VIP SAN FRANCISCO
VIP SAN FRANCISCO
The Penn Wharton San Francisco accelerator provides resources for alumni and student entrepreneurs in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Wharton’s Bay Area Accelerator
For some startups, San Francisco is the only place to be — and that’s why Venture Lab created a
Venture Initiation Program specifically for alumni and students in the SF Bay Area.
VIP-SF is an accelerator open to Penn alumni and student entrepreneurs in the Bay Area who are founders or leaders of early stage ventures. This four-month program runs twice per year, in the fall and in the spring. The company must have traction, and the team must be based in the San Francisco Bay Area during their time in VIP-SF.
APPLICATIONS FOR THE VIP-SF FALL 2021 CYCLE ARE NOW CLOSED.
What We’re Looking For
The application process for VIP-SF is highly competitive. To ensure you’re ready, we highly recommend that applicants have already taken academic coursework such as MGMT 231/MGMT 806: Venture Implementation, the Wharton Entrepreneurship Specialization on Coursera, or have the requisite hands-on entrepreneurial experience. Here’s what we look for in an application:
- Knowledge of business fundamentals
- Validated product-market fit
- Measurable traction (i.e., revenue)
- Necessary expertise on the team
What You Will Gain from VIP-SF
- Be part of a community of entrepreneurs and advisors who will optimize your startup’s potential.
- Receive expert advice on how to navigate your startup’s unique challenges and opportunities with one-on-one advising.
- Connect with a network of alumni entrepreneurs who will inspire and motivate you.
- Get feedback during biweekly group advising sessions with advisors, including VCs, angel investors, attorneys, experts, and successful entrepreneurs.
- Access co-working space at Wharton San Francisco.
VIP-SF Alumni Testimonials
VIP-SF fills a critical gap in startup education that sits between case studies in the classroom and pounding the pavement as a startup founder. The needs and questions in a startup change so frequently and good advice is hard to find, because it needs to be relevant to stage and industry. Taking well meaning advice from a Series B mentor/investor when you're a Seed stage company can kill a business. VIP-SF gave Hostfully a supportive community where we could ask questions of faculty, advisors, and peers who understand the unique challenges of starting a company from the ground up.
VIP helped LuxCreo to: Better structure our organization for alignment and performance, streamline our go-to market strategy, and focus our mission (3D "Production").
The value of VIP extends far beyond the program. Besides ongoing interactions, referrals and promotions through the Wharton alumni network have been invaluable.
Highly recommend the program!
We sold the company to Accenture early this year. It would not have happened without the training and skills we gained at the VIP Program.
When I joined the VIP-SF experience, I was not ready to be a founder. After working in consulting pre-Wharton, I did not know what entrepreneurship truly meant. With guidance from VIP and tapping into its resources, I grew and grew. After a pivot, I finally settled into my role as COO of a company that grew to $13M in revenue in 2020. I became more confident in myself.
The program really pushed us to think through many aspects of our business, including articulating our value offering, revisiting our pricing policy, developing our sales strategy, and many other critical issues. Besides receiving candid feedback and sound practical advice, going through the program added a great deal of credibility to our startup.
It is a great experience, even virtually, as you get one-on-one coaching from two experienced Wharton professors - one focused on entrepreneurial marketing and another from a seasoned investor perspective. The cohort is also a great sounding board and the meetings allow you to test out new ideas and messages in a safe, supportive environment.
VIP-SF SPRING 2021 COHORT
Josh Mackanic, WG’18; Brandon Cohen, WG’18
A construction intelligence platform combining layers of utility, environmental, and geotechnical project site data.
Todd Stein, WG’93
Gestoos is a leading provider of activity recognition and spatial interaction software.
Carlton Osborne, C’92; Holly Ganz
AnimalBiome provides personalized health products and services rooted in the science of the microbiome to assess, restore and maintain the gut health of cats and dogs.
Joseph Wirija, WG’22; Hemant Jain, WG’22
CarBevy Beta is an online car marketplace that allows users to choose their car, make a fair offer, and finalize the purchase price before stepping into the dealership.
VIP-SF 2013 COHORTS
- Bedi Parry (WG’12) – SocialGlimpz
- Vijay Ramani (WG’13) – SocialMoola
VIP-SF 2015 COHORTS
- Angela Chen (WG’14) – Capalio
- Brad Graw (WG’15) & Peter Schilling – Joint Effort Corporation
- Anna Lai (WG’14) & Becky Yip – Litmus Scientific
- Manisha Belsare (WG’16) & Shreyas Desai (WG’16) – MYKTUP
- Sally Huang (WG’15) & Aaron Yip – Roominate
- Jeni Incontro (WG’16) – Stage Stream
- Jon Jones (WG’16)- Vendri
- Pav Dharwakar (WG’15) & Rel Lavizzo-Mourey (WG’15) – Silver Lining
- Gunjan Garg & Manisha Gupta (WG’16) – Heartyy.com
- Rishi Reddy (WG’16) – Navigation Health
- Aravind Aluri (WG’16), Jory Lamb (WG’16) & Jeremy Martin (WG’16) – JAMM 3D
- Min Yue (WG’16) – Kids Connect (Kiko)
- Mary Patton Davis (WG’16) & Jenna Gebel (WG’16) – LeadUp
- Kristof Schum (WG’16) & Domonkos Szabo – Nash
- Brian Overland (WG’15) – Prolegis
- Johnie Lee (WG’17) & Pramod Adiddam – SmartFi
- Rithesh Punyamurthula (WG’16) & Stephen Tahta (WG’16) – Synergys
- Michael (Chi) Chen (WG’16) & Josh Zhou (WG’16) – TrueCare
VIP-SF 2016 COHORTS
- Miranda Wang (C’16) – BioCellection, Inc.
- Andrew Pietra (WG’17) – Qorum, Inc.
- Alonzo Ellis (WG’17), James Green (WG’17) & Anderson Lunsford (WG’17) – Breach Response
- Ronald AngSly (WG’17) – InnaMed
- Edward Jiang (WG’17) & Gandis Mazeika (WG’17) – Spotful
- Justin Cleveland & Evan Drake (WG’17) – Stayz
VIP-SF 2017 COHORTS
- Igino Cafiero (WG’17) & Aubrey Donnellan – Bear Flag Robotics
- Cory Bray (W’06) & Hilmon Sorey – ClozeLoop
- David Jacoby (W’01) & Margot Schmorak – Hostfully
- Daniel Judd (ENG’14, W’14) & Renee Migdal (WG’83) – Kinima.fit
- Joanne Jiang (WG’13) – LadyMarry
- Philip Cortes (WG’11) – Novi Bank
- Tony Campos (WG’16) – Pivot Health Company
- Fahad Jalal (WG’12) – SitterFriends
VIP-SF 2018 COHORTS
- Ridhima Parvathaneni (ENG’13, W’13) – Boon VR
- Harman Narula (WG’15) & SJ Sawhney – Canary Technologies
- Michael Jue (ENG’03) & Nicholas Ng (ENG’03, GEN’04) – docCheer
- Ted Chen (W’87, L’91) & Mike Demele – LifeSaver
- Roman Pedan (ENG’10, W’10) – Kasa Living
- Bianca Gonzalez (NU’08, WG’19), Flora Chang (WG’19) & Janak Agarwal (WG’19) – TaskUnite
- Daniel Doyon (W’06) – Workplace Hospitality Management (WHM)
- Marina Ibarra (WG’12) – Wolox
- Alice Zhang (WG’08) – Zoba Life
VIP-SF 2019 COHORTS
- Phong Ngo (WG’20) – Eclipse
- Mike Lunati (WG’13), Marc Suter, Ramin Ghelichi, Demtrios Kellari – Gridline.ai
- John McDowell (WG’11) – Inscribe Labs
- Lyn Oswlad (W’80), Jack Oswald, John Selling – ISO Thrive
- Kristen Dumbeck (WG’20) – Love, Sylvie
- Tomide Awe (WG’17) – Olori
- Thomas Foley (WG’20), Fred Canney (WG’20) – iREITs
- Sam Ribnick (C’11) – Luminal
- Mike Yang (WG’04); Michael Strohecker (WG’04); Steven Lee (ENG’14); Michael Hodge – LuxCreo
- Alex Shevelenko (C’97, W’97) – Relayto
VIP-SF 2020 COHORTS
- Artem Milinchuk (WG’12)- FarmTogether
- John Wong (WG’20, WEMBA) – Fluid Biotech
- Julia Huang (WG’11) & Simran Karla – Haldi
- Wayne Pan (WG’07) & Waleed Mohsen – MyNurse.ai
- Miriam Williams (WG’15) & Tara Henning – Superkin
- Peter Eberle (WG’13), Brian Friel, Dan Hoover, Dan Serfaty, John Akapo – Castle Analytics
- Ying “Shirley” Pan (C’14), Xiaotian Ma – Fibulas
- Tobi Bosede (C ’11) – Ilekun Health
- Hamid Hajian (WG’18), Ramtin Kermani – Zebel