The Startup Challenge is Venture Lab at The University of Pennsylvania’s flagship event, which brings together successful entrepreneurial alumni and Penn student entrepreneurs to showcase the best student-founded ventures from across Penn’s campus. Teams have a chance to win cash prizes, in-kind support, and additional resources.

The 2024 Startup Challenge Live Final presented by Venture Lab at the University of Pennsylvania Powered by the Wharton School took place at Tangen Hall on 4/12/2024
Introducing Our Philadelphia and San Francisco Cohorts

Check out the latest student and alumni ventures to join our accelerator program! VIP-X is an intense, 3-month accelerator program for the most dedicated student and alumni entrepreneurs and the most advanced startups.
Seadrop Skincare’s face wash isn’t a liquid: It’s a round bead that you crush in your hand and combine with water.

Founder: Serena Advani, C'17, W'17, WG'22
The Visiting Experts Program is a Venture Lab program that provides students with the opportunity to meet alumni founders, entrepreneurs, subject matter experts, and industry experts in one-on-one or small group AMA (Ask Me Anything) sessions. The program aims to provide insights into the practical, conceptual, and personal challenges of launching, acquiring, or growing a venture.
Our flagship program, the Venture Initiation Program is a joint incubator-accelerator that introduces students to the key aspects of entrepreneurship such as ideation, validation, market-product fit, fundraising, networking, scaling, business planning, development, launching and more.
Get $500, $2,500, or $5,000 towards your venture 

The Penn Wharton Innovation Fund exists to fund creative and meaningfully innovative ventures from the Penn student community. Alberto Vitale WG’59, who endowed the Innovation Fund, hopes that it will be “a catalyst to stimulate innovation at the School and to surface the brainpower of its students.”

The Innovation Fund awards are for early-stage ventures founded and led by one or more Penn students. The venture should be a new venture founded while the team lead and/or team members are current Penn students.
by Jeff Schmitt, Poets&Quants

In the next 25 years, 45 million families will inherit $4 trillion dollars worth of heirlooms. But, 80% of families don’t have a plan or tools to support them through this process. This makes the process of managing and dividing heirlooms highly administrative, emotionally exhausting, and financially inefficient.

Nemu, founded by Sarah Powers, WG'23, is on a mission to address this gap.
VIP Practicum is designed for students with an interest in working at an early-stage venture, particularly as one of the first employees or in joining an early-stage venture as a co-founder.
Join the Venture Lab Social Entrepreneurship program and be a catalyst for positive change! Explore the intersection of business and social impact with our innovative salon series. Dive deep into key industries and communities like Food and Agriculture, Affordable Housing, Clean Tech, and LGBTQ+.

Be part of the solution – your journey towards meaningful impact starts here!
Our Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition (ETA) program provides training, funding, and guidance to help interested students buy an established small to medium-sized company and operate, optimize, and grow it. Our workshops and events are open to all Penn Students.
by Jeff Schmitt, Poets&Quants

Flagler Health creates artificial intelligence-based software tools that help musculoskeletal (Ortho, Interventional Pain, Physical Therapy) physicians improve their suite of clinical offerings to patients. Prior to Flagler Health, Albert Katz, WG'23, was the Chief Financial Officer at Spine and Wellness Centers of America, a multidisciplinary musculoskeletal clinic based in Florida.
Aravind Krishnan (C'25, W'25) was 14 years old when a school trip to the Jersey shore led to a surprising lesson on the biomedical industry: it still relies on horseshoe crab blood for bacterial contamination testing, a process that is both incredibly expensive as well as ecologically harmful.

He teamed up with other first-year students to officially launch his business ToxiSense, and they ultimately won the 2022 Venture Lab Startup Challenge, Penn’s largest pitch competition.
The Startup Internship Awards are awarded to select students who will spend the summer interning at a startup and who demonstrate both a commitment to entrepreneurship at Penn and to pursuing an entrepreneurial career. The objective of this award is to provide financial support for students who would be making a financial sacrifice by taking unpaid or underpaid summer internships at startup companies.

Deadline: Sunday, June 2, 2024, 11:59 pm ET

Pathways

Venture Lab offers five unique pathways for students and alumni interested in entrepreneurship and innovation. Each pathways features tailored programming that intertwines with our collective programs and resources.
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Labs & Studios

Tangen Hall is home to nine, unique lab and studio spaces that provide an array of resources, tools, trainings, and workshops for all interested students.

Access to the labs & studios requires membership to Venture Lab and/or participation in the Venture Initiation Program.
Our collection of workspaces and labs that house digital and analog fabrication technologies.
Our print and digital production supporting student ventures across the Penn community.
Our 800-sq. ft. facility that supports a unique cohort of food and beverage startups at Penn.

Tangen Hall brings together aspiring entrepreneurs across the University

At seven stories and 68,000 square feet, the Wharton-led Tangen is the largest student entrepreneurship hub in the world.

“The ‘start here’ approach is echoed in our mission of democratizing entrepreneurship for all students at Penn,” says Lori Rosenkopf, vice dean of entrepreneurship and Simon and Midge Palley Professor of Management at the Wharton School.

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Venture Lab was built to encourage interdisciplinary, integrated, and inclusive entrepreneurship. It’s a beacon that showcases the wide variety of opportunities across the University. Come grow with us!
Lori Rosenkopf, Vice Dean of Entrepreneurship at The Wharton School