The Penn Wharton Innovation Fund Investment Team is responsible for reviewing applications and making funding decisions. The Investment Team members were selectedfor their diverse backgrounds and expertise so that applicants can receive substantive feedback. New applicants to the Investment Team will be considered at the beginning of each school year.
Cindy Berman C’12, WG’20 is the Penn Advisor for Xfund, a San Francisco based VC fund, sourcing and recommending investments. As a Pre-MBA Associate at Story Ventures, a NYC VC, she evaluated 50+ investments. Cindy is an active angel investor with investments including Nectar Sleep. She worked in B2B and B2C roles at startups and established companies, including Equity Research at HSBC and Product Management at American Express. She implemented early stage marketing at Nanit, a VC backed startup (backed by Upfront Ventures/RRE). At Macy’s, as a Marketing Manager, Cindy led the launch of Apple’s partnership. Cindy graduated from the University of Pennsylvania.
Matias Porras Paniagua GR’23 graduated from MIT with a degree in chemical-biological engineering. Afterward, Matias was an analyst in Genentech’s operations leadership development program while pursuing a master’s degree in Management Science & Engineering at Stanford. At Genentech, Matias developed the global ten-year manufacturing supply forecast for the $8 billion hematology franchise, led the recommissioning of milling equipment for GMP manufacturing at a new production site, and employed machine learning methods to predict clearance problems in products in the pipeline. Currently, he is a third year Ph.D. student in the department of Bioengineering, and is interested in developing novel cellular therapies for oncology and neurodegenerative applications.
Matt Baker WG’20 grew up in New York City and graduated magna cum laude from Brown University with a B.A. in Economics while simultaneously completing the pre-med requirements. After graduation, he analyzed the healthcare industry from financial perspectives – advising clients in investment banking and investing across subsectors in private equity. His long-term goal is to help improve patient outcomes, which he will pursue by proactively identifying and investing in companies that are promoting efficiency and driving results. Outside of work, he is passionate about skiing, exploring cultures through cuisine, and Michigan Wolverine sports (his wife’s alma mater).
Daniel Dozark WG’20 is an MBA candidate at The Wharton School focused on Finance and Business Analytics. He spent the last four years at J.P. Morgan, most recently as an investment associate uncovering tactical investment opportunities for his institutional clients focusing on technology, financials and the consumer. He has experience helping clients identify and mitigate risks within their businesses using hedges in the foreign exchange and interest rate markets. Daniel obtained his BA in Economics from Northwestern University. A certified yoga teacher, he loves practicing yoga and also thinking about how technology can improve the fitness, health and wellness industries.
Olivia Jew M’20, WG’20 is currently a dual degree student at the Perelman School of Medicine and Wharton and is passionate about identifying ways of harnessing technology to improve efficiency and access to health care. Olivia was born and raised in San Francisco, attended Stanford University, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in Human Biology. While at Stanford, she interned at HealthTap, completed an honors thesis in regenerative medicine, and mentored younger students in human biology as a student advisor. In a gap year before medical school, she taught human biology to sophomores full-time. At Penn Med, she helped pilot the first teledermatology mobile app at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and she served on the board of the student group Penn HealthX and provided guidance for several startups in the incubator.
Ariel Karwat NU’18, GNU’20 is a Master’s of Nursing student at the University of Pennsylvania. Her interests lie in the integration of health and technology to advance healthcare delivery. She currently assists the Director of Innovation at the School of Nursing in developing its first course on Design Thinking for health, and promoting nurse innovation on campus. Additionally, she works as a project intern at Penn’s Center for Healthcare Innovation. Prior to nursing school, she worked as a Clinical Research Coordinator at UCSF, helping run over 15 Phase I-III breast oncology treatment trials. She received a B.S in Psychobiology from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Ethan Kellough IPD’21 is a student in the Masters of Integrated Product Design program, jointly offered by Penn Engineering, Wharton, and Penn Design. This makes him an expert in the process of designing products at the intersection of technical feasibility, user desirability, and market viability. He has a deep technical expertise in a number of different fields and has also held roles in business strategy and analysis. He is passionate about the power that design and entrepreneurship have to disrupt the status quo and drive positive cultural and societal change. Ethan received his Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Leadership and Innovation Certificate at the University of Western Ontario where he was awarded the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering Gold Medal. His portfolio is available at ethankellough.com.
Simone Kendle WG’21 is a 1Y at the Wharton School, concentrating in Entrepreneurship & Innovation. She grew up in a military family, but settled in Texas where she received her BA in Operations and Supply Chain Management from the University of North Texas. Prior to Wharton, Simone worked at Capital One, performing an array of roles, including Project/Process Management, People Leadership, and most recently curated CX insights for optimizing customer-centric decision making across the Bank and its Executive Leadership Team. Simone has also launched two businesses, Venita Hair Boutique, a hair extension company that benefited women battling cancer, and most recently Life Is Content, an educational platform that teaches Social Media Influencers to curate content, form partnerships with leading brands, and use analytics to maximize audience engagement.
Ryan Kramer WG’21 is an MBA candidate at The Wharton School focused on Entrepreneurship and Finance. Prior to Wharton, he spent the last five years serving as an Acquisitions Officer in the United States Air Force where he built partnerships and established contracts for advanced military technology development. He has experience in strategy and product management in areas including unmanned aircraft technology and most recently, in the emerging field of space technology and satellite defense. Ryan obtained his BS in Management from the United States Air Force Academy in 2014 where he was a member of both the baseball team and men’s golf team.
Samantha Linn W’22 is a sophomore at The Wharton School concentrating in Finance and Management/Entrepreneurship. She has been a Fellow in the Penn Wharton Venture Initiation Program and has served as an intern for Clove, a venture backed startup developing shoes designed specifically for nurses. Previously, Samantha was an intern at 7Wire Ventures, an investment firm focused on empowering the informed connected healthcare consumer. Samantha serves as treasurer for Cogwell, a club that promotes and teaches active listening among peers on campus. Samantha is from the suburbs of Chicago, IL and enjoys running, yoga, and playing soccer.
Antonio “Luc” Paladino W’21 is currently a junior pursuing a Finance and Management concentration at the Wharton School. Before attending Wharton, Luc went to Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School, where he played football and lacrosse and grew up in the small town of Lafayette Hill, a suburb of Philadelphia. He has worked in a wide range of industries such as Fintech, Wealth Management, and Venture Capital. His main interests include fostering his startup idea, playing/watching sports, investing in the stock market and spending time with friends and family.
Rima Reddy WG’21 is an MBA Candidate at The Wharton School focused on Entrepreneurship & Innovation and Marketing. In addition to PWIF, Rima works as a Fellow for Pear VC and as a Venture Consultant for the Snider Center. Prior to Wharton, Rima was the Principal at XRC Labs, an NYC-based consumer/retail accelerator and fund. At XRC, Rima led the startup sourcing and diligence process to select and invest in 20 startups a year from over 1000 reviewed. Rima has also held roles in Strategy and Business Development at Ralph Lauren and in Equity Research at Goldman Sachs. Rima is a graduate of Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University, where she double majored in Economics and Finance, and of Parsons School for Design, where she majored in Fashion Marketing.
Steve Shan M’23 is currently a first year medical student at the Perelman School of Medicine. He was born and raised in Hangzhou, China. He attended Penn as an undergrad and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in computational biology. While at Penn, Steve has been involved in CAR-T immunotherapy research and is interested in using computational methods to understand the complexity of immune response in cancer patients. Besides cancer, he is passionate about new medical technologies in general. He has interned in a medical AI company and is currently involved in a research project for Humana digital health. Outside of work, he is passionate about skiing, photography and exploring different cultures through traveling.
Thilan Tudor M’23 is an MD candidate at the Perelman School of Medicine and is passionate about healthcare and biotechnology innovation. Originally born and raised in the Toronto area, Thilan moved to Vermont to attend Middlebury College where he earned his BA in Molecular Biology & Biochemistry and Economics. Prior to medical school, Thilan learned about the intersection of valuation, operations, and strategic growth from his consulting work at Trinity Partners, corporate development experience at Intrexon Corporation, and equity research training at Goldman Sachs.
Coco Wenfei Wang W’21 was 15 when she became the CEO of her non-profit organization, Target Alpha, which provides complimentary financial literacy education to students in Canada. In her time as CEO, the organization became a federally-recognized organization, reached 6500+ students, and raised $3000+. March of this year, her company, Agrigate, was selected from 100,000+ applicants as finalists at HULT Prize Singapore and HULT Prize Ivy. She is currently working on her startup Candid Beauty which is launching in a few weeks. As she explores various entrepreneurship avenues, she wants to continue building her beauty startup.
Deniz Yilmaz W’21 is a Joseph Wharton Scholar studying Finance, Statistics and Engineering Entrepreneurship. She grew up in Istanbul, Turkey where she started her social business, El Emegi, which provided jobs for 10,000 rural women in the country’s Anatolian region, while still in high school. In past years, she has worked at Muhammad Yunus’s Think Tank in Dhaka, Bangladesh, to help advise and scale local social businesses. In addition, she has interned in various hedge funds, and has been exploring different entrepreneurship avenues. She is the current president of Wharton Retail Club, and she works with startups and does industry research through her involvement in the PEVC Club and Weiss Tech House. She is passionate about the food tech, retail and ecommerce industries. Deniz served in her home country’s national equestrian team, and in her free time, she loves cooking, traveling, skiing and discovering new restaurants.