Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Got a Business Idea? Wharton Can Help Fund You! (Deadline 11/14)


Ever thought of a business idea but didn’t know how to get it funded?

WhartonWell, now in its 11th year, The Wharton Business Plan Competition has produced some REALLY cool projects. Per their site, "Last year's grand prize winners took home $20,000 and rang the closing bell on the NASDAQ stock exchange."

During this year-long educational experience, students may participate in three phases that provide milestone-driven deadlines. Students receive feedback from business experts, attend workshops, meet with mentors, and vie for a spot as one of eight finalists in the WBPC Finals in April. At the WBPC Finals teams compete before a panel of venture capitalists and other experts for cash and in-kind prizes to propel the launch of their business. This year’s finals will be held on April 29, 2009 in Wharton’s Jon M. Huntsman Hall.

And this competition is not only open to undergrads and grads ...but potentially alumni for competing, judging and sponsoring (more below).

Last year's, winning products included:

1) Products that allow doctors to target radiation specifically to solid tumors.

2) A simple and easily-adoptable process to functionalize plastic and rubber surfaces. This post-manufacturing spray process, called InnlayTM embeds active particles into nearly any plastic or rubber, creating durable and functional product surfaces. Applications include anti-microbial surfaces, biosensors, and RFID tags.

3) SmartSock, a prosthetic accessory that is worn on the residual limb of a transtibial (below-knee) amputee.

Things to know:
1) Founded in 1998, the WBPC is managed by Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs and a management committee comprised of students from throughout the University of Pennsylvania. Open to all Penn students, the WBPC has annually drawn more than 150 student teams comprised of more than 300 participants from nearly every school in the university.
2) Although sponsored by the WCNY, Wharton (or Penn) alumni from anywhere can participate. Teams submitting a plan need just one member who is a Wharton alum and there is at least one "degree-candidate student" at Penn
3) The program is now in its 11th year
4) Wharton is looking for alumni qualified judges. If you're an alum who is invovled in biz dev/venture capital, something for you to consider! Contact Megan Mitchell, Sr Associate Director, Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs, mmitch2@wharton.upenn.edu
5) The competiton is looking for company sponsors (you'll get high visibility). If you're an alum  who is looking to raise your company’s visibility in front of some of the most creative and innovative students at the Univ of Penn, contact Megan Mitchell, Sr Associate Director, Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs, mmitch2@wharton.upenn.edu.

More about submitting to the competition here
Submissions are due November 14th, 2008 @ 2:00pm(EST) through the WBPC Website.

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