Venture Initiation Program – Fellows

Applications are now closed. Next cycle will open in January 2021.

The projects listed below are for illustration purpose only. We will be posting new projects for the Spring semester.

Questions? Email Valentina Goutorova.

VIP Fellows are students with an interest in working at an early stage venture, particularly as one of the first employees or in joining an early stage venture as a co-founder. VIP-Fellowship is an opportunity for these students to learn about startup life, be educated about critical concepts in venture creation, and apply skills learned in their entrepreneurship and innovation classes to a specific project connected to a student-founded venture in Penn Wharton Entrepreneurship’s Venture Initiation Program (VIP).

VIP Fellows commit to a project with a VIP venture for one semester (approximately 10 weeks/ 10 hours per week). As this fellowship is educational in nature and for the student’s benefit, all VIP Fellows are unpaid. Students also can participate in VIP workshops, bootcamps and advising sessions alongside founders.

The program is open to all Penn and Wharton students.

Accel

Accel

We are “Accel Group” and we are streamlining the new car buying process. Our focus is to eliminate the pain both customers and dealerships go through during the transaction. We also want to give the pricing power to the customers instead of the dealerships. Our main focus is to be a sales generator instead of a lead generator for dealerships across the country.

  • What is unique about your venture and why would someone want to work with you? How will your company provide a good experience for the VIP Fellow?

We are trying to change the perception of the car buying process by streamlining the process, increasing the customer reach and making the process completely online. We are incorporating high tech solutions that will provide a great learning curve for the interns, give them an opportunity to learn the auto sales industry and also give them an opportunity to join our company full time if the situation permits.

  • What stage of venture implementation are you currently in? What is your next milestone and how will you achieve it? How can your fellow help make an impact?

Accel is entering the product development phase with a main focus on technology and solution. Our next milestone is to build a MVP ()Minimum Viable product) and launch it by year end. We are also working with various partners to provide us dealership/OEM data. In addition, we are focusing hard on our marketing

  • What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?

We are happy to talk to students with any of the following skill sets: Social media marketing, graphic design, Yoast installation and / or tracking, SEO, data analytics, influencer marketing.

ADARNA

Adarna Finance

Adarna Finance is a healthcare and fintech start-up that is looking to create affordable financing options for Americans who are having trouble paying for prescription medications.

  • What is unique about your venture and why would someone want to work with you? How will your company provide a good experience for the VIP Fellow?

As a company centered around both fintech and healthcare, Adarna is uniquely positioned to provide a VIP Fellow with exposure towards what it takes to build a financial services company and what it means to work in the healthcare industry. Additionally, we are a very early stage company (pre-product), so a VIP Fellow will get to experience the full process of building a company from the ground up and can be involved in the company and operations much more than just the scope of the project at hand if desired. Working with Adarna provides the opportunity to gain the skills it takes to create a company and potentially become more involved with the company after the fellowship period.

  • What stage of venture implementation are you currently in? What is your next milestone and how will you achieve it? How can your fellow help make an impact?

Adarna Finance is currently in the process of building a product and finding an audience with which to run a pilot. For the next stage of our startup, we will be working towards building our product (a web-based financing platform) and ideally want a prototype iOS and/or Android application that will be made in conjunction with this product. We are looking for a fellow to help our technology lead build the product and the application. Along with the tech lead, a VIP Fellow will be able to take ownership of the product development process and have the opportunity to provide his original ideas to the product.

  • What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?

Adarna is looking for a self-motivated VIP Fellow who is creative and flexible. Adarna is at a very early stage, so a fellow will be expected to provide his/her own thoughts and pivot from one idea to the next quickly.

Minimum qualifications are knowledge of, or experience with, creating user-friendly and comprehensive full-stack web applications, and demonstrated programming experience. Experience with creating iOS and/or Android applications is preferred.

Ascend

Ascend

Ascend is an AI platform that helps real estate developers, brokers, and city governments discover undervalued development opportunities. We analyze nontraditional (e.g. sentiment analysis, gentrification factors) and traditional (e.g. zoning, rezoning potential, construction activity level, property’s management profile) data to predict better areas real estate acquisition opportunities.

  • What is unique about your venture and why would someone want to work with you? How will your company provide a good experience for the VIP Fellow?

We’re an early-stage proptech company being incubated at the NEXT Program in Toronto and launching our full platform in mid-September. On the sales side, you’ll get experience scaling our initial launch with pilot customers and speak to CEOs of real estate development firms to sell our service. On the product side, you’ll be working to help us test out what indicators developers and brokers care about + interfacing with our dev team. We’re just scaling up and you’ll be able to take ownership of helping us expand our service across Canada and the US.

  • What stage of venture implementation are you currently in? What is your next milestone and how will you achieve it? How can your fellow help make an impact?

We have spoken to 47 development and brokerage firms + have 4 unpaid pilot development firms based out of Vancouver. Our next sales milestone is expanding our pilots to 5 paid developers in Vancouver and development milestone is releasing the full search platform (e.g. developer can input ideal development and we highlight top 10 acquisitions).

  • What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?

1) Fellow with experience in sales or real estate development who is open to learning about enterprise sales to real estate professionals. You will be interfacing with CEOs of development firms and brokerages to sell our product to them.
2) Fellow with experience in machine learning. You will be helping us build out our prediction platform for the Metro Vancouver Area and expanding this to the US once we’ve reached higher prediction accuracy.

Atlas

Atlas

Atlas is bringing wellness to footwear by modernizing arch support. We are beginning by launching a supportive, comfortable, and sustainable insole because alignment starts from the ground up. Feel free to read more about what we are building at www.walkatlas.com.

  • What is unique about your venture and why would someone want to work with you? How will your company provide a good experience for the VIP Fellow?

Our venture is unique because it is disrupting a stagnant industry (ie. Dr. Scholl’s, custom orthotics) with both a novel product and a refreshing brand. The product custom molds to the shape of your foot, unlike any other insole on the market. Likewise, the brand targets younger people who care about their wellness, whereas other brands are geriatric or athletic focused. We will be able to provide a VIP fellow with an exciting opportunity to launch a brand leveraging the playbook that Warby Parker, Burrow, and other dominant consumer brands used when they were MBA students.

We are looking to work with a VIP Fellow who brings big ideas to the table and is excited to execute them! Atlas is in a very exciting phase right now (read more below), lending to a truly unique experience for a fellow. We want to empower our VIP fellow to have the autonomy to see the project they carve out through to completion, guided by our mentorship and partnership each step of the way.

  • What stage of venture implementation are you currently in? What is your next milestone and how will you achieve it? How can your fellow help make an impact?

We are at a pivotal part of our venture development, and gearing up for a full launch at the end of the semester. We spent last year developing our product, supply chain, and go-to-market strategy. Now, we are ready to execute! This is a unique opportunity to get your hands dirty and learn what it takes to launch a brand. We’ll be focused on a combination of efforts during this semester:

1. Product Insights: We’re in the process of an early access trial; we sold hundreds of pairs of insoles and sent a series of product surveys to our customers to learn about their experiences. We would love to think about new ways to analyze this data and find actionable ways to apply insights.

2. Marketing Strategy: Thinking about new ways to build out our go-to-market strategy; this could be engaging with influencers, developing and implementing Guerilla marketing strategies, identifying power users (Cool podiatrists? Avid runners? Pilates instructors?), developing our organic social media strategy.

3. Supply Chain Projects: Tactical efforts to ensure a successful launch; identifying a supplier for our packaging materials, investigating different sustainability certificates

4. Pre-launch Viral Campaign: Before we launch, we hope to develop a massive email list, in a similar style to Harry’s. We’d love to help to develop a strategy to make our pre-launch referral site go viral!

  • What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?

We are looking for someone excited about the space we are entering, with an interest in DTC brands. Anyone who is willing to get their hands dirty and execute projects – we love a mindset of “no idea is too big or too small.” Experience working with startups is a plus but not necessary at all!

AtomicAI

AtomicAI

AtomicAI builds data analytics tools for companies that manufacture nanomaterials.

  • What is unique about your venture and why would someone want to work with you? How will your company provide a good experience for the VIP Fellow?

Our co-founders are Penn Ph.D. candidates with deep technical expertise in physics, chemistry, and machine learning. Our venture provides an opportunity to learn practical technical skills and work in the nanotechnology industry, with applications to energy, biotech, and consumer electronics.

  • What stage of venture implementation are you currently in? What is your next milestone and how will you achieve it? How can your fellow help make an impact?

We are currently building a prototype for a pilot program with a research group at Penn. We are working on a web-based dashboard that nanotechnology research groups can use to visualize and explore their data. Our next milestone is to deploy version one of the prototype, which we are ready to do as soon as the user interface is up and running. The fellow will make an impact by working directly on the prototype and iterating on the product as we collect user feedback, or by conducting market research and exploring market opportunities for the company.

  • What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?

We value diversity in the broadest sense and are looking for independent, intellectually curious fellows with a research mindset who are excited to learn on the job and participate in decision making. For fellows interested in working on the prototype: a background in math, physics, chemistry, computer science, or any other quantitative field. Some Python programming experience is required. For fellows interested in business development: demonstrated experience working on research projects. All fellows should have an interest in machine learning and nanomaterials.

Audtra Logo

Audtra

Capitalize by speaking to subscribers on the first, voice-based social network + marketplace.

  • What is unique about your venture and why would someone want to work with you? How will your company provide a good experience for the VIP Fellow?

Audtra empowers anyone to monetize their voice from anywhere.

  • What stage of venture implementation are you currently in? What is your next milestone and how will you achieve it? How can your fellow help make an impact?

We are in the pre-launch phase. We are in the final stages of external beta testing and will be launching the public beta in the next few weeks.

Fellows can help us scale to product-market fit.

  • What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?

Fellows should be driven and social, with leadership or sales experience preferred (but not required).

CardCurrator

Card Curator

Card Curator is an app that helps users travel for next-to-free by maximizing their earnings from credit cards.

  • What is unique about your venture and why would someone want to work with you? How will your company provide a good experience for the VIP Fellow?

I started this company with my dad because we both love to travel, and after our combined 30 years in finance, we saw how we could also help people do what we love. I became interested in the points and miles space as a volatility trader in NYC, where I certainly wasn’t maximizing my spending, but soon learned how to travel in luxury around the world for next-to-free. By 2018, I left my job to start Card Curator, an app that fully automates everything I know, with what the banks don’t want you to know.

Our company necessitates curious minds. Card Curator has a small, global, and motivated team that values individual input. We have advisors from Atlassian, IBM, as well as serial entrepreneurs in Austin, San Francisco, New York, and London; developers in Toronto and Johannesburg; and executives in Philadelphia and Lakeville, CT. We will be closing the pre-seed round of investment in the coming weeks.

Our business is constantly evolving as COVID changes the market environment for both travel and credit. While this creates new challenges, it also provides us with many new opportunities to test novel ideas and expand where our limited competition cannot.

  • What stage of venture implementation are you currently in? What is your next milestone and how will you achieve it? How can your fellow help make an impact?

We are in the pre-launch phase. We are in the final stages of external beta testing and will be launching the public beta in the next few weeks.

Our next milestone is to launch our app on the App Store and Google Play at some point in September, and we want to grow to 2,000 daily active users in the first 6 months.

We will achieve this milestone by spending our pre-seed investment round capital as efficiently as possible to minimize the acquisition costs of users through an organic word of mouth campaign, as well as a highly targeted advertising on Instagram and Twitter. We want to maximize our focus on fixes, tweaks, and new development driven from the feedback and data analytics we receive from the new users.

As our team is so geographically diverse, we have been working remotely since day one, and we have flexible work hours. Despite this geographic dispersion, we are a tight-knit team and help each other. We are driven to make Card Curator a success, and we also understand that everyone has a life, so we encourage a healthy work-life balance. As our VIP Fellow, we know that you have a full class load, and we only ask for 10 hours a week at most. We use a variety of platforms to stay in touch and keep track of our progress.

  • What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?

We are looking for a VIP Fellow who is excited by consumer fintech and loves to travel. We are looking for serious marketing experience either personally or professionally. We also want someone who loves to take initiative, and would strongly consider joining our team full-time, potentially in a CMO role.

Coach

COACH

Coach improves the way we age in one simple way: creating better jobs. Every year, nearly 70% of senior caregivers in the US leave their jobs due to work-related burnout, resulting in nearly $12B spent to replace them. Coach helps senior care agencies better understand, recognize, and retain their workforce to provide better care for our seniors.

  • What is unique about your venture and why would someone want to work with you? How will your company provide a good experience for the VIP Fellow?

Shift-based work is fundamentally a challenging problem to solve. Caregivers are compensated with low wages and little recognition in exchange for grueling demands over inconsistent hours. In 2018, caregiver turnover peaked at 84% with an average replacement cost of $4,000 per person, which leaders in the long-term care industry cite as the #1 issue affecting an organization’s ability to help care for seniors.

Coach empowers senior care leaders to better understand, recognize, and retain their employees by giving a real-time view into satisfaction and likeliness to churn. We also give timely, actionable recommendations on ways to improve the employee experience at the right time and in the right amount.

As a VIP fellow, you’ll get to help build this business from the ground up. Your ideas and actions will help create the foundation from which we build our business to change the way we work and age.

  • What stage of venture implementation are you currently in? What is your next milestone and how will you achieve it? How can your fellow help make an impact?

We are wrapping up an exciting summer where we’ve identified the specific problem to tackle and customer to serve and are moving on to building a MVP to continue validating our business in the market.

Our next milestone is to launch a MVP with a strategic partner for a short period of time to prove out the model. Depending on when you (the fellow) join us, you can be a part of customer discovery and insights (design interviews with business owners and caregivers), product development (building/training a statistical model to predict employee turnover), or business development (setting up partnerships and growth initiatives).

If you’re interested in our mission but have a different role in mind, please reach out. We’re happy to work together to build an experience that’s right for you.

  • What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?

We’re looking for scrappy problem-solvers who want to make an impact with their work. Healthcare background is not a requirement – we can get you up to speed fairly quickly. We care much more about the ability to dig into a problem (technical or non-technical) and speak up to improve what we’re building.

Tactically, what this looks like:
• A customer discovery/insights fellow who can talk to both business owners and caregivers about their challenges today and existing efforts to improve the experience. We have a deep bench of potential customers due to our collective work experiences but cold-calling may be needed.
• A product development fellow who can sift through messy customer data to connect the dots between behavior and churn.
• A business development fellow who can dig into a market sizing or competitive landscape analysis through both 3rd party research and interviews with customers to test assumptions

Collective-Cause

Collective Cause

Accelerating open smart city innovation.

  • What is unique about your venture and why would someone want to work with you? How will your company provide a good experience for the VIP Fellow?

We’re one of the first open innovation platforms dedicated to smart cities. We develop impactful smart city challenges with municipal partners, post them on our site for anyone to solve, and reward solvers with cash prizes, partnerships, and pilot testbeds. Think of us like Kaggle, but for smart city innovation instead of data science/machine learning. Currently, we’re working with Philadelphia’s Office of Innovation and Technology to post smart city challenges (see our website) that could affect multiple sectors, including social impact businesses and climate change resilience.
As a VIP Fellow, you would work directly with our co-founders to learn all aspects of our business development, municipal partnerships, and corporate engagement. We’ll establish weekly check-ins to keep you on track, make sure that you’re doing work that you enjoy, and, above all, give you an enriching learning experience. If you’re interested in smart city innovation, technology for social good, and/or urban issues, consider joining us.

  • What stage of venture implementation are you currently in? What is your next milestone and how will you achieve it? How can your fellow help make an impact?

Just launched our website after months of development with our Philadelphia government partners (so now’s an exciting time to join)
Next milestones include:
-Establishing university, corporate, nonprofit, municipal partners to spread the word about our challenges
– Sourcing new challenges from the Philadelphia Office of Innovation
– Establishing corporate sponsorships with social-impact driven corporations in Philadelphia

  • What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?

We’re looking for someone who is passionate about technology for social good, urban issues, and/or open innovation at large.
We’ll give you all the tools you need to succeed, so you don’t have to come in with existing skill sets, but if you’re a strong communicator, a self-starter, and an enthusiastic learner, you’ll excel with us.
When you’re a Fellow with us, we’ll respect your busy schedule and work with you to give you tasks that you truly enjoy. Our mission is to get you excited about smart city innovation and to support your entrepreneurial goals.

ConnectED Mobile logo

ConnectED Mobile

ConnectED Mobile is disrupting cell phone services for (international) students! We work with the nation’s leading 5G network to offer a digitally-based, customer-first phone service that provides family plan rates direct to individuals- no group sign up or US credit history required.

  • What is unique about your venture and why would someone want to work with you? How will your company provide a good experience for the VIP Fellow?

ConnectED Mobile is unique in that we’re not developing a new product. Rather, we’re revolutionizing the customer experience in a static industry and are modernizing it to meet the needs of our millennial customers. We have the product, the platform and the branding ready to go. We’ve signed our first few distribution partnerships with international admissions consultants, loan providers and student services. Now, we’re ready to build out our distribution strategy to scale business development around the world.

We’re ready for 3 hungry VIP Fellows to get hands-on business development and product management experience by sourcing and executing business development opportunities with Universities and other student-focused companies and helping build our platform to support our distribution partners.

  • What stage of venture implementation are you currently in? What is your next milestone and how will you achieve it? How can your fellow help make an impact?

We launched our pilot in 2019 and have been revenue-generating ever since. We’re ready to multiply our growth with a large scale distribution and marketing strategy. These VIP Fellows will be working closely with the executive team as we develop long-lasting avenues to help share our services with interested students.

  • What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?
  1. Strategy & Business Development – University Partnerships

Lead the sourcing, negotiation and execution for business development opportunities with University ISSO offices and specific degree programs.

  1. Strategy & Business Development – Global Partnerships (Admissions Consultants, Loan Providers, Int’l Exchange Programs)

Lead the sourcing, negotiate and execute business development opportunities with key strategic channels, including international admissions consultancies, student services such as loans and banking, and international exchange programs. We have a few on board already and now we’re ready to scale!

  1. Partner Platform Product Manager

We’re building the full partner experience, from on-boarding to commission tracking/reporting to an easy-access marketing library. Work closely with our core team as we move from product vision to product launch in the next couple months. Previous experience preferred, but not required.

ConsolidataPNG

Consolidata

Consolidata is developing financial planning software to help CFOs and FP&A professionals at private equity-backed companies with <$1B in revenue develop and maintain budgets more accurately, quickly, and easily.

  • What is unique about your venture and why would someone want to work with you? How will your company provide a good experience for the VIP Fellow?

Consolidata is disrupting the budgeting process for companies that currently rely on Excel. As a VIP Fellow, you’ll get to experience all facets of a start-up SaaS business spanning product development, customer acquisition, and fundraising. Whether you are an aspiring entrepreneur, software engineer, software PM, or digital marketing manager there is no shortage of opportunities to learn by doing. In addition, you’ll get an inside look at the world of private equity as we build software using real customer data to support the budgeting process for private equity-owned businesses. Co-Founders Austin Kipp and Craig Thompson collectively have 10 years’ experience in finance including prior roles in private equity investing, investment banking, and IT at KKR, Thomas H Lee Partners, Goldman Sachs, and Credit Suisse.

  • What stage of venture implementation are you currently in? What is your next milestone and how will you achieve it? How can your fellow help make an impact?

We have completed a full-stack demo of our product that we are actively sharing with potential users. Our next milestones include completing a ready-to-sell version of our software, winning our first pilot customer, and completing our latest round of fundraising to support the growth of our company. As a VIP Fellow, you’ll have an opportunity to accelerate our ability to achieve these milestones.

  • What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?

We are looking for two roles:
1. An MBA, undergrad, or Design student interested in design and/or digital marketing to help refine our branding, web design, and consult on customer outreach strategy. In this role, you’ll help us refine our branding, digital marketing strategy, and broaden our online presence. There would also be opportunities to help us with a comprehensive review of our web application’s UI/UX and overhaul our website landing page
2. An Engineering student with experience coding in React-Redux who can work with our small engineering team to help build our additional features for our web app.

Dorothy-Holder

Dorothy

Digitizing natural disaster data for the insurance industry.

  • What is unique about your venture and why would someone want to work with you? How will your company provide a good experience for the VIP Fellow?

We are working in an industry that is being heavily disrupted. For the first time in history, there are enough data sources and processing power to create new, more efficient insurance products and protect people from getting their lives heavily damaged by natural disasters. The VIP Fellow that works with us will have the chance of working with a very interdisciplinary team of data scientists, engineers, and architects, and have a strong voice in the creation of an innovative insur-tech company.

  • What stage of venture implementation are you currently in? What is your next milestone and how will you achieve it? How can your fellow help make an impact?

We have developed a robust model inclusive of socioeconomic, natural disaster risks and property information. We also developed an initial flood risk model that proved to predict events ~50% better than FEMA’s official models and integrated it into our platform. We are now working on enhancing our insights capability adding economic and claims-related data to this platform and expanding base geographic and socioeconomic data nation-wide.

We now need to onboard small regional carriers to our platform. Fellows will have the chance to help us to create and polish our financial models, and support our sales pipeline. We also need help polishing our machine learning models and extracting and organizing GIS data from different sources.

  • What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?

We are looking for a person with communication skills who can work in a dynamic and growing startup.

– Experience with Business Development & Growth

– Experience with writing and interest in publishing articles relevant to our business

Endo

Endo

The Morning Routine App

  • What is unique about your venture and why would someone want to work with you? How will your company provide a good experience for the VIP Fellow?

This app will turn you into a morning person. Endo makes it easier than ever to start your day off right. Endo utilizes machine learning technology to create guided audio morning routines with curated music and activities to meet your mornings’ needs.

Depression and anxiety are a generational problem. The global pandemic and political unrest of 2020 have left individuals feeling more uncertain and less grounded than ever before. Following a reliable morning routine was a valuable tool for me in finding joy and productive energy again. I want to bring this to the world.

  • What stage of venture implementation are you currently in? What is your next milestone and how will you achieve it? How can your fellow help make an impact?

My venture is in the customer discovery stage. My goal is to create interactive prototypes that customers love, and then we can start building the app. A developer, designer, and/or product manager would add a lot of value to this process, especially for understanding what is feasible.

  • What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?

A developer with interest or experience with building machine learning algorithms

A UI/UX designer

A product manager

Felix-Tecch

Felix Technologies

Felix is a trustworthy and convenient digital platform that enables Latin Americans in the US to send remittances (local prepaid debit cards, services, goods) abroad. Receivers enjoy the benefits of the remittance without the hassle of traveling to collect cash.

  • What is unique about your venture and why would someone want to work with you? How will your company provide a good experience for the VIP Fellow?

Felix Technologies is unique because we work at the intersection of Fintech and social business. We will use technology and finance to improve the lives of migrant families in Mexico. Working with us will provide an opportunity for VIP fellow to have a tangible impact on the lives of many customers. Additionally, this is a great experience to create a tech product from scratch and learn about fintech, payment methods, and cryptocurrencies along the way.

  • What stage of venture implementation are you currently in? What is your next milestone and how will you achieve it? How can your fellow help make an impact?

We are currently in the pre-launch phase building the platform while gathering feedback from potential users. During the summer, we performed a thorough customer research process that included rounds of interviews of potential users in Philadelphia, New York, California, and Florida. Based on our findings, we designed and released an alpha web application. Our next milestone is to test and iterate on this version to build a beta application to be launched during the Fall. Our fellow will be directly involved in the development of the technology for this beta that will enable millions of Latin American immigrants to provide for their families abroad.

  • What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?

A VIP fellow would have a strong drive to create change and improve our customer’s lives. They must be creative, data-driven, and have the desire to own a workstream and propose ideas for the product. Also, they must be able to work well in an ambiguous environment in which business needs change day-to-day.

At this stage, we are looking for a fellow with experience in database management, as well as web and API development using Python as a backend. Knowledge in fintech and blockchain is highly desired but not required. Intellectual curiosity to learn about these domains is a strong plus.

First-Generation-Investors-FGI-Logo

First Generation Investors

First Generation Investors (FGI) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded by Wharton students that teaches under-served high school students the power of investing.

  • What is unique about your venture and why would someone want to work with you? How will your company provide a good experience for the VIP Fellow?

First Generation Investors (FGI) brings classroom lessons to life by providing the students with real money to invest.  During our 8-week program, high school students come to college campuses, where they receive free tutoring from college volunteers, as well as actual money invested in the market in their accounts.

  • What stage of venture implementation are you currently in? What is your next milestone and how will you achieve it? How can your fellow help make an impact?

Since its inception on UPenn’s campus, FGI has scaled to the campuses of Harvard and Fordham, with 12 additional campuses coming this fall (including Columbia Business School, Georgetown, Vanderbilt, Morehouse, and others). FGI is currently in the scaling stage (see: National Urban League President Marc Morial and CNBC Squawk Box Anchor Joe Kernen discussing First Generation Investors). Over the Summer, FGI has been hosting a virtual online speaker series for its students featuring Ray McGuire (Vice Chairman of Citigroup), David Magerman (former research scientist at Renaissance Technologies), Judy Zhu (Founder of MoneyGirls), with upcoming speakers including Wes Moore, John Hope Bryant, Joe Kernen, and many more.

This is a unique opportunity for a VIP-Fellow to give back by providing mentorship and assistance for a much-needed program as it scales and impacts the lives of youth across the country. The mentor will grow their start-up skills, as well as their network through many conversations with national organizations, banks, and similar programs in America.

  • What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?

We understand that all VIP-Fellows are incredible volunteers with limited bandwidth, so we do not expect all of the following to be addressed in their commitment, though we would appreciate as much support as possible

  1. Guidance: Overall mentorship for improving the clarity and structure of internal operations as well as our higher-level expansion plan.
  2. Expansion: Assistance in driving expansion directly to other universities in assisting to cultivate and deliver pitches to university administrations
  3. Recruiting: Assistance in actively seeking, recruiting, and onboarding additional staff members with professional experience in relevant spaces (nonprofit planning, fundraising, partnerships, marketing, etc)
  4. Development: Creation and execution plan of an online asynchronous program (in addition to FGI’s current in-person and online synchronous programs)
Fitalyst

Fitalyst

Fitalyst helps Resident Advisors (RAs) build a sense of community despite social distancing.

  • What is unique about your venture and why would someone want to work with you? How will your company provide a good experience for the VIP Fellow?

Fitalyst is the first digital wellness solution that uses social matching and needs assessment to help colleges facilitate a sense of community despite social distancing.
Fellows will help us with user growth at Penn, operations, product development, and expansion to other schools.

  • What stage of venture implementation are you currently in? What is your next milestone and how will you achieve it? How can your fellow help make an impact?

We are starting to build out an MVP which we hope to launch by spring. There are ample opportunities for a fellow to get involved in this exciting stage. Examples include:
Fitalyst launched our 2nd pilot at Penn in Fall 2019. We engaged 500 students with our first product Tag with a Weekly Active User (WAU) rate of 75%.
This semester we plan to interact with 1,000 Penn students while simultaneously expanding to 2-3 other institutions. Fellows will work closely with the founding team by joining 3 other student interns to build campus community when colleges need it the most. Fellows will be expected to lead projects to achieve technical and operational goals.

  • What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?

We are looking for fellows who are interested in working on BIG ideas in the wellness space. Fellows who have interest in business development and operations are strongly encouraged to apply. Also, we are actively seeking fellows with previous frontend development experience, including expertise with JS/HTML/CSS and modern frameworks as well as familiarity with backend development tools.

The-Hera

The Hera

The Hera is a travel platform designed to equip women with the resources she needs to travel fearlessly. It provides travelers with detailed safety information about the city they are visiting while connecting them with other women travelers who are traveling to the same place at the same time.

  • What is unique about your venture and why would someone want to work with you? How will your company provide a good experience for the VIP Fellow?

Women’s safety should be everyone’s priority. With travel more or less on hold right now, this gives The Hera the unique opportunity to time our launch with the restart of travel, providing women with a solution to help them travel fearlessly. If you’re passionate about travel and women empowerment, this is the venture for you.

  • What stage of venture implementation are you currently in? What is your next milestone and how will you achieve it? How can your fellow help make an impact?

We are starting to build out an MVP which we hope to launch by spring. There are ample opportunities for a fellow to get involved in this exciting stage. Examples include:
1) Developing partnerships with hotels to get them on our platform
2) Researching crime stats and safety measures by cities, working with tourism boards
3) Helping refine look and feel of platform
4) Social media and marketing strategy

  • What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?

In search of a creative, motivated individual who would is passionate about the cause and has the time to help us grow quickly. Tech skills and/or experience in travel and hospitality a plus

That being said, we are happy to chat with anyone with an interest in travel tech!

keep.id

Keep.id

Keep.id is a secure cloud storage application that connects those experiencing homelessness to resources available to them.

  • What is unique about your venture and why would someone want to work with you? How will your company provide a good experience for the VIP Fellow?

A recent Harvard study that took place over 80 years identified that the key to happiness is in healthy social relationships.
Keep.id is a non-profit startup. This alone may attract certain kinds of VIP-Fellows, especially those with social entrepreneurship interests.

Keep.id also has a team abiding by a Christ-centered mission which involves:
o Prioritizing collaboration (understanding that none of us can be a part of the network-generating change that we’re looking for without working together with one another)
o Being purpose-led (in order not to make Keep.id about income or renown rather than contributing to the well being of those in housing-insecure situations)
o Practicing empathy (because true change happens when we treat others as we want to be treated).
We believe that a VIP-Fellow of ours could learn a lot about the startup culture in a redemptive way.

  • What stage of venture implementation are you currently in? What is your next milestone and how will you achieve it? How can your fellow help make an impact?

The VIP-Fellow can help us in our transition from the virtual to the physical solicitation of donations and other resources. We are expanding our donor network, and as such, could use help in systematizing this via a CRM or another strategy.

  • What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?

Keep.id is looking for a VIP Fellow with a heart for social change. A self-starter who will think about the social problem of housing insecurity with a fresh perspective.

Kidas

Kidas

Kidas protects children in the virtual world by automatically detecting and alerting about cases of online predators and cyberbullying using AI.

  • What is unique about your venture and why would someone want to work with you? How will your company provide a good experience for the VIP Fellow?

Our company provides a unique combination of social impact and hands one expertise in AI, human behavior, and business.

1. Our tech team developed machine learning models for national security agencies in the past, and our scientists are some of the leading violence researchers in the nations with experience from CHOP and Johns Hopkins.
2. A Wharton MBA alumnus leads our marketing and business devolvement with vast experience in product management and VC. In addition, our investors and advisors were early investors in successful companies such as Netflix and Datadog.

At Kidas, you will learn by doing (and sometimes failing) and from other team members’ experience.

  • What stage of venture implementation are you currently in? What is your next milestone and how will you achieve it? How can your fellow help make an impact?

Kidas’ technology has already been tested in pilots with parents and benchmarks. We currently test different go-to-market strategies. We have also already secured a connection with one of the biggest Telecom companies in the world for the next three months.

At Kidas VIP fellows will have the opportunity to work on:
1. Establishing a collaboration with a big Telecom provider
2. Go to market research including CAC/LTV estimation and segmentation
3. Digital marketing
4. Product management and feature testing with users

  • What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?

Kidas is the right place for you if you are:
1. Not afraid of challenges and self-learning
2. A Hustler
3. A person who makes decisions according to data and not hunch
4. Like social media/ video games

Prior experience in digital marking, product management, design, or partnerships is a plus but not a must.

Lex

lex

Lex is a suite of applications built to make learning more social and connected.

  • What is unique about your venture and why would someone want to work with you? How will your company provide a good experience for the VIP Fellow?

Lex is a platform built for our generation of students. Whether we like it or not, learning has gone remote — we’re here to build the tools that make that experience as social and connected as possible. We have real customers, including ~150 user signups on our core platform (https://www.learnonlex.com) and 4 teachers who have signed up to pilot our newest lex edu website (https://lex-edu.herokuapp.com/).
As a VIP Fellow on our team, you’ll engage with real users and have the opportunity to significantly contribute in the design and marketing of lex. We’ve got an excellent team of developers that can implement your great ideas quickly — we’re looking for people who are willing to do the business development work to get us off the ground. We’ll also work to meet your learning goals — whether you’re interested in contributing to the underlying software, or you want to focus on social media marketing / SEO, we’ll work to make sure you leave with the experience that you wanted and stories you can share during your next interview. There are opportunities to touch all parts of the product and business development lifecycles, and we’ll provide the infrastructure for motivated fellows to be successful.

  • What stage of venture implementation are you currently in? What is your next milestone and how will you achieve it? How can your fellow help make an impact?

We have a v1 implementation of two core products (described and linked above), with ~150 user signups on the first and 4 teachers committed to using the second. We’re in the process of forming an LLC.
Our next milestones have to do with user acquisition for the core platform (coming up with strategies to solve the chicken-and-egg problem of our two-sided marketplace), as well as refining our lex edu website using feedback from our pilot teachers.
Our fellows can help us build the network on our core platform (advertising playlists, coming up with partnerships, and mocking up new features), as well as help us analyze competitors & potential integrations we can do with lex edu (ex. Integrate with Blackboard / Canvas).

  • What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?

We’re looking for creative thinkers and hard workers to join our team. Although we’ll be working remotely, we want people who can meet deadlines and contribute to our lively team culture. Ideally, they would have some interest in the education / ed-tech domain. Experience with Figma and social media marketing are pluses but are not required.

Maia

Maia.AI

Maia.AI aims to reduce motor vehicle crashes, which remain one of the leading causes of death and disability among children and adults, through artificial intelligence, enabling smart, connected occupant protection.

  • What is unique about your venture and why would someone want to work with you? How will your company provide a good experience for the VIP Fellow?

We at Maia.AI, are passionate engineers, technology enthusiasts, and subject matter experts with 15+ years of experience, looking to address issues such as distracted or fatigued driving, forgotten children and pets, and improper seatbelt use among others, that cause substantial loss to the public and economy. We are exploring applications of artificial intelligence to build state-of-the-art technology that can be integrated into current on-road vehicles to help mitigate injuries and save lives.

Our venture provides an opportunity for a passionate individual to get involved in the budding phases of a technology startup. The VIP Fellow will be extensively involved in assessing product-market fit, conducting customer discovery across target market segments and market research, as well as get first-hand exposure to emerging technologies.

  • What stage of venture implementation are you currently in? What is your next milestone and how will you achieve it? How can your fellow help make an impact?

Our venture is in a post-launch, revenue-driving stage, where we are looking to grow and expand our customer base.

Maia.AI has a working prototype and is currently assessing product-market fit and conducting customer discovery. Our next milestone is to identify our target market and go-to-market strategy based on findings from customer interviews, surveys and results from market analysis. We want the VIP Fellow to play an active role in determining strategies to develop and market our product.

  • What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?

We are looking for individuals with the following skills:
• Self-starters, willing to learn and adapt, work independently, go-getters, creative, and love a challenge.
• Ability to manage ambiguity and complexity in a resourceful, organized, and structured way.
• Intuition for communication strategy with the team, potential users, and stakeholders.
• Detail oriented.
• Experience with customer discovery and market analysis is a plus.

Mlkmn_logo

Mlkmn

Sustainable essentials, refilled on autopilot.

  • What is unique about your venture and why would someone want to work with you? How will your company provide a good experience for the VIP Fellow?

Mlkmn is a VC-backed, CPG-as-a-service startup building the future of last-meter fulfillment in city centers. We believe sustainability can be convenient and convenience can be sustainable.

  • What stage of venture implementation are you currently in? What is your next milestone and how will you achieve it? How can your fellow help make an impact?

Our goal is to Mlkmn the #1 refill platform for sustainable household, personal care and pantry products in cities everywhere. We will build on a lot of momentum this summer and look to raise our next round of venture funding. We’re in the super-fast-paced, high-growth and chaotic stage!

  • What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?

Service-minded: You have passion for solving the service needs of our members and are willing to go the extra mile to provide the best experience on our platform.

Execution oriented and reliable: You will play a critical role in planning and executing last-meter logistics. You will be responsible for collaborating with cross-functional team members to handle any issues that may arise in the ongoing operations of Refill Day.

Eager to learn: You are willing to roll up your sleeves to learn and contribute to the success of a high-growth, fast-paced startup team. You will have the opportunity to participate in the development, implementation, and automation of critical business/operations processes.

Entrepreneurial: You are a self-motivated self-starter. You are also comfortable with ambiguity as things are constantly evolving in an early-stage startup. Most importantly, you are ready to have some fun while making a huge, positive impact on the future of greener neighborhoods in cities.

Nayko-Naturals

Nayko Natural

Nayko Naturals creates natural, handcrafted, preservative-free skincare products that get back to the basics. The current venture team consists of 1 founder and 1 technical support consultant.

  • What is unique about your venture and why would someone want to work with you? How will your company provide a good experience for the VIP Fellow?

We represent a fresh perspective in the beauty industry and will not become susceptible to allowing scale to manipulate our product ingredients. By getting back to the basics, we’re able to focus on effective and ethical ingredients that the skin deserves and desires. I have consciously formulated products without water-based ingredients, eliminating the need for numerous preservatives and other synthetic elements. The fellow will learn a lot and be challenged.

These are exciting times for our brand! Demand is high for our products and we are looking to expand. The fellow can expect to learn and be challenged in a fun and ever-changing environment.

  • What stage of venture implementation are you currently in? What is your next milestone and how will you achieve it? How can your fellow help make an impact?

Our venture is in a post-launch, revenue-driving stage, where we are looking to grow and expand our customer base.

Next milestone is to create a strategic roadmap and marketing plan to be used in growing our customer base.
The fellow will be responsible for creating and implementing the roadmap and marketing strategy. I will also strongly lean on the fellow for social media marketing analytics and growth.

  • What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?

• Interest or experience in e-commerce, direct to consumer
• Appetite to learn and be challenged
• Ambitiously meets goals
• Communication

Paintru

Paintru

The bespoke movement has entered the art world with Paintru! Paintru captures the art of life’s moments by turning your photos and ideas into hand-painted works of art.

  • What is unique about your venture and why would someone want to work with you? How will your company provide a good experience for the VIP Fellow?

Paintru is unique as a startup because our product is incredibly versatile. The same product (custom painting) can be sold to pet parents, couples celebrating a special occasion, grieving family members looking to commemorate their lost loved ones, and businesses looking to differentiate themselves by providing an upscale ambiance through hand-painted artwork. Historically, art was a product only available to the wealthy and artists and art critics had the final say on what qualified as beautiful art. We believe that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and we put customers in the drivers’ seat for what will make beautiful artwork. Moreover, with the proliferation of digital cameras, printed photos are no longer prized possessions kept on the mantle, but cheap and ubiquitous. We offer an upscale option for people looking to preserve their favorite memories for years to come.
As a founding team, we are 100% committed to making sure that VIP Fellows have enough autonomy to feel what it’s like to work in a startup environment, while providing enough support to ensure that you are able to make an impact. Ideal VIP Fellows will identify business problems, come up with a solution and hypothesis, implement it, and test it. If you’re not sure where to start, don’t worry, we have plenty of ongoing projects for you to plug into, we only ask that you bring a good attitude and strong initiative.

    • What stage of venture implementation are you currently in? What is your next milestone and how will you achieve it? How can your fellow help make an impact?

Paintru is one year post-launch and is currently wrapping up a small pre-seed round of funding. Along with fundraising, we have spent the last six months re-designing our website and improving our marketing strategy, so our next milestone will be implementing, honing, and analyzing the effects of these strategies. This is where we hope fellows can help! We are looking for VIP Fellows to help with any/all of the following:
1) Front-end web development
2) Back-end web development
3) Content/copy generation for email newsletters and the Paintru Blog
4) Financial analysis, projections, modeling
5) Marketing analytics (we have a very interesting and data driven initiative that we are about to kick off)
6) Conversion rate optimization (as we think about the marketing funnel, we want to ensure we are maximizing our ad spend by focusing on bottom of the funnel – how well we convert visitors on our site and through our email marketing.
7) UI/UX design – we’ve worked through a website redesign over the last few months and need someone to go through with a fine-tooth comb to help clarify any lingering questions a customer might have.

  • What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?

More broadly than the above listed skills/focus areas, we are looking for thought partners. We want you to be confident enough in your skills and ideas that you are comfortable telling us where and how we can improve. We want you to poke holes, in what we’ve spent these past months working on. Through critical analysis of customer segmentation data, advertising ROI, balance sheets and financial projections, we want you to propose (and defend) new ideas, figure how to implement them, and run tests to improve them over time.
This is a great opportunity for someone with little experience to test their skills and independence. More importantly, we’re an art company and we want people who will want to bring joy to our customers and be a pleasure to work with. The entrepreneurial grind is real and we are 100% committed to having fun while we work – we want people equally committed. One founder is in Philly and would love to serve as a resource and mentor to VIP Fellows accepted for years to come so we’re hoping this will be the start of a great relationship.

Percepta Round Logo

Percepta

Percepta develops AI-powered shoplifting detection software to catch 3x as much theft as human personnel while preserving shopper privacy and mitigating bias.

  • What is unique about your venture and why would someone want to work with you? How will your company provide a good experience for the VIP Fellow?

Percepta (https://www.percepta.ai/) is a rapidly growing ‘ethical AI’ startup that develops real-time computer vision solutions to combat the financial impact of shoplifting while reducing bias and profiling. Our AI focuses exclusively on shopper behavior to detect shoplifting, stripping away all demographic information such as age, race, or gender to take bias out of the equation. With our novel privacy-preserving and bias-mitigating AI, we are redefining loss prevention and ethical AI for the 21st century.

You’ll be joining a fast-growing, Techstars-backed startup working alongside founders who have experience in Investment Banking, Software Engineering, and Venture Capital. At Percepta, we are rapidly scaling up our team, adding world-class engineers and researchers to develop our cutting-edge technology, and are looking for individuals looking to aid with the commercialization, marketing, and scale-up of our technology. While working at Percepta, you’ll also have the opportunity to learn from our advisory board, consisting of senior executives from Wal-Mart, McKinsey, and Comcast.

    • What stage of venture implementation are you currently in? What is your next milestone and how will you achieve it? How can your fellow help make an impact?

We are currently in the product development and pilot testing phase. We aim to begin pilot testing in retail locations in November of 2020, with large scale sales to retailers in March 2021. Our central focus in facilitating this transition from pilot testing to sales revolve around developing a marketing campaign to strategically target the retail industry, as well as supporting our CFO in financial reporting, trend analysis, and various business development activities.

  • What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?

Marketing: we’re looking for individuals who are able to think creatively, with a track record of generating building brand awareness for companies. Your responsibilities would include developing a marketing campaign for Percepta’s ethical AI, supporting social media-based lead generation, and identifying high-value customer sub-segments in the retail industry.

Pocket-Promise-OFFICIAL-LOGO

Pocket Promise

Pocket Promise is a subscription-based donation platform for nonprofit organizations that aims to foster a culture of sustained giving by promoting accessibility, transparency, and continuity between organizations and donors.

  • What is unique about your venture and why would someone want to work with you? How will your company provide a good experience for the VIP Fellow?

Pocket Promise is disrupting the donation management space. We partner with verified 501(c)(3) organizations to help donors discover, repeatedly donate to and receive relevant updates from nonprofits. We have 5 main features: a charity discovery algorithm, subscription-based donations, peer gifting, a donation management portfolio, and an impact mailbox.
Through this initial web and eventually mobile platform, we aim to become a one-stop-shop for donations. We seek to become the Amazon of donation platforms for our ability to make donating simple.
Currently, no other competing platform keeps donors updated about the continued impact of their donations, and few target the Millennial and Gen-Z target markets, even though research shows that they will comprise 50% of the US population by 2020. We hope that through Pocket Promise, young givers will develop stronger connections to nonprofits and understand that they are making a difference.
With members of our founding team having served as Fellows for successful companies that launched through VIP-C, we recognize the value of this program on both ends and will strive to make it as engaging and impactful as possible. We are happy to serve as mentors with our backgrounds in and out of entrepreneurship and are also excited to learn from you.

    • What stage of venture implementation are you currently in? What is your next milestone and how will you achieve it? How can your fellow help make an impact?

We are currently building an MVP of the web platform and reaching out to nonprofits to list their organization on Pocket Promise. We hope to launch this winter, which would allow a Fellow to have a tangible impact and see projects to fruition. We have adapted our product features after receiving insights from 160+ individuals on our market research survey this summer and building out our landing page. Pocket Promise has recently been selected for startup pitch competitions, such as the Make It Studio Student Startup Battle, and hope to continue our focus on funding as we grow. VIP Fellows will focus on either Business Development or Full-Stack Web Development.
Business development projects include sourcing and conducting outreach to nonprofit organization partners, developing deliverables for investor pitches and accelerator programs, creating social media marketing materials, contributing to our financial analysis, and running Google AdWords campaigns. Full-stack web development projects include developing front-end website architecture, developing back-end website applications, creating servers and databases for functionality, and working alongside graphic designers for web design features.

  • What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?

We are looking for undergraduate and graduate students from diverse backgrounds who have a passion for social impact. The most important qualities are an eagerness to learn, the ability to be a self-starter, and a 100% commitment to all work. Experience in business development, finance, communications, and marketing is preferred for those working on the business side. Experience in web development, JavaScript, and MySQL is preferred for Fellows working on web development.

Pinky-Promise

Pinky Promise

Pinky Promise is an app that offers a gynecologist verified diagnostic bot that provides women instant, confidential answers for all reproductive health issues, chat rooms to connect anonymously with other women, and a line of products designed for intimate well-being. It is currently focused on the Indian Market.

  • What is unique about your venture and why would someone want to work with you? How will your company provide a good experience for the VIP Fellow?

At Pinky Promise, we are driven to eliminate all taboo and judgement in reproductive and sexual well-being. A missed period, strange discharge or a conversation around birth control cannot be a cause of stress and misery anymore.

Our market survey found that of 100+ educated, urban, Indian women, although 75% of them had had a reproductive health crises, only ~30% went to see a gynecologist to resolve it. They were scared of confidentiality and judgement. Instead, ~70% googled their issues and most stumbled upon confusing answers. Pinky Promise is committed to being every woman’s first point of contact and a source of accurate and dependable answers. We want to fundamentally change the way women access and view their health and we want to also provide them with a community of other women they can always connect with, to find safe spaces.

Any fellow who works with us will have a chance to learn the ropes in a friendly, charged and impact driven environment in a very exciting time – one month to launch! Fellows will also be able to deeply understand and appreciate issues surrounding reproductive healthcare and contribute their skills to a cause.

    • What stage of venture implementation are you currently in? What is your next milestone and how will you achieve it? How can your fellow help make an impact?

We are preparing to launch our android app in one month. We have a community of 500+ engaged users to whom we market content through two WhatsApp groups and our Instagram handle. We have completed testing our diagnostic bot and chatrooms and are ready to set forth and start! Fellows can help us in:

  1. Our e-commerce offering – anyone interested in a PM role or in e-commerce in general can help us as we conceptualize, source and white label our intimate care products, to liaise with suppliers and develop a logistics system for procurement, inventory, and dispatch. This will be really exciting and hands-on and fellows in this stream can significantly influence what our products look and feel like!
  2. Marketing and pre-launch buzz – we have a highly engaged community of followers and users with whom we have direct contact via WhatsApp. Fellows interested in marketing will help us increase this user base, market to influencers, and develop strategies for engagement and partnership before and during our launch.
  3. Technology strategy and general strategy – We are in the process of developing a launch strategy for our app which we need help for. We also have several key strategic priorities that we are currently working on while building our app – how to increase in-app sharing, how to boost engagement, how to reward downloads etc. Interested fellows can help in these pieces as well.
  4. Front-end and backend development – Tech fellows can help us develop and de-bug our app in preparation for launch. We are looking for frontend developers for our UI/UX (Figma), and who are proficient with android studio. Backend developers should be fluent in MERN/MEST stack and Node JS.
  • What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?

We are looking for anyone who is enthusiastic to learn, and who has a strong impact oriented mindset. We believe all other skills can picked-up on the job, and would love to help you do so!

Qrew

Qrew

Finding the right, trustworthy service professional is difficult and time-consuming. Qrew is here to fix that with a mobile community where friends can search, share, and connect with each other’s trusted service professionals – from babysitters to lawyers and dentists to plumbers.

  • What is unique about your venture and why would someone want to work with you? How will your company provide a good experience for the VIP Fellow?

Qrew is young and agile, offering VIP Fellows the unique opportunity to roll up their sleeves, dive in headfirst, and leave an indelible mark on the product and business. Our founding members share 21+ years of management, strategy, and operations consulting, 12+ of digital consumer experience design, a Wharton executive MBA, and a lot of energy and excitement. By joining Qrew, VIP Fellows will gain practical skills in customer acquisition and product strategy, and not from the sidelines. We want our VIP Fellows to have a “seat at the table” and participate in management and business strategy discussions. We see this fellowship as a great opportunity for you and a huge value add for Qrew!

    • What stage of venture implementation are you currently in? What is your next milestone and how will you achieve it? How can your fellow help make an impact?

Qrew recently built a working prototype and is currently assessing product-market fit via target market interviewers. We are refining the prototype and business strategy accordingly. Our next milestones are app development (currently outsourcing to India) and solidification/implementation of our customer acquisition strategy. We expect VIP Fellows to wear multiple hats and help us with the several activities, including but not limited to, marketing and social branding, investor outreach, product user acceptance testing, customer interviews, and strategy.

  • What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?

We are looking for two VIP Fellows with the following skill sets:
• An MBA, undergrad, or design student interested in digital marketing. In this role, you will help us refine our branding, build a digital marketing strategy, and broaden our online and social media presence.
• An engineering student with mobile application development experience who will work with our product manager to oversee application development efforts. We expect the VIP Fellow to understand the code written by our offshore development team, perform quality assurance on code quality, perform application testing for functional and technical specs, help define the technical architecture, and provide a credible challenge on all technology.

Recovery Box

Recovery Box

Recovery Box aggregates heat and cold therapy into a single space and provides unique content that guides individuals or groups through a 30-minute recovery session.

  • What is unique about your venture and why would someone want to work with you? How will your company provide a good experience for the VIP Fellow?

Recovery Box is building a community around recovery. This is especially important in our current climate as people look for ways to maximize their athletic performance, strengthen their immune systems, as well as reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.

If you are passionate about health, wellness, sports recovery, and/or the cross-section between health and technology, Recovery Box will grant you the opportunity to get your hands dirty as we test our MVP and pave the way for a soft launch in Spring 2021.

  • What stage of venture implementation are you currently in? What is your next milestone and how will you achieve it? How can your fellow help make an impact?

We are testing our first prototype via a 12-week pilot and will continue to refine/build our MVP. This is a PERFECT opportunity for anyone wanting to join a startup that’s transitioning from ideation to testing/channeling product-market fit.
Upcoming Milestones:
– 12-week pilot
– Manufacturing conversations
– Marketing campaign
– Transitioning from landing page to functioning website
– Pre-sales
– Funding conversations

  • What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?

We are open to all personal and professional backgrounds! More than anything, we are looking for teammates who are hungry and humble, and interested in making an impact in the wellness space. A few of the roles include, but are not limited to:
PRODUCT DESIGN
Skills: Engineering background, graphic design expertise (solid works, CAD, image rendering), and manufacturing experience.
What you will do: Work side-by-side with a small team of engineers and facilitate conversations with manufacturers as we take our product from prototype to MVP.

MARKETING/DIGITAL
Skills: Social media content creation, photography, video editing, styling, paid advertising, and familiarity with Canva, Instagram, Shopify, or Mailchimp.
What you will do: Develop and spearhead a digital media campaign plan throughout the piloting of our prototype.
UI/UX
Skills: Detail oriented, Figma, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, ability to discuss and explain design options.
What you will do: Optimize existing user interface designs, take customer feedback from our pilot and implement it, help design, and take a landing page to a functioning website.

roura

Roura

Roura is a wearable device using heating and massage to alleviate period pain.

  • What is unique about your venture and why would someone want to work with you? How will your company provide a good experience for the VIP Fellow?

Our venture is unique because we are tackling period pain from a technical engineering perspective. We are a collaborative environment, and because our background is in engineering the VIP Fellow will get to do hands-on important work for the business and marketing side of the venture.

  • What stage of venture implementation are you currently in? What is your next milestone and how will you achieve it? How can your fellow help make an impact?

Our venture is currently in the prototyping, pre-seed phase. We are also focusing much of our energy on user interviews. By the end of 2020 we aim to know what our customers will be willing to pay for our device and have a strong online brand presence. We want to have a tested and functioning MVP by summer 2021. Our fellow will help us develop a branding strategy and online presence. Additionally, our fellow will use Qualtrics and other online resources to do secondary market research and conduct pricing surveys.

  • What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?

We need our VIP fellow to be self-motivated and an independent worker. Roura is in the early stages of development and our VIP Fellow should be a creative thinker who is ready to adapt and change along with the venture. We value strong communication skills and the ability to explain complicated topics to a wide audience. Experience with secondary market research and pricing surveys is important as it will be a large part of the fellow’s day-to-day work.

Ru-logo

Ru

We are a company developing modernized beverages that will bring flavors from around the world to the doorsteps of health conscious and curious consumers.

  • What is unique about your venture and why would someone want to work with you? How will your company provide a good experience for the VIP Fellow?

We are a ready to drink beverage company (think la colombe or matchabar), specific to ethnic beverages; our first line of products are Thai iced tea, Vietnamese coffee, and lychee green tea.  Our start-up of two female founders (with a mix of operating, investing, consulting experience) is building a brand that is timely and differentiated in the market — celebrating cuisines from around the world and bringing them to our customers with the best ingredients.  Our fellow will be an integrated part of our team and have tangible hands on experience, with opportunity to be a part of the team long term.

  • What stage of venture implementation are you currently in? What is your next milestone and how will you achieve it? How can your fellow help make an impact?

We are in the R&D and production phase of our product (with contracts in progress to finish production in late November).  Currently, we are looking for a fellow to help with all things branding, sales, and marketing.  Specifically, we need to set up our digital presence, create social media content, and build our sales pipeline.  Our fellow would help out with all of the creative and strategic elements of setting up a new, fun, and modern beverage brand.

  • What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?

A creative, self-motivated, and collaborative individual, interested in working in the consumer products space.  Branding and marketing experience is not required, but would be helpful.

Showcase Logo

Showcase

Showcase is a venture-backed consumer insights startup. We offer agile, efficient in-home CPG product testing across a scaled audience.

  • What is unique about your venture and why would someone want to work with you? How will your company provide a good experience for the VIP Fellow?

Showcase is a next gen product testing startup, with a focus on CPG innovation. We send curated discovery boxes of free products in exchange for feedback, to our vetted members-only community. Membership in our community means free product discovery and a commitment to giving great feedback. VIP Fellows will get to work directly with the founding team and early employees to get an immersive experience in a company that has received VC backing.

  • What stage of venture implementation are you currently in? What is your next milestone and how will you achieve it? How can your fellow help make an impact?

Showcase has launched and is in a growth stage. We have raised a pre-seed round and are looking to grow our user base and secure clients. Our big milestones are hitting 10k MAU and building the product and client pipeline to support that. Fellows can help with initiatives in product development, client positioning and lead generation, consumer targeting, marketing and social media content generation etc. but we are open to the diverse skillsets Penn students bring and applying them to all areas of the venture.

  • What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?

We’re looking for hard workers that are willing to learn and grow. We’re committed to helping your professional and personal development and trying to find a place where you can be of most impact.

Sibi Health

Sibi Health

Sibi Health aligns the incentives of doctors and patients through an online marketplace where patients (buyer) can find a doctor (supplier), see transparent pricing, book an appointment, and pay all in one place. Sibi is a patient-centric, modern solution for the $51B U.S. market for elective, direct-pay healthcare.

  • What is unique about your venture and why would someone want to work with you? How will your company provide a good experience for the VIP Fellow?

The fundamental problem underlying the rising cost of healthcare in America is the disconnect between the service you receive and the price you pay. Did you know that you can get better rates than insurance when you pay your doctor directly for care?
Sibi Health aligns the incentives of doctors and patients through an online marketplace where patients (buyer) can find a doctor (supplier), see transparent pricing, book an appointment, and pay all in one place. Sibi is a patient-centric, modern solution for the $51B U.S. market for elective, direct-pay healthcare.
Sibi gives patients the knowledge and power to choose affordable care, and doctors’ autonomy over their practices and the freedom to focus on what they love: caring for patients.
As a VIP Fellow, you’ll get to help build a business from the ground up; your ideas, persistence, and ability to push the vision forward will help set the stage for future growth.

  • What stage of venture implementation are you currently in? What is your next milestone and how will you achieve it? How can your fellow help make an impact?

We won the 2020 Penn-Wharton Summer Venture Award and just finished an exciting summer where we grew Sibi’s network of providers in the Philadelphia area, got our first paying customers, started building out content, and further refined the product. The next step is to grow our supply of providers and demand from patients to further validate our model in the market.

Our VIP-Fellow can choose to focus on one of the following priorities based on their interest and skillset:

GROWTH
Do you have what it takes to transform a vision into a thriving business? Do people usually describe you as persistent, persuasive, outgoing and confident? Are you organized, and a great listener? Do you love talking with people? If you’re looking for early-stage startup experience, you’ve come to the right place.
You will own sales and partnership development from start to finish to push the Sibi Health vision forward and drive growth. You will source partners, cold call and cold email them and find warm intros, convince them to join our network, work with them to get them onboarded and build the relationship to expand their involvement with Sibi.

CUSTOMER DISCOVERY & INSIGHTS
Do strangers tend to find you and unload their life story as if you were their best friend? Are you a natural listener who makes people feel comfortable, with a knack for pattern recognition? Are you unashamed to probe for more details? If you’re ready to combine your talent with our quest to understand the nitty-gritty details of how real people interact with the U.S. healthcare system, come right this way!
You will source, connect with, and interview people to deepen our understanding of our target customers and competitors. With a combination of cold online outreach, phone calls, and in-person (masked, distanced) interviews you will get to the heart of peoples’ experiences so we can tailor Sibi Health to what they need and better position ourselves in the market.

CONTENT MARKETING
Do you love to write and add a little spice to things that could otherwise sound mundane? Are you particularly great at boiling down complex concepts and jargon into bite-sized pieces that people can understand and relate to? Do you find yourself screenshot-ing great ads to save them “for later”? If you want to help guide patients through the confusing world that is the U.S. healthcare system, please hop on board!
You will develop written and visual content, social posts, and other campaigns to drive organic growth, awareness, and customer affinity. Check out some articles we’ve written already at https://medium.com/@sibihealth and by subscribing to our newsletter at www.sibihealth.com.
We’re also happy to talk about how we can work together to craft your ideal role.

  • What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?

We’re looking for a go-getter who is endlessly curious, scrappy, independent and loves building things from scratch. We want someone who’s excited about using market forces and a customer-centric approach to fix the U.S. healthcare system. The ideal candidate is a self-starter who can quickly understand complex systems, and who has the ability to develop an idea and run with it in their DNA. Additionally, experience in sales, marketing, and customer insights and/or at a healthcare payor or provider is a plus.

TealMD_WebsiteLogo

TealMD

TealMD is the first virtual center of excellence to manage Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome in an integrative manner through a mix of human interaction and digital tools.

  • What is unique about your venture and why would someone want to work with you? How will your company provide a good experience for the VIP Fellow?

Most women don’t receive the right treatment or information to properly manage their polycystic ovarian syndrome. Of a survey of over 1,300 women diagnosed with PCOS, 35% of women said they saw three or four health professionals before finding someone who could help, and 12% saw five or more. About 85% of respondents said they were not satisfied with the information they received about their condition from their healthcare provider.

And despite the fact that PCOS is a chronic condition, more than half of the respondents reported getting no information about long-term complications or emotional counseling. TealMD is here to change the status quo. TealMD is here to increase the quality of life for women with PCOS we are also here to provide education and community for women to feel empowered and to live life with confidence.

Patients interact with a curated team of specialists in reproductive endocrinology, dermatology, nutrition and psychology. We collaborate with each patient to create an individualized treatment plan that will work for her.

  • What stage of venture implementation are you currently in? What is your next milestone and how will you achieve it? How can your fellow help make an impact?

We have gone through customer discovery on the patient side and are ready to start piloting individual features that will eventually make up the MVP.

-Fellow will be able to participate in the pilot process from beginning to end including evaluation and recommendation

-A Fellow can make an impact by  substantiating our findings with existing research, add their own level of analysis and help with logistics

We need to begin customer discovery on the physician side to inform B2B strategy. This needs to move quickly to begin piloting with healthcare providers.

-Fellow can add value by helping conduct interviews with healthcare providers and translate findings into strategy

-Fellow can make an impact by helping TealMD establish presence and credibility in PCOS healthcare community

Build on the medically backed educational component of TealMD

-Fellow needs to turn medical research into content that is easy to understand for non-medical individuals.

  • What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?

Preferably healthcare or healthcare management background. Organized, accountable and committed to the project. Ability to communicate with senior staff of medical institutions. Strong research, writing and communication skills.

Unite-the-Culture-logo

Unite the Culture

Unite the Culture is dedicated to creating the official street dance league and offers a web platform that consolidates street dance events in the country.

  • What is unique about your venture and why would someone want to work with you? How will your company provide a good experience for the VIP Fellow?

The venture is well connected with the scene and have already secured partnerships with reputable organizations such as Juste Debout, Versa Styles, Street Dance Camp Japan, and Steezy Co. and world-class dancers and influencers like Fikshun and Marie Poppin. In fact, our Co-founder Anthony D. Armstrong AKA “Slim Boogie” is a world-class popper and a member of the Criminalz Crew. If you ever wanted to work in social media and entertainment industry, then give us a try!

The app in development will be a highly interactive CMS software and the fact that we will have clients already lined up to use it (Battle Games in LA) will be great for a software engineer looking to build up his resume.

  • What stage of venture implementation are you currently in? What is your next milestone and how will you achieve it? How can your fellow help make an impact?

We are currently developing the web app. The front-end is almost built up and we are looking for fellows who can help with the back-end development process.

  • What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?

Candidates experienced with React-Redux and node.js. That being said, we are happy to chat with anyone interested!

VRB

VRB Labs

VRB Labs is a premium natural performance supplement brand building cutting edge dietary supplements with clean ingredients and scientific backing.

  • What is unique about your venture and why would someone want to work with you? How will your company provide a good experience for the VIP Fellow?

Real-world business problems: We’re not interested in busy work! We want to get you involved in growing the business. If you want to be a meaningful part of building a company, this internship might be for you.
Revenue Positive: Since launching in July we have been revenue positive and are well on our way to recouping our initial investment. We’re building a business for the long haul!
Bootstrapped and fundraising: We are a small team of scrappy veterans with skin in the game. We are proving product-market fit, growing organically, and aim to raise smart capital for accelerated growth.

  • What stage of venture implementation are you currently in? What is your next milestone and how will you achieve it? How can your fellow help make an impact?

VRB Labs is a growing and revenue positive venture seeking to expand sales, customer growth, and brand awareness. Our near-term milestones include revenue/consumer base growth, product line extension, and initializing fundraising efforts.
Our VIP Fellows will engage in real-world digital marketing including generating email marketing campaigns & strategies as well as social media planning and execution.

  • What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?

We are looking for folks that are eager to make an impact and get their hands dirty. Experience in digital and social media marketing is a plus, but willingness to learn and execute quickly is most important. We seek self-starters that can run effectively run with tasks without needing to be micromanaged. Both Graduate and UG Fellows will be considered to fill the available roles!

Wavy Blue

Wavy Blue

Wavy Blue is a brand new DTC men’s personal care brand with a simple mission: to Give shine to Black men make waves every day, everywhere. We’re launching our first product, the men’s Curl & Coil Balm in early September.

  • What is unique about your venture and why would someone want to work with you? How will your company provide a good experience for the VIP Fellow?

We strive to be community-connected, culturally-inspired, and design-focused in everything we do. My co-founder (software engineer and startup experience) and I (tech entertainment brand partnerships, and product marketing) possess unique skills and experiences that we hope to share with whoever we work with. We also like to have a good time and strive to bring fun into every conversation. Our objective is to always build strong relationships with those that we partner with and this engagement would be no different

We will provide a good experience for our VIP Fellow by clearly defining goals and timelines and giving our fellow the freedom to make this project one that positively benefits them in their long term personal and professional journey

  • What stage of venture implementation are you currently in? What is your next milestone and how will you achieve it? How can your fellow help make an impact?

We have spent the last few months building a strong foundation from which Wavy Blue can grow. Our next milestone is our official launch. We’ll officially soft launch by September 1st, with goals to make a major splash throughout the fall and winter. We plan to achieve this milestone by sticking to key deliverables and timelines we have defined for ourselves

Specifically, we would like our fellow to assist us by helping to define Wavy Blue’s community and organic marketing strategy. Specifically, given that Wavy Blue is one of the first of its kind, we plan to blaze new trails with regard to how we connect with our customers and our community. We are looking for a fellow to help us define this direction and build a culturally relevant competitive moat around our product so that it is poised for massive growth

  • What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?

o We are open to fellows from all personal and professional backgrounds as we believe that diversity of perspective, experience, and focus is critically important to the success of any venture
o We hope that the fellow that works on this project is passionate about culture, personal care and or wellness, direct-to-consumer, and e-commerce
o What’s your passion?

Xoma

Xoma

Xoma is introducing a new category of agave spirit (pulcatta) to the US market with a focus on sustainable farming, maintaining traditional Mexican agricultural practices, and a spectacularly smooth product.

  • What is unique about your venture and why would someone want to work with you? How will your company provide a good experience for the VIP Fellow?

We are bringing a new agave spirit to the US marketplace. We are doing so by introducing a new business model to the liquor industry by empowering a community of farmers to be owners in the value-added distillation process. In this process, we are creating a new product category in the US to compliment tequila and mezcal. We are a dynamic young team trying to innovate guerrilla marketing tactics and not only serve a product, but an experience to consumers who want to know the origin of their products, the impact their consumption is having, and enjoy the quality of Xoma. We promise to provide an engaging experience to VIP Fellows who are willing to join us in the adventure of starting a company, a brand, and a product category with a focus on launching in the Philadelphia market. We can tailor the project to the Fellow’s interests and needs and will be active mentors in their development. Some interesting projects Fellows can work on are in design, marketing, marketing operations, business development, or finance.

  • What stage of venture implementation are you currently in? What is your next milestone and how will you achieve it? How can your fellow help make an impact?

We have received all the legal approvals required for the importation and commercialization of liquor in the US and are working on final logistics to import our first batch of 1,500 bottles to sell in the US. As part of this, we are expanding our marketing and product awareness efforts, in addition to operational processes for our firm to function properly. Our next milestones include increasing product awareness through social media and email marketing, sales efforts in the Philadelphia restaurant and bar market, and partnership opportunities to expand national distribution reach. The VIP fellow can become actively involved in any of these initiatives and can have a direct impact on tangible measurable results.

  • What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?

Drive, curiosity and resourcefulness with a passion to learn and contribute to a launching Penn brand.