A Student Intern at a Student Startup

By Kevin Ho ENG’18, Founder of Livedrop

About a month ago, I started my internship at Barring Eyewear, a Philadelphia-based startup that produces high-end affordable sunglasses from innovative materials. I first learned about Barring Eyewear when I pitched alongside its co-founder, Joseph Hwang LPS’15, for the Wharton Venture Initiation Program last fall. Dozens of startups pitched that day, but Barring Eyewear’s stood out to me because while most of the startups were still in the early development stage with little more than an idea and business plan, Barring Eyewear brought in its already manufactured product. A few weeks later at a Weiss Tech House networking event, I recognized Joe from his pitch and reached out to him for advice on my startup, Livedrop. Since then, Joe has acted as a mentor, guiding me through my first year of college as well as providing direction for Livedrop.

Setting up shop at Firefly Music Festival

Setting up shop at Firefly Music Festival.

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How Do You Choose Whom To Fund?

By Millicent Pitts WG’91, CEO of The Ocean Exchange

I have the privilege of being Executive Director of a nonprofit whose sole mission is to help advance the adoption of solutions related to sustainability. We execute our mission, in part, by the award of two $100,000 grants to early stage companies with working prototypes. (Intrigued?  Go to OceanExchange.org.) People often ask me what our voting delegates and sponsors—who represent business, capital markets, NGOs, governments, and academia—look for in these early stage companies.

Previous winner of the Ocean Exchange Gulfstream Navigator Award: Liquid Robotics instruments the ocean with fleets of networked, wave-powered ocean robots, solving critical problems for our defense, oil & gas, commercial, and science customers. Wave Gliders are transforming ocean observation, making data collection and monitoring easier, safer, and more cost-effective. This is a Wave Glider SV3 during beta testing in Hawaii.

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A Business Meeting for Clare

Only the finest business attire will do when Wharton Entrepreneurship Managing Director Clare Leinweber has a meeting with Ben. All made by alumni entrepreneurs, of course!

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The Next Big Deal at Wharton: FinTech

Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared on the Wharton Magazine blog.

By Paulynn Yu WG’15

I felt like I was peering into the future of finance as a participant at Finovate 2014 held in San Jose. The conference is the biggest showcase of new financial services technology applications in the world. I also remember thinking, “Wow, this is a big deal,” when I learned that two other similar conferences, LendIt and Money2020, had more than tripled their attendance in the last two years.

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A Day Out for Clare

When Wharton Entrepreneurship Managing Director Clare Leinweber has a day out, she uses only the finest products. Those made by alumni entrepreneurs, of course!

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Sacrificing Short Term Gains for Long Term Success

By Bryan Lalezarian, CEO of MeUndies

One of the most powerful tools I’ve come across in building a consumer brand at MeUndies is the net promoter score (NPS), which attempts to measure word of mouth and how likely your customers are to champion your brand to their friends and colleagues.   There are plenty of resources covering the glories of NPS, so rather than focus on the score itself, I’d like to touch on a constant dilemma that faces any startup: balancing the need to show short-term results against investing in building a lasting company.  Interestingly, those two forces sometimes align together (e.g. building a world-class team), but that’s not always the case.

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Natural Beauty and Social Impact

By Chelsea Atkins C’16

Working at a start-up isn’t working at all; it’s living and breathing the universal belief of all start-ups: We will succeed. Success is measured incrementally in units sold, LinkedIn endorsements received, and business cards acquired. Every rejection, every negative review, and every sleepless night is fuel for the fire. If you believe in anything other than the inevitability of success, go home.

Chelsea Atkins C'16 and the Kreyol Essence team.

Chelsea Atkins C’16 and the Kreyol Essence team.

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Calgary Entrepreneur Shares His Wharton|San Francisco Experience

By Meghan Laska

Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on the Executive MBA Stories blog.

What is it really like to be an EMBA student at Wharton San Francisco? We asked first-year student Jory Lamb, president and founder of VistaVu Solutions in Calgary, Canada. Here’s what he said:

On Impact:

The best way to explain the impact of Wharton’s EMBA program is with the post-mortem I did at the end of term one. I’ve run my own business since 1996 and came here to gain the frameworks needed to allow me to manage and lead my company at a higher level. At the end of the first term, I counted eight specific things I had brought back to improve or change at my organization. While the commitment of time, dollars, and effort is great, there is nowhere else you could get this type of experience.

Jory Lamb with his family.

Jory Lamb with his family.

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Clare Leinweber: “It’s an Exciting Time for Entrepreneurship at Wharton”

By Nadine Kavanaugh, Associate Director, Wharton Entrepreneurship

“Wharton Entrepreneurship is important both across Penn and Wharton. I think it’s important to the world. We are in the business of helping students launch businesses. And the potential there for taking very smart, talented Wharton and Penn students and having them found companies is that they end up creating employment and economic development and growth across the country, perhaps across the world.”

— Clare Leinweber, Managing Director of Wharton Entrepreneurship

Watch Clare Leinweber, our new Managing Director, talk about why this is such an exciting time for entrepreneurship at Wharton, what she sees in the future for Wharton Entrepreneurship, and how much she loves working with our entrepreneurial students:

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GenHERation: Empowering Girls to Become Leaders

Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on the Penn website as part of President’s Engagement Prize-Winners Launch Social Impact Projects. Katlyn Grasso W’15 is one of five winners of the inaugural President’s Engagement Prize. As a student, Katlyn was an active participant in the Wharton Entrepreneurship community: she was a member of the Venture Initiation Program, a semifinalist in the Business Plan Competition, and the recipient of a Wharton Venture Award.

Only five percent of Fortune 500 companies have female CEOs, and there are even fewer women who start their own businesses.

“I grew up in an environment where I was conditioned to believe that girls can do anything,” says Katlyn Grasso, a Wharton School graduate who majored in economics, with concentrations in finance and strategic globalization.

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