What Wharton VIP Member and Alumni Entrepreneurs are Saying
Click the player below to watch our video interview with VIP alumni entrepreneurs.
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Other comments from VIP Alumni
"I believe that entrepreneurship is not something that can be taught but rather it is something that needs to be awakened. The Wharton Venture Initiation Program has been the catalyst in my awakening process. As a PhD candidate of Pharmacology my exposure to business has been very limited. However, as I exit the program I feel very confident that Fodius will become a successful long-lasting company and its Beneficiary Notification Service an industry standard."'''
'''Armen Karamanian (School of Medicine, PhD'09)'''
"In two years of entrepreneurial work at Wharton, The VIP has been my best asset for finding the right opportunity, developing the adequate business plan and executing on that plan. The VIP community is the best example of Wharton's co-production model and has made my MBA much more valuable than I anticipated. Thanks to the Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs' support, we are now raising funds for Energetica and we expect to launch operations in July. A large institutional investor has already confirmed his support and our expectation is to find a second venture investor to close the round by the end of the 2007."
'''Mathieu Peyron (WG'07)'''
"When we exit VIP, we will be moving into our showroom and fitting studio, with some office space, located at 1701 Spruce St., 2nd Floor. VIP was integral in getting us started. Most helpful was the office space, phones, and fax that enabled us to communicate with various suppliers and clients on a daily basis. The seed money we received was also helpful in accomplishing the early tasks of incorporating our business as well as purchasing the necessities not provided by VIP. Furthermore, being involved in a setting with other individuals who are experiencing, or have experienced, similar startup problems and being able to bounce ideas off of one another was extremely helpful when we hit rough patches. If we had encountered these alone it could have been much more detrimental to the health of the company."
'''Alex Avendano (W'07) and Brian Lipstein (C'06)'''
'''Co-founders, Henry A. Davidsen, Master Tailors and Image Consultants'''
"Over the course of the past twelve months, the WVIP has been instrumental in my learning experience at Wharton. The platform that the program provides, to take a venture from the early stages of an idea to implementation, has made a world of difference. Although there are a countless number of benefits of being part of this program, I would summarize them in the following areas:
Although I am not going to be pursuing the main venture that I started while a member of the WVIP, I will be focused on an entrepreneurial career. In June I will be teaming with an established angel investor to form an early stage venture fund. We will be focused on investing in the areas of technology and energy. My role will be rather diverse and I will have the opportunity to leverage everything that I have learned in the two years at Wharton and especially my experience as a member of the WVIP."
- Collaborative work environment
- Ability to test classroom concepts in a real world setting
- Expanded network of entrepreneurs
- Constructive independent feedback
- Resources necessary to launch a business
'''David Mars (WG'07)'''
"SmartMotion a.k.a MuscleMorph continues to progress steadily. We continue discussions with a couple of potential funds and anticipate closure of a seed round this calendar year. Talks with potential customers in various fields (Prosthetics, Orthotics, Robotics, Toys, etc.) have revealed a great need and desire for our products and therefore, our efforts this year will focus mainly on refining our technology to a marketable prototype as well as pursuing and solidifying our IP base."
'''Rodrigo Alvarez (MSE'05)'''
"Our next step is to raise funding and push out our marketing campaign for HIVmirror. We will continue to pitch and negotiate for additional IP/tests with other companies.
VIP has given us the needed advising, contacts and credibility to push forward from a concept to a business with revenues. The seed capital helped out, but the support from the advisors and network was invaluable. On a day to day basis having other entrepreneurs to work with and discuss issues was the most helpful. It was like have a $500/hr consulting group there to help solve problems and think of solutions as we all were either having them or had solved the issues already.
I would recommend the program to any student with a business idea or thoughts of becoming an entrepreneur without hesitation."
'''Julian Awad (WEV'06)'''
'''Founder, SmartGenetics and HIVmirror'''<<<