solution that lets brick-and-mortar retailers run tests and optimize in-store operations. By collecting continuous data on store operations, we allow retailers to make changes to their in-store offering, similarly to how tools like Google Analytics allow websites to be optimized. All of the data is collected seamlessly by analyzing the video feeds from security cameras in the store.
Team Leader: Kristof Schum WG’16
Team Member: Adam Szekendi
Secrecity provides new experience by combining gaming and reality. Its escape game branch builds adventure facilities downtown. Its holography-based tour guide apps turn city tours into exciting discovery games. Finally, its platform branch enables scholars, marketers and friends to develop own applications, that harness the creative power of augmented reality.
Team Leader: Rel Lavizzo-Mourey WG’15 (WEMBA-West)
Team Members: Miriam Williams C’04/WG’15 (WEMBA-East), Pav Dharwarkar WG’15 (WEMBA-West)
Silver Lining is a double bottom line company that creates custom lined outerwear in collaboration with artists to highlight the idea that “It’s what’s inside that counts.”
Team Leader: Russell Warriner G’15/WG’15
Team Members: Dean Drizin WG’15, Martin Jonca C’06/WG’15, Jayson Tischler WG’15, Khushbu Rathi WG’15, Paul Baek G’15/WG’15, Scott Ugras C’10/GR’18, Xi Lian G’16/WG’16
For skiers of all ages and abilities who want a break from their ski boots, Sklippers are comfortable, lightweight, weatherproof and high-traction slip-on shoes that fold and fit conveniently in a jacket or pant pocket. Unlike ski boots, Sklippers are intended for casual wear while taking breaks on and off the mountain.
Team Leader: Patrick Byrne WG’15 (WEMBA-East)
Team Members: Mario Moreno WG’15 (WEMBA-East), Mayank Gandhi WG’15 (WEMBA-East), Nicolas Bar Armstrong WG’15 (WEMBA-East), James Byrne
Smart Pregnancy is a low cost, highly automated, personalized population health management program developed by nationally recognized obstetricians that is designed to improve outcomes and reduce the costs associated with pregnancy.
Team Leader: Tess Michaels C’15/W’15
Team Member: Natasha Doherty W’18
Soceana is a Software-as-a-Service technology platform that enables corporations to better manage and promote corporate social responsibility. Soceana’s corporate volunteerism tools enable skills-based matching, data metrics, and employee engagement through social media. Soceana bridges philanthropy and volunteerism using a patent-pending digital social good currency. Soceana’s SaaS platform integrates the internal CSR systems with a vibrant social media network generating social good of a higher order of magnitude.
Team Leader: Erica Sokol SPP’15
Team Members: Emily Zhen C’18/W’18, Danielle Graham C’10/M’16/WG’16
A nonprofit organization that empowers undergraduate college students to engage in meaningful volunteer experiences. The organization will provide resources, tools, and one-on-one advising to identified student leaders, and guide them in establishing chapters of our organization on their campus and initiating our meaningful, hands-on volunteer programs in the healthcare field. One such program is a Hospital Buddy Program (piloted in 2010), in which students are matched one-on-one with children in the hospital being treated for cancer. All programs will be student-run, with staff guidance.
Team Leader: Rajat Bhageria EE’18
Team Members: Ben Sandler C’18/ENG’18, David Ongchoco C’18, Joe Cappadona ENG’18
There are over 7 million blind Americans who are largely dependent on others. We believe in empowering the blind. Thus, we have built a Google Glass app that verbally tells visually impaired persons what they are looking at. Already, we have beta tested our product, been featured in international media, and have secured a partnership with the largest blind persons’ organization in America. Help us convert our vision to a reality. More at ThirdEyeGlass.com
Team Leader: Pearl Hou WG’15
Wellness Café’s mission is to bring Chinese consumers healthy and safe food and goodies made in the US. We aim at becoming China’s most trusted e-commerce site for premium health and wellness products and services.
Team Leader: Lisa Barnett C’11/WG’16
Team Member: Jonathan Sockol W’09/WG’16
Personal training is expensive. In Philadelphia, a trainer costs ~$80/hour, yet he/she takes home just ~25% of the fee. WeTrain creates efficiency by leveraging economies of scale. WeTrain is a mobile application that connects people with their social network to create small group training sessions. This increases trainer productivity by +50%, and cuts the consumer’s cost.
Bio: Marypatton is a first-year Wharton MBA focused in Entrepreneurial Management. She spent the last 2.5 years in East Africa where she ran an advertising agency, founded a yoga company, and saw a lot of giraffes. Learn more about her at MPisforMarypatton.com.