VIP SAN FRANCISCO

Looking to start a business in the Bay Area? Our San Francisco accelerator for students and alumni provides resources for the Penn/Wharton community on the West Coast.

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 students and recent alumni in the Bay Area.

VIP-SF is an accelerator open to Penn students and alumni entrepreneurs in the Bay Area who are founders or leaders of an 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.

OUR SPRING 2021 APPLICATION CYCLE IS NOW CLOSED. PLEASE CHECK BACK FOR UPDATES ABOUT OUR FALL 2021 CYCLE.

What You Can Do With VIP-SF

  • Work with advisors who will help you 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 entrepreneurial alumni 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.
What can VIP-SF do for you?

VIP-SF ALUMNI TESTIMIONIALS

VIP helped LuxCreo in: 1. Better structured the org for alignment and performance, 2. Streamlined our go-to market strategy, 3. Focus our mission (3D “Production”) The value of VIP extends far beyond the program. Besides ongoing interactions, referrals and promotions through the network have been invaluable. “The red shoe wolf” on Amazon’s Wolf Pack beats any million-dollar campaign. Highly recommend the program.

– Mike Yang (WG’04), Chief Operating Officer, LuxCreo Inc.

You get out of the program what you put in. Take the time to get to know your mentors and fellow cohort members. These relationships will be what make a lasting impression on your business.

– Margot Schmorak, CEO and Co-Founder, Hostfully

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.

–Wayne Pan (WG'07), Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer, mynurse.ai

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.

– Marina Diaz Ibarra (WG'12), Partner, Wolox

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.

– Tony Campos (WG'16), Chief Operating Officer, Maclean Health

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 or the Wharton Entrepreneurship Specialization on Coursera. Here’s what we want to see on an application:

  • Knowledge of business fundamentals
  • Validated product-market fit
  • Measurable traction (i.e. revenue)
  • Necessary expertise on the team

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

SPRING 

  • Bedi Parry (WG’12) – SocialGlimpz
  • Vijay Ramani (WG’13) – SocialMoola

VIP-SF 2015 COHORTS

SPRING 

  • 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

SUMMER

  • 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

FALL

  • 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

SUMMER

  • Miranda Wang (C’16) – BioCellection, Inc.
  • Andrew Pietra (WG’17) – Qorum, Inc.

FALL

  • 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

FALL

  • 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

SPRING 

  • 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

FALL

  • 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

SPRING 

  • 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

FALL

  • 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

SPRING 

  • 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

FALL

  • 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

MEDIA MENTIONS

BEAR FLAG ROBOTICS NOMINATED FOR AGRIFOOD TECH INNOVATION AWARD

Bear Flag Robotics, a 2017 VIP-SF alum, was recently nominated as one of the “Most Innovative US Startup Pre-Series A” companies. Each year, startups are selected by a committee of notable players in agrifood tech venture capital. A total of 12 teams are selected across 12 categories and winners have gone on to raise over $420M in capital.

READ MORE HERE.

Elaine Kunda’s Disruption Ventures makes Hostfully its first woman-led deal

Canadian women-focused venture firmDisruption Ventures cut its first cheque, backing a startup that serves the fast-emerging vacation-rentals sector. Disruption invested in the US$1 million seed round of Hostfully, a San Francisco software provider that helps rental-property managers streamline operations and engage with guests

READ MORE HERE.

Still Have Questions?

We’re happy to help.