Test – Penn Wharton Innovation Fund

Early stage ventures welcome!

Applications are due once a month, on the second Friday of the month

First round awards are up to $1500
Returning awards are up to $5000

Questions? Contact Ann Miller

A “Catalyst to Stimulate Innovation”

The Penn Wharton Innovation Fund (PWIF) was endowed by Alberto Vitale WG’59, who hopes that it will be “a catalyst to stimulate innovation at the School and to surface the brainpower of its students.”

We’re looking for projects that will accomplish real change in the world, innovations that disrupt the usual way of doing business, ideas that will, when brought to fruition, have true impact. If this describes your startup, then apply now.


  • Current Students, Faculty, Staff and Alumni are encouraged to apply.
  • Declined applicants are welcome to reapply at any time
  • Award applicants may also reapply for multiple rounds of funding.
  • International students are eligible. They must submit additional documentation.
  • You may apply more than once, with the same venture or a different venture.
    • If you need continued support for your venture, you can apply for a second or third round of funding up but must show progress and results and follow ALL reporting deadlines.
  • You are only eligible for PWIF funding, if the majority of the team is Penn affiliated or the Founder/CEO is Penn affiliated.

Selection Process

  • Applications for the PWIF are reviewed by the PWIF Investment Team, which is made up of Penn students.
  • Applications are reviewed on a monthly basis from September to April.
    • Deadlines are on the Second Friday of the month.  From there your application is assigned to the PWIF Investment Team for review. The Investment Team will determine which applications will be discussed in our monthly decision meeting held on the Last Friday of the Month.  All awards decisions will be disseminated on the following Monday.
  • We evaluate ventures on:
    • Originality of Innovation
    • Scalability/impact
    • Viability/practicality
    • Usefulness
    • The development process (team and strategy)
Application Deadline Review Date Notice Date
September 15, 2017 September 28, 2017 October 2, 2017
October 13, 2017 October 26, 2017 October 30, 2017
November 10, 2017 November 30, 2017 December 4, 2017
January 12, 2018 January 25, 2018 January 29, 2018
February 9, 2018 February 22, 2018 February 26, 2018
March 16, 2018 March 29, 2018 April 2, 2018
April 13, 2018 April 25, 2018 April 30, 2018


  • First time applicants must complete an online application which includes the following short questions and requirements:
    • Brief description of your venture
    • How is your project innovative?
    • How is your project scalable?
    • Who are your competitors and how is your project different?
    • Next Milestone – What do you hope to accomplish with your award?
    • When will the next milestone be completed?
    • How do you plan to make money?  What are your monetization plans?
    • Upload a 1 minute pitch video
    • Optional: Upload Pitch Deck or additional materials.
  • Returning applicants must complete an online application which includes the following short questions and requirements:
    • Please upload a document (word or powerpoint) reminding the Selection Committee what your venture is, the status of the venture pre-award, your use of the award funding, the current status of your venture and your next steps.
    • Brief description of your venture
    • Describe any changes to your venture from your last application
    • Describe the completion of your previous milestone
    • Describe your plans for monetization of your venture
    • Describe your next milestone for which you are asking additional funding
    • When do you expect to accomplish this milestone?
    • Upload a 1 minute pitch video
    • Optional: Upload Pitch Deck or additional materials


  • The PWIF does not take equity in ventures.  In order to be eligible for a second or third award, you must report back on the use of funds from your previous award.
  • The PWIF also asks that you report back any news such as name changes, funds raised, acquisitions, exits, and shutting down.
  • Appropriate use of funds: Funds provided as direct grants to student-led projects can be used to build, test and develop prototypes, to purchase technical and legal resources, engage software developers or engineers, or for other expenses related to developing the idea or invention.

Payment Process

Award funds are disseminated by check. And mailed to the address you gave us on the Student Award Form or picked up at the 4th Floor of Vance Hall.

Process Owner Approximate Time
Submit Paperwork You < 1 month from Award Letter Date
Receive Paperwork & Complete Payment Form Payment Coordinator 2 to 4 business days
Approve for Payment* Financial Coordinator 2 to 4 business days
Send to Accounts Payable Student Worker 1 business day
AP Upload into system & Cuts Check Accounts Payable 10 – 15 business days
Receive Checks & Mail Checks Payment Coordinator 1 business day
Pick Up Check You 1 business day
Mail Check USPS 5 – 10 business days

Please Note: Incomplete/Incorrect Paperwork, peak business operations, sick days and vacation days can cause further delays in this process.

* Awards over $2500 have an additional approval step that can take between 10-15 business days.

Why I {heart} The Innovation Fund

by Ashwin Baweja, ENG’15/GEN’15/W’15 Founder of HashFav