Wharton Entrepreneurship Leverages Social Media

By Jill Anick

For the past three years, Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs has been building our social media presence on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. While WEP has been active on these platforms since the summer of 2009, it is since the summer of 2010, when I joined the team, that we’ve had a staff member (me!) dedicated to using social media to promote entrepreneurship at The Wharton School and the University of Pennsylvania.

There are a number of reasons why WEP chose to become active on these platforms, but for me, the most important one is to let the world know all the amazing things the Wharton and Penn student and alumni entrepreneurs are doing! It’s incredibly exciting when one of our Facebook posts or tweets about a student/alumni accomplishment is picked up by the wider university community, entrepreneurial advocates in the Philadelphia region, or even the media.

Each day, I spend time combing through Twitter, Facebook, and Google Alerts, publications like TechCrunch, Mashable, the WSJ, the NYT, Technically Philly, VentureBeat, and really, any place where I think a mention of Wharton & Penn entrepreneurs might be. Of course, to truly cover (almost) everything takes a team effort, and the rest of the team here at WEP, as well as the Wharton and Penn Communications offices, MBA Career Management, current students and alums active on social media, and some of our partners in the region, like Quorum at the University City Science Center, are instrumental in making sure I can cover as much as possible.

It’s great to post about student and alumni venture launches, awards and mentions in the press and industry blogs. What’s also fun is when students or alums recognize the hard work of their peers and put their own personal spin on what we post. I really like the following example of this from back in March 2011. An alum, @khetwoman, tweeted about how happy she was to see all the entrepreneurial activity happening at Wharton:












Then, another alum Adriano Blanaru WG’10 (@ablanaru), sent this tweet:












If you think back to what was happening in March 2011, you might remember that this was when actor Charlie Sheen’s comments about “winning” were trending all over social media. Adriano’s use of the #winning hashtag to promote Wharton entrepreneurs was clever, funny, and a bit irreverent – and we loved it! The link he included was to a question on Quora about interesting startups coming out of Wharton (which is still active so take a look and add any that you know should be included).

We hope our activity on the various social media sites will continue to enrich and grow Wharton & Penn’s entrepreneurial community, both here on campus and wherever our alums are located. We’re always excited to hear about the entrepreneurial pursuits of students and alums so don’t hesitate to contact me through Twitter or Facebook or by email at wep@wharton.upenn.edu to tell me about your venture– I look forward to hearing from you!