Venture Lab News
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Moderated by Lori Rosenkopf, Vice Dean of Entrepreneurship and Simon & Midge Palley Professor of Management
The Bet on Entrepreneurship program provides First Generation and/or Lower Income members of the Class of 2026 at the University of Pennsylvania with an eight-week, summer immersive placement with San Francisco/Bay Area-based charter venture capital firms.
Fernando Rojo, C’19, CEO of PATOS has been featured in Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Business Insider, Huffington Post, Refinery29, Buzzfeed, NBC News, CNBC, and more. Patos provided work for over a dozen local artisans in Peru's impoverished cities to handcraft sneakers for PATOS.

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Photography by James Graves @ Venture Lab at The University of Pennsylvania
Jochi, founded by Yash Dhir, SEAS'24, and Rahul Nambiar, SEAS'24, has been making waves in the Penn startup scene, securing multiple awards and recognition, including Venture Lab's 2024 Startup Challenge's Launch Award, The AI at Wharton Award, The Audience Choice Award, the Draper Bridge Fund Award and has also taken home the prestigious President's Innovation Prize!
PHILADELPHIA, APRIL 16, 2024–The University of Pennsylvania’s Venture Lab is pleased to announce the winner of its annual Startup Challenge: Nirby, founded by Piotr Lazarek SEAS'25 W'25. Nirby is a real-time soil analytics and farmland management tool for large agricultural enterprises, leveraging satellite data and proprietary drone systems to deliver actionable insights within minutes. The tool enables up to 40% savings on fertilizer expenses and up to 15% increase in crop yields.
As smaller companies grow, the greatest challenge lies in maintaining company culture when business owners feel that their spirit and values are lost during rapid expansion.