Summer Venture Award Frequently Asked Questions

When does the 2021 Summer Venture Award application open and where can I apply?

  • The 2021 Summer Venture Award (SVA) applications will open on Friday, December 11, 2020 (12:01 am ET)
  • The SVA application will be available on Venture Lab’s SurveyMonkey Apply page.

What is the deadline to submit my 2021 Summer Venture Award application?

  • The deadline to submit completed 2021 Summer Venture Award applications is Monday, February 8, 2021 by 11:59 PM

Who is eligible to apply for the Summer Venture Award?

  • Wharton/Penn undergraduate students are eligible to use the award between the junior and senior years of the undergraduate program.
  • Wharton MBAs are eligible to use the award between the first and second years of the MBA program.  Other Penn graduate students are eligible to use the award during the summer before their final year at Penn.
  • SVA cannot be combined with any other cash award given for the same purpose (e.g., the Jacobson Venture Award).
  • An existing business is only eligible if before the start of the current academic year it has received less than $100,000 in institutional funding. Institutional funding includes any funding from angel investors, VCs (any stage, including seed) and/or accelerator/incubator programs.
  • Students must be in good academic standing at Wharton/Penn.
  • Students must be committed to working full-time to develop the venture over the summer after receiving the award.
  • Students must agree to the terms and conditions of the award.

What needs to be provided along with the Summer Venture Award application?

Students must have a well-developed venture concept.  Applications require the submission of the following:

  • Slide deck – 10-20 slides covering the following topics:
    • The leadership of the company
    • Your product or service
    • Your target customer
    • The problem you are solving for your customer
    • How you plan to reach your customers
    • Competition
    • Market opportunity; sales and marketing plan
    • Financial projections
    • Current status of the venture and major milestones to be completed over the summer
  • Essay describing your entrepreneurial achievements, short-term and long-term entrepreneurial career goals, and plans for utilizing the awards funds (2 pages max)
  • Resumes for the Founder/Co-founder
  • Elevator Pitch Video The video can be an “elevator pitch” or simply a description in your own words of your venture concept. It should be no more than 2 minutes long.
    • Please make sure that the video is set to public, and therefore viewable by our selection committee. Videos that are set to private or password protected cannot be seen and thus could result in your team’s disqualification for an incomplete application.

Who determines which ventures will be selected as finalists?

  • Award winners will be chosen by a selection committee of Penn/Wharton alumni entrepreneurs, VCs, and other professionals.
  • The specific selection committee members will be announced along with the announcement of the 2021 SVA finalists.

When will I know if I’ve been selected as a Summer Venture Award Finalist?

  • 2021 Summer Venture Award Finalists will be announced on Friday, March 26, 2021

Once finalists are selected, what then?

  • Finalists for the award will be required to pitch their ventures virtually to the selection committee as part of the selection process on Friday, April 9, 2021.

If I have any other questions, is there someone I can reach out to?

  • For any questions regarding the Summer Venture Award, please reach out to Xavier Stewart, Associate Director – Venture Lab