VIP Practicum is designed for 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.

Applications will reopen mid-August.
Questions? Email Miesha Agrippa.
VIP-Practicum is an opportunity for 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 Venture Lab’s Venture Initiation Program (VIP).

Students 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 fellows are unpaid. Students also can participate in VIP workshops, boot camps, and advising sessions alongside founders.

The program is open to all Penn students and runs only in the Fall and Spring semesters.

Startups - Batch #2

Jolt Education // Short-form educational videos that seamlessly integrate into existing lesson presentations
About the Venture
Jolt Education is an internet add-on that enables teachers to integrate short-form educational videos into their existing lessons to increase student engagement and reduce time spent on lesson planning. Jolts can be used as openers, closers, brain breaks, or quick reviews throughout a lesson. Jolts help students make connections outside of the classroom and spark deeper conversations.

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?
Thank you for your interest in Jolt Education! My name is Jade Peterson. As a middle school science teacher, I experienced the everyday challenges educators face. I found creative ways to engage students in an online learning environment including a "TikTok of the day" such as a science news story or STEM career highlight. These clips engaged students and helped them make connections outside of the classroom. This was the inspiration for Jolt Education!

I am currently a student in the Education Entrepreneurship Master’s Program at UPenn.The executive format allows me to work full-time on Jolt Education. I have the flexibility to meet with VIP Fellows regularly. My semester goal is to launch a pilot with 50+ middle-level STEM teachers. VIP Fellows will get to see their work implemented in real-time as the pilot is launched with real teachers!

I have previous experience working as a student fellow myself as an undergrad studying business at The University of Iowa. Additionally, I worked with a team of student consultants as I developed my first business, Funny Nuggets; The Comedy Clubhouse for Kids. I am excited to share my entrepreneurial experience with VIP Fellows as well as learn from them!

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?
Jolt Education is in an MVP testing phase intending to launch a formal pilot with 50+ middle-level STEM educators this semester. To achieve this, Jolt is contracting a development team to develop the next phase of the MVP based on previous user testing. Jolt would greatly benefit from VIP Fellow support in marketing strategy, graphic design, and web development to be best positioned for the pilot launch this spring and public launch in 2024.

  • -Social Media Strategy and Content Creation: Create a strategic social media calendar, conduct in-depth research on trends within the teacher social media landscape, and formulate a robust strategy for the founder to build personal and Jolt Education brands.
  • -Graphic Design: Create a cohesive brand for Jolt Education by enhancing the logo, icon, and branding elements to be utilized within the Chrome extension, website, pitch materials, and social media. Develop a brand kit that is clean, fun, and attractive to target market teachers.
  • -Web Development: Elevate Jolt Education's online presence by refining our website design and cultivating a compelling brand to captivate visitors and drive increased sign-ups for our email list.

What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?
  • -Self-Starter
  • -Time Management
  • -Professional Communication

Founder: Jade Peterson
Oncore Health // AI-enabled workflow automation platform for oncology care
About the Venture
Oncore is an AI-enabled workflow automation platform for oncology that aims to reduce the administrative burden that nurses, support staff, and physicians face when coordinating cancer care.

Oncology care is plagued by massive logistical inefficiencies that compromise provider and patient experience. This administrative overhead impedes provider efficiency and leads to rampant physician and nursing burnout. For example, to coordinate care delivery for one oncology patient, over 100 manual tasks executed by a dozen care team members across six siloed departments are often required. These tasks include repeatedly calling and messaging across departments to manage referrals, checking status updates on patient labs multiple times a week, and coordinating with half a dozen administrative assistants just to schedule an appointment. An oncology nurse can spend up to 50-75% of their day carrying out these repetitive, manual processes, while physicians waste precious hours on routine care plans. In fact, 90% of nurses we interviewed directly attributed administrative burden as a main driver of their exhaustion.

Consequently, cancer patients often endure months to years of disjointed care that takes a toll on their well-being. Patients and their families frequently feel anxious and left in the dark, with sporadic communication from their providers between appointments.

Oncore is building a platform to solve these challenges and allow providers to focus on patient-centric care delivery rather than managing onerous, automatable, care logistics and administrative tasks.

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 the founders of Oncore, we are deeply driven by a shared vision: to revolutionize the care experience for oncology patients and their provider teams. We have witnessed firsthand the distress and anxiety that cancer patients endure due to disjointed, uncoordinated care. Recognizing these systemic inefficiencies, we believe there is an urgent need for transformation—not just for patients but also for the nurses and physicians who face unprecedented burnout due to these overwhelming challenges. Toward this goal, we aspire to a future where oncology providers can truly focus on patient-centric care delivery rather than constantly fighting an uphill battle against onerous, automatable, care logistics.

Along with this shared vision, our background as highly technical founders with strong healthtech experience will uniquely enable us to to lead the team and provide strong mentorship to VIP fellows across product strategy, engineering, and design workstreams.

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 already made significant progress toward making Oncore’s vision a reality.
1. Our team conducted deep voice of customer research with over 100 physicians, nurses, and administrators across leading NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers, including Penn, Yale, Dana-Farber, Columbia, Stanford, UCSF, UChicago, Northwestern, WUSTL, UNC, and Duke.
2. We have been refining our prototype of the Oncore platform in partnership with a dedicated user group of a dozen nurses and physicians at Penn, Stanford, and Memorial Sloan Kettering.
3. We have secured a senior hospital executive and clinician to join our advisory board and are in advanced discussions with additional clinical and technical advisors, including executives from Penn Medicine, Tufts Medicine, and Google AI.
4. We have received grant funding from Penn’s Venture Lab as well as from Contrary Capital. Oncore was named a winner of Contrary’s Pitch Competition at Penn.

Our next goals include refining our product to enable signing a Letter of Intent (LOI) with a leading cancer center. This LOI will be a key catalyst to enabling Oncore to raise our first round of funding in the coming months. Venture Fellows will be key to enabling the improvement of our product to support commercialization efforts and enable the team to hit key fundraising milestones.

What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?
    We are looking to work with machine learning engineering students who can collaborate with us to advance our core LLM and machine learning classification model development. We are also looking to work with product design and front end engineering students to enhance the UI/UX of our product prototype, support front-end product engineering, and improve our design language and branding.

    Founder: Abhinav Kurada
    MediMint // Blockchain-powered medical image-sharing platform for healthcare providers and patients.
    About the Venture
    MediMint is a blockchain-enabled web platform for healthcare providers that facilitates cost-effective, secure, and instantaneous medical image sharing with patients, modernizing traditional processes dependent on physical storage mediums, and fostering an era of patient-centered 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?
    MediMint stands at the forefront of innovation in healthcare imaging, uniquely positioned as the first blockchain-powered platform that revolutionizes the way medical image studies are shared. Our venture addresses a critical gap in the industry, replacing outdated and inefficient methods, such as physical CD-based image sharing, with a cutting-edge, secure, and patient-centric solution. Working with MediMint means being part of a mission-driven endeavor dedicated to making a meaningful impact on patient care, data security, and operational efficiency. As part of our team, the Fellow will be deeply involved in the development and implementation of groundbreaking solutions in healthcare imaging. They will have the chance to work closely with a team of experts in blockchain, AI, and healthcare technology, gaining hands-on experience in cutting-edge technologies. The fellow will be involved in field interviews with healthcare and legal professionals, performing user concept testing, influencing the prototype UX, testing the MVP, and preparing for the launch of the pilot studies - all of which are critical to the success of MediMint. Additionally, they will benefit from mentorship opportunities. For someone seeking a dynamic and challenging environment where they can contribute to transformative change in healthcare, MediMint offers a unique opportunity to be at the intersection of technology and healthcare, driving progress in an industry that is ripe for innovation.

    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?
    MediMint is currently at the MVP development stage. Within 3 months, the team is hopeful that the fully tested solution will be ready for deployment at a medical institution for performing the pilot study. This is a critical time when a fellow would help secure more pilot participants, design the end-to-end pilot study, and test the solution end-to-end.

    What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?
      Flexibility, creativity, openness, willingness to dive deep into the technology and share creative solutions and insights. Professionalism and drive is important for moving this project forward. Ability to collaborate with a team and remain open to feedback.

      Founder: Ava Ramesh
      Home Care Champions // Value-based home care designed to keep seniors healthy at home
      About the Venture
      Home Care Champions provides an enhanced home care program that supports homebound seniors living with multiple chronic conditions in managing the many health-related responsibilities that they have to deal with at home. Better home care drives improved health outcomes for patients and significant cost savings for Medicare payors.

      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?
      Home Care Champions is a healthcare services venture that aims to disrupt a huge market (over $200 billion) that has barely evolved since its inception. In healthcare, everyone seems to acknowledge that healthcare should shift from clinics and hospitals to the home. Yet efforts to promote this shift have focused primarily on virtual care or home visits by nurses. No one has attempted to materially elevate the role of home caregivers to make a greater impact on patients' health, even though they spend more time with patients than any other provider in the healthcare system. The vision of Home Care Champions is to make a significant change to this status quo.

      If you are interested in learning about the intersection of care delivery, value-based payment models, and healthcare payors, working with Home Care Champions may be the right opportunity for you. This venture is still in its early stages so your insights could greatly affect how the company is built.

      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?
      I have completed much of the Market Discovery stage, having interviewed dozens of industry stakeholders, and so have a high-level outline of the solution, the business model, and the target market. However, the details of each of these aspects of the venture need to be fleshed out. Specific workstreams that I need help with include:
      • 1. Mapping out a detailed employment model for our home caregivers, addressing questions like: W2 or 1099, Level of Benefits, Part-Time or Full-Time, the Structure of Performance-Based Bonuses, and Determining the Starting Hourly Wage
      • 2. Conducting an analysis of home care competitors nationally and in Pennsylvania
      • 3. Developing a target list of potential Medicare payor clients (health plans and risk-bearing care-delivering organizations)
      • 4. Conducting interviews with health plan experts to identify drivers of hospitalizations that could be prevented with our home care services
      • 5. Developing mockups of a technology platform that would enable our home caregivers to better manage a patient's health

      What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?
      • - Some level of familiarity with the healthcare system or a strong desire to learn more about this complicated industry
      • - Detail-oriented
      • - Interested in social entrepreneurship - the mission of this venture is to promote the well-being of historically underserved populations (homebound seniors as well as the caregivers themselves)
      • - Proficiency with PowerPoint and Excel
      • - (if interested in the design of a tech platform) A background in software engineering or design

      Founder: Eduardo Zulueta
      CFO 4 ALL // Financial analytics and educational software improving business performance for startups
      About the Venture
      CFO 4 ALL is an AI-powered software solution for early-stage consumer packaged goods (CPG) founders. It provides CFO-level financial insights along with educational tools that empower founders to manage their financial strategy in-house. This helps more businesses succeed and improves the quality of products coming to market, benefiting founders, investors, and consumers alike.

      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?
      • CFO 4 ALL Vision & Mission:
      CPG founders bring the products we all love to life. But sometimes, these product innovators face seemingly insurmountable financial challenges due to the capital intensive, operationally complex nature of the CPG industry.

      Enter CFO 4 ALL, a beacon of hope in the journey of CPG founders, offering an innovative solution to financial management by combining AI-powered analysis with educational technology. This unique blend of fintech and edtech offers a comprehensive solution tailored specifically to the needs of early-stage CPG companies, setting CFO 4 ALL apart from traditional outsourced CFO services / platforms. No longer bound by financial uncertainty, CPG founders can focus their energy on what they do best – creating products that inspire, delight, and transform lives.

      Here's a powerful statistic: over 90% of startups fail, largely due to financial challenges. At CFO 4 ALL, we're determined to change this narrative, aiming to shift the success rate from 10% to 90%. How? By leveraging AI to create a centralized analytics platform that guides strategic decision-making and fosters sustainable growth. Our mission is clear: instill confidence in CPG founders by empowering them to optimize their financial strategies, ultimately reducing the number of startups that falter due to financial hurdles.

      That’s a mission that founders, investors, and consumers alike can get behind.

      • Fellowship Opportunity Overview:
      CFO 4 ALL offers a unique opportunity for VIP fellows to engage in a project where technical skills meet creativity and ownership. While proficiency in programming languages is important, what sets this project apart is the emphasis on creativity and control over the coding process. Further, we are committed to tailoring the fellowship experience to align with the fellow's goals to provide a supportive and educational experience in the fintech space.

      VIP fellows at CFO 4 ALL will have the chance to showcase their innovation in solving various technical challenges. They will have significant control over the project's direction by building the platform from the ground up, working on infrastructure, web development, backend systems, and system architecture.

      This allows fellows to truly demonstrate their problem-solving abilities and showcase their unique approach to coding from inception to completion.

      At CFO 4 ALL, we uphold a culture of creativity and collaboration, fostering a supportive (and fun!) environment for personal and professional growth. We hope to bring on successful fellows full time over the summer for paid internships and are willing to serve as a reference for career advancement. Further, CFO 4 ALL fellows are welcome to use redacted CFO 4 ALL deliverables as examples of their work as part of future graduate program applications and / or recruiting efforts. We want you to get the most out of this opportunity!

      If any of this sounds interesting to you (or you have other ideas for how to add value to CFO 4 ALL), we’d encourage you to apply. All applicants will have the chance to speak with the CFO 4 ALL team to learn more about the opportunity.

      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?
      CFO 4 ALL has completed market validation and is now in the early stages of venture implementation. Our next major milestone is to develop a minimum viable product (MVP).

      Fellows can make an impact via:
      • Frontend Development:
        • Develop user interface components for user authentication, registration, and onboarding.
        • Implement frontend functionalities for viewing and interacting with financial data.
        • Design and develop the user dashboard for budgeting tools and goal tracking.
      • Backend Development:
        • Build backend services for securely managing user authentication and sessions.
        • Develop APIs to connect with external data sources like QuickBooks and fetch financial data.
        • Implement data processing and design a robust database schema to store financial data, user information, educational content, and other relevant data.
        • Utilize relational database management systems (RDBMS) like PostgreSQL or MySQL for structured data storage.
      • AI-Powered Capabilities Development:
        • Research and select appropriate AI technologies for chatbot implementation.
        • Design conversational flows and natural language processing (NLP) models for the chatbot.
        • Develop backend services to handle chatbot interactions and generate financial insights and recommendations.
        • Integrate AI and machine learning algorithms to provide advanced financial analysis, forecasting, and recommendation features.
        • Use libraries like TensorFlow or scikit-learn for implementing machine learning models, and ensure seamless integration with the rest of the platform.
      • Data Visualization and Analytics Development:
        • Implement data visualization libraries or frameworks for displaying financial data.
        • Develop basic analytics features to visualize budgeting trends and financial goal progress.
        • Utilize encryption techniques, access controls, and secure authentication mechanisms to ensure data privacy and integrity.
      • Edtech Development:
        • Design user-friendly interfaces for accessing educational content and tracking progress within the platform.
        • Develop educational components including interactive courses, tutorials, quizzes, and learning modules tailored for early-stage CPG founders.

      What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?
        We're on the lookout for VIP Fellows who bring a spark of excitement and energy to the table! Here's what we're hoping to see in our applicants:
        • · Entrepreneurial Spirit
        • · Problem-Solving Skills
        • · Communication Skills (can you bridge the gap between technical jargon and plain English, making sure everyone is on the same page)
        • · Team Player

        Roles & Responsibilities:
        • Frontend Engineer:
          • Responsibilities: You'll be the maestro of user interface development, crafting seamless experiences for our users.
          • Potential Technologies: Get cozy with React.js, Next.js, JavaScript, and sprinkle in some HTML/CSS magic.
        • Backend Engineer:
          • Responsibilities: Dive deep into the backend trenches, building robust services and APIs to handle our data with finesse.
          • Potential Technologies: Node.js, Python, and your choice of Django or Flask to spice things up.

        • DevOps Engineer:
          • Responsibilities: Become the architect of our infrastructure, ensuring smooth sailing with deployment pipelines and scalability.
          • Potential Technologies: Embrace the power of Docker, Kubernetes, Jenkins, and Terraform to orchestrate our infrastructure.

        • Full Stack Engineer:
          • Responsibilities: Ready to tackle everything from frontend dazzle to backend brilliance? You'll be the Swiss Army knife of our development team.
          • Potential Technologies: Your toolkit will vary based on project needs, but a strong grasp of both frontend and backend tech is key.

        Fellows may also gain exposure to tools such as IDEs, command line, Postman, AWS, and Docker.

        If you're ready to bring your skills, passion, and enthusiasm to the CFO 4 ALL team, we want to hear from you! Join us at CFO 4 ALL and let's revolutionize the world of financial strategy together!

        Other Opportunities:

        If you don't see the perfect role outlined above but possess one or more of the skills listed below, don't hesitate to submit your application. Let's explore how your unique talents can contribute to CFO 4 ALL’s mission!

        1.     Programming Languages: Proficiency in programming languages relevant to software development, such as Python, Java, JavaScript, or C++.

        2.     Database Management: Experience with database management systems (DBMS) like SQL or NoSQL for efficient storage and retrieval of financial data.

        3.     Web Development: Knowledge of web development frameworks like Django, Flask, or React for building web-based applications and user interfaces.

        4.     Machine Learning and AI: Understanding of machine learning algorithms and artificial intelligence techniques for implementing AI-powered financial analysis and prediction.

        5.     Cloud Computing: Familiarity with cloud computing platforms such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud Platform (GCP) for deploying and scaling software solutions.

        6.     Data Analysis: Skills in data analysis and visualization using tools like Pandas, NumPy, Matplotlib, or Tableau to derive insights from financial data.

        7.     Software Testing: Experience with software testing methodologies and tools like Selenium, Jest, or PyTest to ensure the reliability and quality of the software platform.

        8.     Version Control: Proficiency in version control systems like Git for collaborative development and managing codebase changes.

        9.     Cybersecurity: Understanding of cybersecurity principles and best practices to implement security measures and protect sensitive financial information.

        10.  API Integration: Ability to integrate the software platform with external APIs and third-party services commonly used in the finance and accounting domain.

        11.  Agile Methodologies: Experience working in agile development environments like Scrum or Kanban, emphasizing iterative development and teamwork.

        Founder: Rachel League
        Ecobarrier Technologies // Advancing sustainable antibacterial solutions for health and the environment.
        About the Venture
        Ecobarrier Technologies is pioneering a 100% sustainable, water-soluble antibacterial spray that provides eco-friendly protection against a broad spectrum of bacterial threats for fabrics and air filtration systems without leaving harmful residues.

        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?
        Innovative Solutions: We specialize in sustainable protective solutions, primarily in our unique antibacterial spray for fabric masks and air purification systems.
        • - Sustainability Focus: Our commitment to eco-friendly products ensures a healthier, cleaner environment.
        • - Cutting-Edge Technology: We're at the forefront of developing solutions that address current environmental and health crises.
        • Impactful Work: Collaborators can directly contribute to tackle global health and environmental sustainability.
        • - Dynamic Environment: We offer a challenging yet supportive environment, always looking to continuously innovate, perfect for growth.
        • - VIP Fellow Role: The VIP Fellow will gain hands-on experience in developing and marketing sustainable technologies, working alongside a dedicated team.

        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?
        Current Stage: We're in the Post-Development, Pre-Deployment stage, between TRL 6/7, within Technology Readiness Level Standards. This is our growth phase, focusing on enhancing our product and market reach, prior to deployment.
        • - Next Milestone: Our goal is to expand our knowledge on market presence and increase product adoption in new sectors.
        • - Fellow's Role: The VIP Fellow can play a crucial role in market research, product development, and strategic partnerships.

        What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?
        • -Passion for Sustainability: A strong interest in eco-friendly technologies and practices.
        • - Innovative Thinking: Ability to think creatively and contribute to product development.
        • - Strategic Mindset: Skills in market analysis and strategic planning to help us reach new milestones.

        Founder: Sophia Jackson
        GoodRun // AirBnb for Basketball Gyms
        About the Venture
        Building the digital home for the basketball ecosystem. Focus on building a feature set around the point solution we currently offer for gym managers (AirBnb for basketball gyms).

        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 love basketball and are building a modern solution (currently profitable) in a space where the incumbents are built on 20+ year-old software. We aim to vertically integrate the facility/gym management space by combining our B2C Court Rental AirBnb marketplace and pickup game directory with the recreational facility management software.

        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've bootstrapped to $161K in revenue, scaling the AirBnb marketplace and doing additional customer research to build out the feature set required to go-to-market with B2B SaaS.

        What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?
          We're looking for someone with customer interviews, product management, and sales experience. Bonus points if you're technical or have experience in early-stage B2B SaaS.

          Founder: Brandon Huang
          Padel Blue // Physical court space for those interested in playing the fastest-growing sport in the world.
          About the Venture
          Padel Blue is a padel club focused on uniting communities in health and social connection.

          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?
          Working with Padel Blue, you will be a founding member on a team working to execute something that has not been done in many parts of the US. Everything is new, unfamiliar, and relatively untested in the market. Padel Blue presents an exciting challenge to students that are interested in making executive decisions under ambiguous circumstances or in fine tuning their "business instincts".

          Padel Blue is not just a padel club. It is addressing challenges faced by society in social, health, and community intersections. By working with Padel Blue, you are addressing areas that society has not healed post-covid and are a part of creating a better and brighter future for all.

          The responsibilities and business challenges you will be able to work on cover the most exciting and fastest growing areas of the business world: real estate, contract negotiations, supply chain management, marketing strategy, branding, financial modeling, and more.

          You will be making history in the space, working with the first female founder of a Padel Club in the United States you will be a part of a social and business history that may create more exciting challenges and opportunities as the company develops.

          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?
          I have raised a pre-seed that covers the first club. The work primarily revolves around the successful execution of its build, marketing, internal ops, real estate planning, contract negotiation, and supplier management,

          (1) Milestone 1: Financial Confidence/Ops
          • Work with colleagues with a background in financial modeling to form a flexible model with the option to adjust to be forward looking, assumptions clear and able to be adjusted once understood, and an understanding of financing needed/used as adjusted

          (1b) Milestone 1b: Brand Creation/Website/Logo
          • Work with contractor to develop a logo that encapsulates the brand
          • Create a version 1 informative website using webflow and the current domain name

          (2) Milestone 2: Contract Finalization
          • Continue conversations with architecture, civil engineering, and leasers
          • Research and connect with more suppliers of courts, tents to collect more quotes, timelines

          (3) Milestone 3: Suppliers and Marketing
          • Supplier outreach, receive competitive pricing and purchase popup court
          • Obtain a storage location for the court
          • Finalize conversations with local malls to find summer popup placement
          • § Financial, revenue share agreement
          • § Summer employment to run popup
          • § Marketing for main club plan

          (Future) Horizon: Fundraising
          • Organize materials, pitch, to reflect company developments


          Budget Creation
          • - Create Padel Blue's internal budget, how it should best allocate funds, and track runway and remaining funding

          Brand: Competitor Analysis
          • - Understand what customers enjoy and could do without by analyzing customers at other clubs, the hiistory of new sport development, and what successful clubs have done in the past

          Pricing Strategy
          • - Understand customers willingness to pay by researching other club pricing, conducting surveys, and analyzing information.

          Real Estate parameter match
          • - Scout different locations where commercial real estate for Padel Blue makes the most sense and define the parameters with which Padel Blue should search

          Supplier Contract Negotiation, Supply Chain Management
          • - Research potential suppliers of padel courts, collect pricing, timeline, and implementation information
          • - Negotiate supplier contracts to ensure optimal pricing and time to implement achieved
          • - Organize delivery, storage, labor

          Website Development
          • - Develop the first website of Padel Blue
          • - Research best practice

          Marketing Strategy
          • - Create a marketing strategy around the creation of a pop-up club and the launch of the first Padel Blue permanent location
          • - Create the timeline and deliverables necessary to reach the target audience
          • - Create a marketing budget

          What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?
          If you are motivated to learn from and be involved in different business challenges, intellectually curious, unafraid to ask questions, and eager to be a part of building the largest padel club in the United States then this is the right project for you. Anything else can be learned while working to achieve project milestones.

          Founder: Abigail McCulloch
          Munch Industries // Food automation for every niche
          About the Venture
          Munch Industries is building food automation for quick-service dining areas. Our first product is Orble, a customer-facing automatic bubble tea machine for dining areas to get into the 4 billion dollar boba 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?
          We believe that food automation is the next big thing. Yet, as rent and labor costs rise, most solutions show a robotic arm that makes food like a person would.

          Our team of engineers is challenging the idea that people cook in an optimal way. Existing methods are made around human constraints: most of us have two hands for one task at a time. If instead, you start with the needs of the food product and not the existing process, we can make the space-efficient food automation that people need.

          That’s the thinking behind our first product, Orble. We’ve already built a prototype for Orble, a free-standing boba machine that belongs not only alongside vending machines at malls, universities, and other high-traffic public spaces but also in office break rooms and coworking spaces. We’ve parallelized a previously sequential process, developing IP transferable across foods, and we’re running pilots in the spring with plans to sell machines and ingredients.

          Build alongside us on the cutting edge of IoT and automation, work directly with our customers, investors, and regulatory stakeholders, and join us for tastings in our state-of-the-art test kitchen. The VIP Fellow will get to work closely with Orble co-founders and have a significant opportunity to contribute to the company’s strategy and direction.

          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 a pre-seed company building our second prototype. On the business development side, we are about to embark on our largest funding campaign yet, launching in May. Our business development fellows will shape our fundraising strategy, support pilot program set up endeavors and pilot-to-customer transitions, and rigorously test the assumptions behind our economic model.

          On the engineering side, we’re transforming our proof-of-concept prototype to a food-safe machine by March, and rigorously testing the product to make sure it can handle our large-scale pilot program for the rest of the semester. We’re looking for a passionate fellow to take our award-winning prototype to the next level.

          What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?
          • Business Development Fellow
            • Strong technical skills in financial modeling and analysis
            • Interest in developing go-to market strategies and navigate health and safety regulatory pathways
            • Excellent written and oral communication skills to explore hard-tech VC funding and grant opportunities
          • Marketing Fellow
            • Experience with Photoshop or Illustrator
            • Previous projects in graphic design and branding
            • Strong written communication skills to develop our marketing efforts, including our social media content and promotional materials
          • Mechanical Engineering fellow
            • Must be in the last two years of a mechanical engineering undergraduate program or in a graduate program
            • High degree of proficiency in CAD
            • Access to RPL (completion of MEAM 2010)
            • Access to PML and experience laser cutting, 3-D printing
            • Experience in structural, thermal and insulation design preferred
          • Embedded Software fellow
            • Must be in the last three years of a computer science or computer engineering undergraduate program or in a graduate program
            • Experience with embedded system programming and design
            • Practical experience with both C++ and Python for programming on Raspberry Pi/Arduino-like systems
          • Electrical Engineering fellow
            • Must be in the last three years of an electrical engineering undergraduate program or in a graduate program
            • High degree of proficiency with soldering, rapid prototyping, and electrical testing
            • Experience with KiCad, Altium, or Eagle

          Founder: Nastassja Kuznetsova
          Alice by Sync Labs // Enhancing Senior Care through AI-Driven Assisted Living Monitoring
          About the Venture
          Sync Labs is a technology company specializing in integrating AI and smart technology into Computer Vision.

          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?

          What sets Sync Labs apart is our innovative approach to integrating AI and computer vision technology into the assisted living sector, specifically with our flagship product, "Alice." This device uniquely addresses the challenges in senior care by providing advanced monitoring capabilities, enhancing the quality of independent living, and aiding caregivers in their roles.

          Targeted Solution for Assisted Living: Unlike general smart home devices, Alice is specifically designed for assisted living environments. It offers a blend of AI-powered monitoring and user-friendly interfaces, catering to the unique needs of seniors and caregivers.

          Collaborative Development Process: Our development process includes direct collaboration with senior care professionals and facilities, ensuring our product meets the real-world needs of its users. The involvement with Home Instead during our beta testing phase is a testament to our commitment to user-centered design.

          Strong Emphasis on Data Security and Privacy: In a sector where privacy is paramount, Sync Labs prioritizes robust security measures, including advanced encryption and secure streaming protocols, to protect sensitive user data.

          Diverse and Skilled Team: Our team comprises experts in systems, hardware, and software, each bringing a wealth of experience and specialized knowledge. This multidisciplinary approach fosters innovation and comprehensive problem-solving.

          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?

          As of the latest update, Sync Labs is currently in an advanced stage of venture implementation, focusing on refining and scaling the production of our flagship product, Alice. Our immediate next milestone is the continuation of our Beta Testing with an existent assisted living senior company.

          Product Refinement: Based on feedback from beta testing with Home Instead, we have made adjustments to Alice, ensuring it meets the specific needs of the independent assisted living sector.

          Intellectual Property Protection: We are in the process of securing our innovations through comprehensive patent strategies and trademarking efforts.

          Security Enhancement: Implementing robust security measures, including advanced encryption and secure streaming protocols, is crucial, especially considering the expansion of Alice’s camera functionality.

          Resource Management: Balancing in-house development with strategic outsourcing for certain components and cloud services.

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

          AI and Machine Learning Knowledge: Proficiency in AI and machine learning algorithms, particularly as they apply to product development in IoT and smart devices.

          Software Development Skills: Experience in software development, including coding, debugging, and software testing. Familiarity with programming languages relevant to our product development, like Python, C++, or similar.

          Understanding of IoT and Smart Devices: Knowledge of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies and smart device integration, with an emphasis on user interface and experience.

          Data Analysis and Problem-Solving: Strong analytical skills, with the ability to interpret data and metrics to make informed decisions and solve complex problems.

          Founder: Melanie Herbert (
          Fitalyst // Learning Analytics for First-Gen Students
          About the Venture
          Fitalyst re-humanizes campus data to help First-Gen students better allocate their time, effort, and campus resources.

          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?
          For many students, the transition to college life is challenging, but for First-Gen students this transition can be particularly more daunting as some face unique challenges due to cultural and socioeconomic differences. These challenges can lower outcomes for student academic success; for example, according to the Pell Institute, only 10% of First-Gen students receive their bachelor's degree in 6 years, and 44% drop out. For colleges, this translates into higher dropout rates of First-Gen students, underutilized campus resources, and misallocation of alumni donations & federal funding. Our team believes that true innovation is inextricably tied to social impact and if our solution works for First-Gen students, it’ll work for all students! Social innovation-focused fellows will have the opportunity to gain practical skills (biz & product/tech development) in managing our flagship product, Dash, as we pilot with students this semester. Our team spends the first couple of meetings aligning team and individual goals to make sure that the fellow's time with us is truly enriching and impactful.

          "I’ve learned a lot working on the backend for Fitalyst, and I’ve definitely been able to add to my skill set." - Abdi Mohamed (Summer 2023 intern)

          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 first product Dash leverages behavioral science principles to help First-Generation college students anticipate their intentions around academic and wellness outcomes. Dash is a browser extension that transforms every new tab into a calendar-based alert system for First-Gen student success. It features a countdown timer to upcoming commitments and assignments and an emoji bar for emotional reflection and access to campus resources. Dash helps students better allocate their time, effort, and campus resources. Fellows will be essential in maintaining and iterating Dash throughout the semester while also helping to strengthen our pitch and Go-to-Market strategy.

          What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?
          • Engineering/Machine Learning Fellow:
            • Iterate on Dash based on pilot feedback
            • Help integrate AI models into Dash
            • Help build and manage data pipelines
          • UI/UX Designer Fellow:
            • Create and modify Figma designs
            • Wireframing
            • User experience research
          • Business Fellow:
            • Help develop go-to-market strategy
            • Help run pilots this semester
            • Develop and execute interviewing and surveying strategy
            • Market & customer research on different Higher Ed stakeholders, First-Gen students, and other under-represented students (neuro-divergent, adult learners, etc.)

          Founder: Jonathan Muruako
          Penn acts as a great mechanism to vet the talent with whom you will work, and because of this, Penn is able to churn out successful startup after successful startup.
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