The Wharton Venture Initiation Program accepts applications three times per year, for fall, spring, and summer semesters (in September, December, and April).
In Philadelphia, any University of Pennsylvania undergraduate or graduate student enrolled in any degree-granting program is eligible to apply. In San Francisco, any student in the Wharton MBA Program for Executives is eligible to apply, as well as any alum of the same program who is less than one year past his or her graduation date.
Once accepted into the program, members are eligible to remain for five continuous semesters, subject to satisfactory venture progress which is evaluated at the end of each semester based on students' written re-applications to the program. Program members are expected to engage in:
- membership in a vibrant entrepreneurial community of Wharton and Penn students
- monthly advising sessions and monthly written progress reports
- educational programming (regular breakfast workshops that address entrepreneurial topics)
- networking opportunities
- use of shared work space, subject to building hours/space availability
How to know if you are ready to apply
- You have conducted significant research on your venture idea, including defining the business model, market opportunity, and competitors.
- You are in a primary decision-making position (ideally a co-founder or CEO) in the venture.
- Your team is not missing a vital member (for example, if you are a technology company and still seeking a CTO then you should wait until you have filled that position before applying).
- You have had preliminary conversations with potential customers about your product or service and have begun integrating that feedback into your venture's development.
- You can demonstrate how you will benefit from participation in the program as well as add value to the community.
If you are not ready to apply, you should take advantage of other Wharton, University of Pennsylvania, and regional resources to develop your venture further and consider applying to VIP in a later semester.
VIP ACADEMIC DIRECTor
Kartik Hosanagar, Associate Professor, Wharton Operations and Information Management Department
VIP BUSINESS Advising