Students entering the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School this fall bring with them record levels of entrepreneurial experience and aspirations, according to a recent blog post by Nadine Kavanaugh, associate director of Wharton Entrepreneurship.
“We’re especially excited because the Class of 2016 is already incredibly entrepreneurial,” wrote Kavanaugh. “We can’t wait to see what amazing startups they’ll start.”
Forty five members of the Class of 2016 boast prior entrepreneurial experience, up from 38 the year before. They include one who founded an educational firm that develops interactive software and games for children around the world and another who co-founded a Silicon Valley business accelerator for entrepreneurs.
Another 82 students in this year’s incoming class have already held significant roles at startups, compared to 34 of those in the Class of 2015.
But the largest jump has been in the number of students who report that they plan to start their own company after graduating from Wharton. A staggering 203 students – representing almost a full quarter (23 percent) of the Wharton Class of 2016 – have aspirations of launching their own ventures post-MBA. That’s more than twice as many students as in last year’s entering class, when 92 indicated plans to start a company after Wharton.
“We look forward to a lifetime of supporting these dynamic individuals as they pursue the often complex career path of entrepreneurship, whether they launch their first businesses the day before graduation or 25 years after,” wrote Kavanaugh.
Wharton Entrepreneurship sponsors a wide range of programs, contests and awards, including biweekly WE Weds workshops for entrepreneurs, an annual Wharton Business Plan Competition, and the Venture Initiation Program (VIP) educational incubator.