The missing piece of the VC gender inclusion puzzle

By Karen Klein, Wharton BS and MBA, Annenberg School of Communications BA, Founding Partner, Bloomberg Beta

Women invented windshield wipers, the first computer program, life rafts, wireless transmissions technology, the paper bag, Kevlar, fire escapes and, mind you, chocolate chip cookies. If good ideas had only come from people who looked like the founding fathers, then a wealth of advances and joys might have been delayed or missed entirely.

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The Challenge of Product-Market Fit: Microdyne Robotics

Microdyne Robotics was a member of the second cohort of the Penn I-Corps Accelerator Program, hosted by the Penn Center for Innovation in spring 2016. We asked the founders to reflect on the program, and how it helped their startup grow.

By Elizabeth Hunter ENG’13/GR’19, Denise Wong GR’17, and Edward Steager, Co-founders of Microdyne Robotics

Microdyne Robotics is a company founded with the broad vision of automated manipulation of objects at length scales less than 100 microns, generally smaller than the width of a hair. We’re interested in applying new discoveries and techniques that we develop in the lab to problems such as biological cell sorting, targeted drug delivery, and fine-scale force microscopy. We use arrangements of electromagnets to manipulate microfabricated, magnetic robots that are controlled using visual feedback, typically using a microscope as an interface.

Microbots schematic

Microbot schematic

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“I have zero days of professional marketing experience.”

By Alex Kubo WG’17, Marketing & Demand Generation Intern at Andela

Sitting at my in-laws’ kitchen table, on and off Google Hangouts for hours, was not how I pictured my first day on the job. Then again, how could I have known what life at a startup would be like? I spent five years before joining the Wharton community working as an engineer in the petroleum and petrochemical industry for one of the largest publicly traded companies in the world. My former employer had systems for systems and regimented work processes for nearly every task. I painfully remember all too well having eight occurrences of the same “alignment” meeting over the course of ten months leading up to a project with a two-week execution window. “Action-oriented” was not a term heard frequently, let alone embraced. Yet there I was, a year after leaving big oil, diving headfirst into the startup world—albeit from the confines of middle-of-nowhere Connecticut—while the startup I had just kicked off with was relocating offices.

Andela Twitter

Andela’s Series B announcement on June 16, 2016.

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Who Is The American Angel?

Angel investors—accredited individuals who collectively support the American startup industry with some $24 billion of capital per year – maintain diversified portfolios that represent roughly 5 percent of total held assets, with median investments of $25,000 per deal. The Angel Capital Association (ACA) and Wharton Entrepreneurship released these and other early insights from the ongoing “The American Angel” survey, which is designed to provide the deepest research to date into the characteristics of angel investors. The survey is open for more angels to participate.

Angel 630

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Startups for Dummies (aka Liberal Arts Students)

By Antione Gray C’17

I’m not in Wharton, nor am I an engineer, so a startup is probably the last place I would’ve imagined interning this summer. In my mind, working at a startup entailed either dealing with complex models in Excel or spending countless hours writing code, so I focused much of my internship search on finding positions and companies that I felt were more aligned with my academic interests and previous work experiences. Having interned at a charter school, a real estate firm, and for the federal government, I knew I wanted my next internship to be a springboard for a multifaceted career in real estate, government, and nonprofit management, as well as an opportunity for me to explore my options for graduate studies in either law or business.

Antoine and his colleagues at Paladin.

Antione and his colleagues at Paladin.

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Exit Interview: Miranda Wang C’16, Founder of BioCellection

Penn undergrad Miranda Wang made Business Plan Competition history as not just the first undergraduate team to win the Perlman Grand Prize, but also the first team to take home a total of five prizes–as the winner, Miranda and her co-founder, Jeanny Yao, were invited to ring the NASDAQ closing bell on Friday, July 1. All told, Miranda won over $90,000 in various prizes and grants from across Penn. Before she graduated in May, we asked her a few questions about what it was like being a student entrepreneur. Here’s what she said:

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BioCellection Is Ringing the NASDAQ Closing Bell!

Again this year, our Business Plan Competition Grand Prize Winner, BioCellection, is ringing the NASDAQ closing bell. Join us today, Friday, July 1, at 3:45 pm EDT, from wherever you are, via Facebook Live or webcast, as we celebrate these amazing young entrepreneurs!

And in the meantime, enjoy this video about this year’s exciting Venture Finals:

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A New World, Built by Entrepreneurs

By Dilawar Syed WG’02, President of Freshdesk

The rise of entrepreneurial capital and startups in tech hubs across the planet has spurred an economic revolution in communities, regions, and countries around the world and is having a profound socio-economic impact.

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Exit Interview: Aaron Goldstein W’16, Co-founder of Fever Smart

During his time at Wharton, Aaron Goldstein received the President’s Innovation Prize, a Wharton Venture Award, a Wharton Innovation Fund award, a Weiss Tech House Innovation Fund award and a Snider Seed Award, Fever Smart won Second Prize in the 2015 Wharton Business Plan Competition, and he was a member of the Venture Initiation Program. Before he graduated last month, we asked him a few questions about what it was like being a student entrepreneur. Here’s what he said:

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Wharton Network Helps Alumna Grow Startup

Wharton San Francisco alumna Rel Lavizzo-Mourey WG’15 launched her luxury outerwear company called Silver Lining Bespoke during her second year in the EMBA program. We recently caught up with Rel and asked her to tell us about her experiences starting a company in school and how Wharton has helped her since graduation. Here is what she said:

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