Venture Initiation Program – Fellows

Applications for the FALL 2019 are DUE on September 22 at 11:59 PM (EDT). 

Please check  projects listed below to select the ones you are interested in before you apply. We update this page daily so come back to see new projects.

Questions? Email Valentina Goutorova.

VIP Fellows are students interested in working with an early stage venture, particularly as one of the first employees. Students may also be interested in joining an early stage venture as a co-founder. Projects listed below are from the student founders in Penn Wharton Entrepreneurship’s Venture Initiation Program (VIP). VIP Fellows commit to working on a project with a VIP company for one semester (approximately 10 weeks). All positions are unpaid. The program is open to all Penn and Wharton students.

Air23

Air23

Air23 is a technology-enabled marketplace that helps physicians run clinical trials in their practice to increase practice revenue and offer novel cures to patients.

  • 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?

Innovations in medicine have been increasing human lifespan and curing us of ailments for centuries. According to the leaders of Pharmaceutical companies, the greatest roadblock to bringing more life-extending cures to market is finding patients for clinical trials.

Air23 helps solve that problem, and by joining the team you will have a direct impact on the lives of patients around the world.

This semester you will have an opportunity to work with Pharma companies, physicians and their patients as we work quickly to expand our physician network.

  • 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?

Over the summer we opened our first two physician offices for clinical trials, and have been approved for our first trials!

This semester we will be managing those trials while moving quickly to open new clinical research sites. Our goal is to open 5 new sites by the end of this year!

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

We are looking for two types of skill sets in our VIP Fellows:

  • Strong operations fundamentals – You will work with our physicians, and our pharma companies to create systems and processes to prepare us for growth while driving efficiency from the business model
  • Business development & sales – A person who is not afraid to cold email, or walk into a doctor’s office to encourage them to join our network. You will be helping us expand our reach by building relationships with physicians and pharma companies
  • Product – you love technology, and have a good eye for product development. Your role will be focused on working with the CEO to ideate, wireframe and support building the technology that powers Air23

If you don’t fit this description, don’t hesitate to apply. The company is growing fast and we need all types of skills.

Amikka Tutoring, LLC

Elivade is a career advancement platform for minority talent

  • 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?

Amikka is an online education consulting agency. We are in the initial stages of exploring tech consulting and real estate consulting. We will be using our marketing expertise within the education space to help showcase some of the talent that our potential partners have in these fields. Currently, we manage 15 education consultants that range from Penn Law Students to professors. We have built an all-inclusive program to help students maximize their potential in life with academic guidance from a young age. We help our students choose classes, extracurriculars, and sports that are going to help them realize their best self. However, the bulk of our program revolves around sat/act prep. We believe that this is the last step in helping launch students into a better future. We have built our own problem-solving program and strategies that translate directly to act/sat prep but are also taught to students at a younger age. If you are interested in working at a place that is constantly evolving and going through innovation phases, Amikka is the place for you. We are currently focusing most of our hours on building a more efficient and smooth process for our managers by stream-lining our business processes. Amikka will provide a good experience for the VIP Fellow because you will be rotating through all of the parts of the business and deciding where it is that your strengths could make the biggest difference. This in itself will make it a great experience for you. We are also a very close-knit team of 15 positive people that feed off of our positive reinforcement and great ideas.

  • 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 process of stream-lining our processes before a massive marketing launch on facebook, youtube, and google. This will allow us to scale quickly and franchise within a year. We believe this launch will triple the size of our company within 3 months.

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

We are looking for people that are passionate, innovative, and eager to learn.

– Be flexible and creative when approaching new tasks

– Ability to manage various stakeholders (e.g., ambassadors, company partners, developers, investors)

BigHits

BigHits (www.pickbighits.com) is an online game where players compete in picking the hottest new music.

  • 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?

BigHits is the only music popularity game on the market and takes after the highly lucrative Daily Fantasy Sports model. Players create playlists of songs and enter them into tournaments to win cash, prizes, and bragging rights.

VIP Fellows will work directly with our founders and take a hands-on role in growing a startup from the ground up. Fellows will have autonomy over their work and have their creative voices heard. Exceptional performers will be considered as additions to the team after the period of the fellowship.

  • 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?

BigHits is currently validating product-market fit by iterating with our target market on game design and functionality.

Our next milestones are to develop a mobile application and to execute marketing strategies that aim to explain the product, our brand, and vision through social media and blog posts.

Our fellows can make an impact in any of the following areas:

    • Front-End web development
    • Social Media/Inbound marketing
    • Market research
    • Financial/marketing projections
    • Fundraising
    • Graphic Design
    • User/Musician lead generation
    • Technical writing/brand messaging
  • What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?
    • Tenacious
    • Detail-oriented
    • Eager to learn
    • Passionate about music
Brunchface

BrunchFace

We enable city dwellers to casually & meaningfully engage with her city’s brunch-scene.

  • 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 BrunchFace aim to make you and your friend’s brunch experience even more enjoyable!

Our venture wants you to immerse in your city’s brunch-scene while establishing a discipline that translates into a meaningful career.

  • 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?

BrunchFace aims to launch in October 2019. We are currently moving full steam ahead on technical development while establishing traction. We hope to have our Fellow contribute to our marketing efforts and provide feedback in terms of product development.

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

VIP Fellow that loves Brunch and can set aside 5-10 hrs a week to this venture is preferred.

Elivade

Elivade is a career advancement platform for minority talent

  • 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?

Elivade is a career advancement platform for minority talent. Our mission is to elevate diversity in the workplace. We can provide a unique VIP Fellow experience:

– We are tackling an important social issue (significant under representation of minorities and women in business)

– We went live in April and have a team of 6 people plus ~30 Campus Ambassadors (at Harvard, NYU, Columbia etc.). This will be a great opportunity for VIP Fellows to help bring an early stage startup to the next level.

– VIP Fellows will get access to unique career opportunities. We are partnering with employers from across industries (e.g., PE, VC, Tech)

– We had VIP Fellows the last 2 semesters. All of them loved it and remained part of the team afterwards!

  • 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 our launch in April we had ~2500 users and signed up multiple company partners. We have partnerships with affinity clubs at top universities including Wharton, Harvard, Georgetown, and NYU. Timing is perfect to join as a VIP Fellow as we are planning to scale up the venture aggressively over the next few months. We are raising a friends & family round to scale up our marketing activities over the coming months. Additionally, we are planning to release an iOS and Android App in September.

Fellows will get a lot of mentorship and responsibility at Elivade. We can assign roles based on specific interests. Overall, these are the functions:

– Marketing: Manage Campus Ambassadors, design social media campaigns, get press coverage, come up with additional strategic initiatives to scale

– Partnerships: Manage current company partners, acquire new partners

– Analytics: Analyze user engagement & retention and come up action items to improve

– Financing: Pursue investors, competitions, and other funding opportunities

– Product Management: Come up with new product features/improvements and implement them using our developers

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

– Passionate about diversity & inclusion

– Willingness to learn

– Be a team player

– Be flexible and creative when approaching new tasks

– Ability to manage various stakeholders (e.g., ambassadors, company partners, developers, investors)

FLOAT_THERE

FLOAT/THERE

FLOAT/THERE is a clothing rental service for travelers — we generate curated clothing collections that match customers’ styles and travel plans and then deliver those clothes directly to their destinations, allowing them to travel light.

  • 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 operate at the intersection of technology, retail, and travel, so this could be a good experience for anyone interested in these areas. We’re also at an exciting stage of our venture where demand exceeds capacity, so we are figuring out how to scale up operations in preparation for a market launch.

  • 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 a waitlist in Fall 2018, opened up the pilot program in Spring 2019, and have been actively testing the product on paying customers that we select off the waitlist. Our next milestone is to launch to the wider market. Some example projects the fellow could help with depending on his/her skills and interests:

    • Managing our campus ambassador program (launching soon)
    • Establishing pilots / partnerships with local hotels or retail fashion brands
    • Growing social media presence
    • Fundraising / refining our financial model
    • Operations (e.g. inventory management, packaging, shipping, etc.)
  • What skills and attributes are you looking for in a VIP Fellow?

We are looking for experience in retail or hospitality partnerships, social media marketing, graphic design, fundraising, and/or forecasting & financial modeling. With that said, we’d love to chat with anyone with a background or interest in retail / travel tech!

Futor

Futor is a tutoring application serving the higher education segment, by giving students the opportunity to pick their tutors based on similar backgrounds (i.e. similar professors, classes, learning styles, teaching styles) and the opportunity to find these tutors in local areas such as coffee shops or libraries.

  • 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 tutoring industry is a 38 billion dollar market and one that needs a new face. Our vision is that every
student in need of academic help should find the help they need and also feel comfortable to enable the
best learning environment. We would be the first tutoring application that provides a hyper-localized,
tailored tutoring environment based on past academic experiences instead of meaningless credentials .
We have core philosophies at Futor, and one of them is that every single person on the team should feel
comfortable enough to challenge a co-founder on an idea, or take the initiative to implement their own.
We foster an environment that highlights transparency and compassion within our 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?

We are currently working on developing a prototype to launch by mid-September. We spent the last
few months talking to over a hundred users and conducted usability tests. We know we have a
product people want, and we’re looking for fellows to make the vision happen (look down below for
what not only what you can give us, but what we can provide for you) !
Our next milestone is to launch and conduct usability tests to constantly iterate the product. As “The
Lean Startup” says, our philosophy is: Build. Measure. Learn.

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

We are looking for three VIP Fellows: 1) Tech Fellow 2) Graphic Designer Fellow 3) Marketing Fellow
( If you have experience that doesn’t fit the above “titles,” feel free to reach out and talk to us – we can
figure something out!)
1) Tech Fellow:
* Ask : Looking for an experienced coder in mobile app development (able to work with Xcode
or Swift) in order to develop Futor’s prototype.* Give: The opportunity to work with the CTO in order to develop product management skills, enhance existing hard skills/soft skills, and be featured on the website!
2) Graphic Designer Fellow:
* Ask: A student who has a passion for elevating branding identity, working with Adobe’s
creative apps, and is comfortable with UI/UX design. If you have past projects that showcase
how you understand graphic design basics and composition, please feel free to email it to us!
* Give: Collaborate closely with the founding team and be credited for all logo, website, and
landing page contributions. We want our team members to succeed beyond the 10-week
internship!
3) Marketing Fellow:
* Ask: An individual who has interests in advertising, commercial awareness, social media
skills and strong interpersonal skills.
* Give: We want you to take initiative and have the opportunity to develop leadership,
communication, and networking skills! You’ll be working closely with the CEO on launch
strategies and business partnerships.

Kidas

Kidas

Kidas (www.kidas.net) is a social media monitoring app that helps parents to protect their kids from cyberbullying and online predators using advanced AI technology.

  • 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?

Kidas saves kids’ lives by protecting them from cyberbullying and online predators. We are a group of Israeli intelligence veterans who use advanced AI to detect dangerous situations online. We won the Jacobson award, The MBAfund startup competition and were part of Pennovation accelerator last summer. Working with Kidas will provide fellows experience in:
1) Working with a highly-skilled tech team
2) Manage product development using agile methodology
3) Design early-stage software service

  • 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 is in an exciting stage – we just raised a small round and started our first pilot with parents in Philadelphia. We also began to cooperate with the international center for missing and exploited children and leading children Psychiatrists from CHOP. Our next milestone is finishing our MVP pilot with parents and starting a pilot with a charter school in the area.

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

We are looking for fellows who are passionate about delivering impact by protecting kids.
Experience and expertise desired but not required: 1) Experience in selling and marketing to schools or school districts  2) Product management 3) Android/IOS app development 4) Web content creation
We also hope to leverage this opportunity to add team members to our core team after the program ends. Fellows may take MKTG741 class and work with one of the founders on the marketing plan as part of this class.

Let's-play

Let's Play!

Founded in 2018, Let’sPlay! is an active sports-buddy platform. Let’sPlay matches you with sports partner(s) of similar skill-level and reserves nearest facility for your next game. Let’sPlay! covers multiple sports such as tennis, racquetball, volleyball, squash, badminton, and pick-up soccer in major US cities.

  • 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 offers 1:1 mentoring from Wharton MBAs who have a strong technology background. Our team has worked in consulting, Tech & Private Equity before at McKinsey, Amazon, Google, Lyft etc. and can mentor you beyond the venture.

The Fellows will work directly with the founders, will be coached on tools and techniques, and receive access to our network. Fellows will work in an entrepreneurial environment and change the way the world plays sports.

Please note: Exceptional performers will be considered to join the team for longer. We really view the fellowship as a pipeline to being a Founding member with 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 are in the early stages where we have developed a product mock, tested user needs and are now developing our pilot. Our advisers include Venture Capitalists and leading Technology thinkers.

Our next milestone is developing an app for our pilot and build our marketing platform from scratch via social media marketing, SEO & Other.

Fellows can expect to develop expertise in everything about a tech venture: app development, marketing, business model and scrappy working.

Marketing fellows will also get a chance to speak with several local Gyms, sports facilities in Philadelphia area which is really on-ground work and a LOT of fun.

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

We are looking for two VIP fellows – tech fellow and marketing fellow & the following attributes:

    • Passion for Sports, and societal well-being.
    • iOS/ Android app development skills; passion for technology (for tech fellow).
    • Interest in connecting with other students, social media marketing and on-ground research (for marketing fellow).
    • Strong interpersonal skills with a good aptitude for communication and transparency.
    • Team-player with an entrepreneurial spirit, love for food and fun!