May 02, 2020
Watch online live as the 8 Finalist Teams in the Penn Wharton Startup Challenge pitch their new ventures to a distinguished panel of alumni judges and compete for $130K in cash and in-kind awards. The Penn Wharton Startup Challenge & Showcase is generously sponsored by Eric Aroesty, C’92.
Thank you to this year’s Finals Judges:
Bikram Bakshi, WG’05: Bikram Bakshi is a seasoned CEO, innovator, and entrepreneur based in the Washington, DC area. His most recent venture – QSSI – rose to prominence as an iconic health technology business that led the turnaround of healthcare.gov and built critical components of health insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act. QSSI was acquired by United Health Group in 2012. Subsequently as a member of the Office of the CEO for Optum, United Health’s services arm, Bikram ran the government business and helped establish Optum as a premier partner to Medicare, Medicaid, Military and Veteran Health. Prior to that Bikram led Optum’s international business across Europe, Asia, Australia, and South America.
Mona Bijoor, C’98, WG’05: Mona Bijoor is a partner at King Circle Capital LLC, an investment and advisory firm, where she has holdings in real estate, franchises, start-ups, and online businesses. Mona is also the founder of JOOR, the premier online global B2B marketplace for wholesale buying that directly connects brands and retailers. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with an MBA from the Wharton School of Business, Mona lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two daughters. She is the Amazon best selling author of Startups and Downs, The Secrets of Resilient Entrepreneurs and a frequent contributor to TechCrunch, Entrepreneur, and Thrive Global.
Jenny Lefcourt, W’91: Jenny Lefcourt is a General Partner at Freestyle (early-stage VC firm). Freestyle is an SF-based firm whose investments include Airtable, Intercom, Patreon, Narvar, Digit, BetterUp, and many others. She is also a founding member of All Raise, a non-profit dedicated to increasing diversity in funders and founders in tech. Prior to Freestyle, she co-founded WeddingChannel.com (sold: KNOT) and Bella Pictures (sold: CPI). She also angel invested and/or advised companies such as Discord, MainStreetHub, Minted, and StyleSeat. Jenny also attended the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Kathryn Stewart, WG’88: Kathryn Stewart is Founder and Managing Director of Cranbrook Capital, which invests in early stage emerging tech focused companies and in Venture Funds. Angel investments include Allstacks, CircleUp, Cybrary, GoCanvas, Homesnap, goTenna, Huntress, NS8 and Passive Capital Management. Kathryn is a member of the Advisory Boards of the Smith School of Business and the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland. She is also a member of the Tech Commercialization Panel at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. She was recently honored as one of DCA Live’s Power Women of DC Tech and was also awarded the Angel Investor of the Year by the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship. Prior to Cranbrook Capital, Kathryn was Managing Director, Institutional Equity Sales, at Baltimore based Alex. Brown/Deutsche Bank. She holds an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Michigan State University.