U Penn’s Wharton Business Plan Competition Selects Semi-Finalists
Twenty-six semifinalists have been named in this year’s Wharton Business Plan Competition (BPC), the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School announced yesterday. Prize money for the competition has increased this year by more than 50 percent, to $116,000, which will be awarded at the annual Venture Finals on April 27th.
Increased combined in-kind and cash prizes, up 53 percent from last year’s levels, have drawn a diverse pool of candidates including students from the University of Pennsylvania’s schools of Engineering, Medicine and Arts and Sciences as well as from Wharton. Two teams this year are led by Wharton|San Francisco executive MBAs, and three teams include past or present members of the Wharton Venture Initiation Program, an educational incubator open to all Penn students.
The teams that will advance to the next round this year submitted plans for ventures ranging from low-cost, hygienic footwear for spas, gyms and resorts to public transit advertising capable of customizing messaging stop by stop to connect shoppers with nearby retailers.
For the first time this year, all semi-finalists teams will submit their full business plans and deliver a five-minute pitch before a panel of judges from their industry track. By extending the pitching process to the semi-finalist round, the competition will now allow more students an opportunity to present and receive real-time feedback from alumni experts representing firms such as First Round Capital, Bain Capital Ventures, Blue Run Ventures and Canaan Partners.
The teams that emerge from the semi-finalist round will make up the “Great Eight” finalist teams, which will face off against one another to deliver 20-minute presentations to judges and compete for the $116,000 in cash and prizes. The Venture Finals, which attract more than 200,000 entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, investment bankers, alumni, faculty and staff, will take place at Wharton’s Dhirubhai Ambani Auditorium on April 27th.
For more information about this year’s semi-finalists or about past participants, click here.