The Summer Venture Award (SVA) of $10,000 is intended to assist students financially over the summer in lieu of full-time internships so that they can concentrate on developing their entrepreneurial ventures.

Available to Penn and Wharton undergraduate Juniors, First-Year MBA Students, and Penn graduate students in their last internship period.

Apply Today.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the 2022 Summer Venture Award application open and where can I apply?
  1. The 2022 Summer Venture Award (SVA) applications will open on Monday, December 6, 2021.
  2. The SVA application will be available on Venture Lab’s SurveyMonkey Apply page.
What is the deadline to submit my 2022 Summer Venture Award application?
  1. The deadline to submit completed 2022 Summer Venture Award applications is Tuesday, February 8, 2022 by 11:59 pm (ET).
Who is eligible to apply for the Summer Venture Award?
  1. Wharton/Penn undergraduate students are eligible to apply to the award between the junior and senior years of the undergraduate program.
  2. Wharton MBAs are eligible to apply for the award between the first and second years of the MBA program. Other Penn graduate students are eligible to use the award during the summer before their final year at Penn.
  3. An existing business is only eligible if before the start of the current academic year it has received less than $100,000 in institutional funding. Institutional funding includes any funding from angel investors, VCs (any stage, including seed), and/or accelerator/incubator programs.
  4. Non-profit organizations (Ex. 501 (c) (3) organizations), Benefit Corporations (B-Corps), and other mission-focused ventures are eligible to apply.
  5. Students must be in good academic standing at Wharton/Penn.
  6. Students must be committed to working full-time to develop the venture over the summer after receiving the award.
  7. Students must agree to the terms and conditions of the award.
What needs to be provided along with the Summer Venture Award application?
Students must have a well-developed venture concept. Applications require the submission of the following:

  • Slide deck – Maximum of 20 slides that includes venture-specific relevant elements of the following:
    • Cover Slide (Required as the first slide)
      • Company name
      • Your purpose as short text or visual description
      • Contact information (ex: website URL, name & email)
    • The Opportunity/Problem
      • What problem are you solving?
      • How are potential customers solving this problem now?
    • Your solution
      • Why you, why now?
      • Product/service description
      • Value proposition
      • Use cases or user experience
    • Your product or service
      • How does your product or service uniquely meet the needs of your customers?
      • What’s the underlying magic or secret sauce? Do you have intellectual property (IP) that is integral to your startup?
      • Development roadmap
    • Market
      • Total available market
      • Target market segment (your market entry point)
    • Customers
      • Who are your customers, decision-makers, end-users, and influencers?
    • Go-to-Market Plan
      • Customer acquisition process (and pipeline, if available)
      • Sales & distribution model
      • Marketing activities and metrics
      • Customer acquisition process
      • How will you retain and grow your customer base?
    • Business Model (detailed financials are not required)
      • Revenue model and pricing – how will you make money?
      • Average customer purchase and/or lifetime value (CLV)
      • Cost structures (cost of sales, talent, overhead)
      • Proforma income statement (if applicable)
      • Funding plan
    • Competition
      • Your primary competitors
      • Competitor characteristics
      • Your competitive advantages
    • Team
      • Current team members, their roles and strengths, and their Penn affiliations
      • Board of Directors or Board of Advisors (if applicable)
      • Who you still need on your team
    • Current status
      • Accomplishments to date
      • Funds raised (if applicable)
      • Traction
      • Milestones
    • Use of SVA Funds
      • Should you be awarded an SVA grant, how will you use the SVA funds specifically?
      • How does the use of funds connect to the plan for your venture laid out in your previous slides?
      • What are your goals for the summer? What do you hope to accomplish during that time?
  • Venture Lab Application – Asks key questions about your venture’s progress, goals, and plans for utilizing the awards funds
  • Resumes – For the Founder/Co-founder
  • Elevator Pitch Video – The video can be an “elevator pitch” or simply a description in your own words of your venture concept. It should be no more than 2 minutes long.

    • Please make sure that the video is set to public, and therefore viewable by our selection committee. Videos that are set to private or password protected cannot be seen and thus could result in your team’s disqualification for an incomplete application.
Who determines which ventures will be selected as finalists?
  1. Semi-finalists will be chosen by a selection committee of Penn/Wharton alumni entrepreneurs, VCs, and other professionals.
  2. Award winners will be chosen by a group of five Finalist Judges that are also comprised of Penn/Wharton alumni entrepreneurs, VCs, and other professionals.
  3. The specific Finalist Judging members will be announced along with the announcement of the 2022 SVA finalists.
When will I know if I’ve been selected as a Summer Venture Award Finalist?
  1. 2022 Summer Venture Award Finalists will be announced on Monday, March 28, 2022.
Once finalists are selected, what then?
  1. Finalists for the award will be required to pitch their ventures to the Finalist Judges on Friday, April 8, 2022.
  2. Applicants to the program are asked to reserve the day of Friday, April 8, 2022. It is not yet clear if this will be an in-person or virtual pitch so, applicants should plan on being on-campus that day.
If I have any other questions, is there someone I can reach out to?
  • For any questions regarding the Summer Venture Award, please reach out to Xavier Stewart, Associate Director – Venture Lab

Summer 2021 Winners

Card Curator, has developed an app to help young professionals maximize their earnings from everyday spending and travel for free with our proprietary algorithm through credit card points and miles.

Founder: John Garner (WG’22)
The online insurance shopfront developed by agents for agents.

Founder: Cyrus Karai (WG’21)

Winner of the S.J. Dilenschneider (W’28) Summer Venture Award
Fulton is a modern brand of arch support that aims to educate consumers about the importance of bringing wellness to footwear.

Starting with an insole that offers comfort through individualized arch support, Fulton demonstrates that whole body wellness starts with your feet.

Co-Founders: Libie Motchan (WG’21), Daniel Nelson (WG’21)
An online, automated, computer vision-powered solution for customizing hair products for African American women.

Founder: Isoken Igbinedion (WG’21)
Nouri offers a stage-specific meal program to help expecting mothers improve fertility, manage pregnancy symptoms and provide the best for their baby by fusing proven Ancient Eastern therapeutic ingredients with Western Nutrition. Meals are OB-GYN recommended, nutritionist & chef-curated, and delivered ready-to-eat in NYC.

Founder: Irene Liu (WG’22)
tiffin is (em)powering the culinary renaissance of independent chefs by giving them the tools to manage and scale their ventures. We give valuable time back to these chefs by facilitating a frictionless ordering experience, centralizing finance and operations, and automating logistics.
In short, we’re building the “Shopify” for the growing independent chef economy.

Founder: Sagar Chopra (WG’22)

Interview with Cyrus Karai, CEO & Founder of Coverforce

Coverforce is the inaugural recipient of the S.J. Dilenschneider (W’28) Summer Venture Award. The Summer Venture Award (SVA) of $10,000 is intended to assist students financially over the summer in lieu of full-time internships so that they can concentrate on developing their entrepreneurial ventures. Winners are required to work on their ventures full-time over the summer.
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Previous SVA Winners

2020
Antares Diamonds: (Jordan Anoma, G'21, WG'21) Antares Diamonds provides the first-ever commercialized artisanal diamond product for the ethically conscious global consumer.

Buoyant: (Sherry Wu, WG'21) Buoyant is a subscription telemedicine app for migraine headache sufferers to connect with doctors for convenient and personalized treatment.

Mlkmn: (Alex Torrey, WG'21) Mlkmn is a smart neighborhood-based platform the works on autopilot in the background of your life to predict usage, aggregate demand, and magically refill in your apartment the household and personal care products that you and your neighbors use every day.

Sibi Health: (Catherine Bryt, WG'21) Sibi Health’s online marketplace connects patients directly with doctors at a price both agree to, in advance.

The Lobby: (Daniel Duggal, WG'21; Ian Klein, WG'21) The Lobby is a premium, members-only social club for adult-age video game enthusiasts. Our mission is to deliver premium, community-oriented experiences that will make the gaming world feel smaller.
2019
aavrani: (Rooshy Roy, WG'19; Justin Silver, WG'19) aavrani uses all-natural, organic ingredients to create unique skincare products based on the ancient Ayurvedic rituals of South Asia.

Aureum: (Derek Gao, WG'20; Shuaiqing Liu, WG'20; Yi Dong, WG'19; Prashant Kumar, WG'19; Renee Yu, WG'20; Hongyi Yan, WG'20)
Providing health and wellness advice to Chinese consumers through a unique personal health consultant model, Aureum partners with local physicians and offers service through a telemedicine platform, leveraging a blockchain powered medical record database.

Bloom: (Justin Rhee, C'20; Alexander Belanger, C'20) Bloom is a virtual assistant chatbot that directly integrates onto a course creator’s site to allow students to ask questions, see relevant discussions, and receive both automatically-generated and community-mediated answers. No longer in business.

Boost Scooters: (Kameron Hypolite, C'20; Isaiah Washington, W'20; Noah Sinclair, W'20) Boost Scooters use non-motorized scooters to provide college and business campuses with a more personalized mode of transportation. No longer in business.

Halo: (Faizn Bhatty, WG'20; Kenan Saleh, W'19; Nabeel Farooqui, ENG'21; Ryanne Fadel, W'21) Halo (acquired by Lyft) is putting location-targeted ads on top of Uber/Lyft vehicles. We attach smart ad monitors on top of cars and display creative, captivating ads that change based on the location of the driver in order to more effectively target and engage consumers.
2018
Clove: (Joe Ammon, WG'19) Clove creates stylish footwear for medical professionals that combine the best of current sneaker technology with the technical requirements of traditional nursing shoes.

MD Ally: (Shanel Fields, WG'19) MD Ally is an emergency telehealth company that allows 911 dispatchers to enable instant access to an ER physician for non-emergency 911 callers.

Presto: (Duncan McCrae, W'19) Presto allows hotels to interact with guests during their say via SMS and uses artificial intelligence to reply to guest messages instantly. Presto was acquired by Zingle inc, a leading hospitality tech company.

rePurpose: (Aditya Siroya, C'19, W'19) rePurpose is a social venture that aims to create an ethical and efficient supply chain of waste recycling in urban India.

Strella Biotechnology: (Katherine Sizov, C'19) Strella is developing a biosensor capable of predicting the maturity of apples, thus reducing waste costs.
2017
CitySense Technologies: (Mitch Gainer, WG'18) CitySense provides analytics services to municipal water utilities to identify and stop water waste. No longer in business.

Fellow Hunter: (Parker Barnett, Gen'18) Fellow Hunter provides short-term access to quality hunting land. Landowners post their land and hunters can book daily access for a fee. No longer in business.

Incidnt: (Timothy Blomfield, GEN'18, WG'17) Incidnt is a web and mobile phone application that provides students with an anonymous, easy-to-use tool to report bullying incidents in the school setting. No longer in business.

Rigrade: (Achille Verheye, GEN'18) Rigrade builds climbing robots for remote inspection, surveillance, repair, and maintenance. No longer in business.
2016
brEDcrumb: (Scott Elfenbein, WG'17) brEDcrumb matches high-achieving high school students with the personal guide they need to reach their full college potential. No longer in business.

Cemsica: (Negar Rajabi, WG'17) Cemsica develops proprietary technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with superior efficiency and minimal footprint. No longer in business.

Geneoscopy: (Andrew Barnell, WG'17) Geneoscopy is developing a screening methodology to noninvasively diagnose colorectal cancer (CRC) using biomarkers in stool samples. Geneoscopy raised $1.0M in its second round of funding in the spring of 2018.

NeuroFlow: (Christopher Molaro, WG'17) NeuroFlow is changing the way we see brain health. A software solution that uses real-time biometric data to improve the assessment and treatment of mental illnesses. Neuroflow has raised $1.2 million in the fall of 2018 to scale up.

Perseus Mirrors: (Erik Skantze, WG'17) Perseus Mirrors is making the next generation mirror: an interactive, connected device with stunning technical features and a user-centered design. No longer in business.

VivaVax: (Julia Peng, C'17, W'17) VivaVax is an early-stage biotech company developing a painless, needle-free, low-cost vaccine patch that eliminates the dependency on healthcare practitioner availability. Now known as Spectral Materials.
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