By Megan Mitchell, Senior Associate Director, Wharton Entrepreneurship
It has been an exciting winter for the Wharton Business Plan Competition! First, there is the big news that Richard Perlman (W’68) and his wife Ellen have endowed the Competition’s grand prize with a $1.65 million gift! In addition to sponsoring, in perpetuity, The Perlman Prize, the gift will provide operational support to the competition. More about the Perlmans and their gift is contained in this week’s press release.
The Wharton Business Plan Competition has also received financial support this year from The Gary Karlin Michelson MD Charitable Foundation (Platinum Sponsor and supporter of the People’s Choice Award), Digital Catalyst Fund (Gold Sponsor) and FOUNDER.org (Silver Sponsor). It is fantastic to have so many great organizational partners on board this year!
We just closed Phase II submissions on Friday, January 25. Phase II is the first competitive round of the competition and teams are evaluated on the idea/market opportunity, revenue projections and execution plan. More than 140 teams submitted plans in Phase II. The 355 participants come from schools across the University of Pennsylvania, including: Design, Law, Medical, Nursing, Engineering (grad and undergrad), the College (grad and undergrad), Social Policy and Practice, and Wharton (grad, undergrad, Exec MBA East and Exec MBA San Francisco). Wharton Entrepreneurship strives to enable entrepreneurship across Penn, so it is always rewarding to see so many students from across the University participating in and benefiting from the competition.
A record number of more than 190 volunteer judges (alumni and friends of Wharton Entrepreneurship) are in the midst of reviewing competitors’ submissions, and the twenty-five semi-finalists will be announced in mid-February. I’ll be back on the blog to update everyone about the top teams then!