Applications for Summer 2021 are closed. Applications for Summer 2022 will open during the Spring 2022 semester.
Questions? Email Jill Anick.
"Ibotta realized the value of MBA interns, so I was able to spend my summer with a great group of MBA and undergrad interns. I enjoyed learning from the leadership team and having the opportunity to impact the product roadmap this summer." - Melissa Rondi, WG’17
How To Apply
The award is designed to support students who will be actively contributing to the growth of a start-up over their summer by gaining functional skills such as sales, marketing, operations, business development, finance, product management, or product development.
Students must be interning full time (35+ hours/week) for at least 10 consecutive weeks during the summer. Summer is defined as from the day after the last day of the Spring semester to the day before the first day of Fall classes. Work done with the startup outside of these dates does not count toward the internship requirement for this award.
Students must be working directly and in person with the founding team in the company office. Students may not work remotely/virtually.
During the COVID-19 global pandemic, the in-person requirement is waived and students are permitted to work remotely. Students are asked to describe how they will maintain contact with the startup’s founders and senior leaders while working remotely.
Students are required to accept an internship offer at a startup before applying for an award.
Companies must have less than $25 million in revenues (as of company’s last full fiscal year) and fewer than 200 employees. Companies are not required to disclose exact details, but should confirm that they meet the stated revenue and employee count requirements in the company letter.
The following are not eligible: consulting firms, financial services firms, design firms, VC/PE firms, accelerators, incubators, or internships secured through third-parties or programs that require a student to pay to intern/secure an internship/participate in an internship program, even if the company ‘considers itself a startup’ or has an ‘entrepreneurial spirit’.
The startup may be bootstrapped, have VC/angel funding, be acquired through a search fund, etc.
No more than 2 interns at a particular company will receive a Startup Internship Award. There is no guarantee that both interns at a company will receive an award. In the event that more than 2 interns at a company apply for the award, the founder or direct supervisor of the applicants will be asked to provide input regarding who should receive the award.
University of Pennsylvania undergraduates (rising sophomores, juniors and seniors) and rising 2nd year Wharton MBAs are eligible to apply. Penn graduate students who will be returning to Penn for at least one more year are also eligible to apply.
The applicant must be planning to return to Penn as an enrolled student for at least one full academic year after the internship.
Wharton MBA students who are taking the currently offered 5th semester, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and will be graduating in Fall 2021, are eligible to apply.
Student’s compensation from the startup must be below $4500 per month or $1040 per week. This includes all forms of compensation from the startup.
MBA students who are sponsored by and having their tuition paid by their previous employer are not eligible to apply.
Previous Entrepreneurial Intern Fellows or Startup Internship Award winners are not eligible to receive an additional award.
Funding received from Penn Career Services, MBA Career Management, Student Financial Services, or from another Penn funding source will be taken into account when applications are reviewed. Priority will be given to students without an additional/alternative source of funding.
Student has a strong entrepreneurial background and/or entrepreneurial career ambitions;
The summer internship experience is clearly entrepreneurial and the student intern will develop/hone entrepreneurial skills;
Student has a demonstrated history of contribution to entrepreneurship at Penn/Wharton, and to a lesser extent, the Philadelphia entrepreneurial community;
Student, internship and company meet all of the eligibility requirements.
Preference will be given to students interning at a startup founded by a Penn alumnus or student.
This is a competitive process and not every applicant who meets the stated criteria will receive an award.
Applicants must upload a resume and the internship offer letter from the startup (in email form is fine), and complete the application form.
Deadline to apply: early June 2022 (exact date TBA)
Review process: Applications are not reviewed on a rolling basis. The selection committee will review all applications after the deadline. Students will be notified if they will or will not receive an award. The date of notification will depend on the number of applications the committee needs to review. Students can generally expect to receive an email notification sometime in the three to four weeks following the application deadline.
Receiving award: Students receiving an award will need to submit financial paperwork to Venture Lab. It will then be reviewed and submitted to the Penn Finance Office. Due to the University’s Fiscal Year deadlines, students can expect to start receiving award funds around the start of the new academic year (August/September). Students should have plans to pay for their expenses up front, before receiving the award funds
Please note that all funding for the award is provided by donors, and the funds available for the award will vary from year to year.
Venture Lab does not provide school credit. For questions regarding receiving school credit for an internship, students should talk to an academic advisor.
Additionally, students are encouraged to utilize the Penn/Wharton alumni network to find out about any startup internship opportunities.Students can sign up for our listserv here (select Student Weekly Digest); we will occasionally send out internship opportunities with alumni start-up companies.
However, to be eligible to apply for an award, the applicant’s compensation from the startup (including salary and other compensation) must be below $4500 per month or $1040 per week.
These forms are mailed directly from Penn’s Accounts Payable Office. Students with questions about these forms should contact AP directly at 215-898-2626 or DoFAPSupp@pobox.upenn.edu. Please note that Venture Lab cannot provide any advice or guidance regarding taxes, or send students duplicate copies of these forms.
Venture Lab is grateful to the donors who support the Startup Internship Award. This award would not be possible without their generous support.
- The Rosalind (WG’76) and Roy (WG’76) Neff Entrepreneurial Internship Fund
- The Jeff Sutton (W’81) Entrepreneurship Internship Fund
- Anonymous, in honor of Dr. William Zucker, Meshulam Riklis Professor Emeritus of Creative Management, The Wharton School
- Rajeev Amara (W’97)