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The Wharton Scale School workshop series in San Francisco guides entrepreneurs making the transition from a successful startup to a large enterprise. Hear from experts who share solutions to critical challenges faced by rapidly growing companies.

Penn Wharton Entrepreneurship launched this initiative in partnership with Wharton Lifelong Learning in March 2016.

ABOUT SCALE SCHOOL

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What You’ll Learn

Scale School is your guide as you move beyond initial product-market fit to the creation of a large enterprise of tremendous value, giving you the opportunity to:

  •  Gain insights from cutting-edge Wharton research as well as from experienced leaders who have effectively scaled their organizations.
  • Apply key principles in small group working sessions.
  •  Ask questions of the experts about the challenges you face in scaling your own organization.
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Gain the Business Skills to Scale

Ideas are essential to innovation, but it takes real business skills to transform a great idea into a sustainable business. That’s why Penn Wharton Entrepreneurship launched this initiative in partnership with Wharton Lifelong Learning in March 2016.

Hosted at Wharton San Francisco, these workshops feature expert Wharton faculty, alumni entrepreneurs, and Bay Area industry executives who share their insights about how to address common challenges like finding new customers, growing your workforce, managing supply chains, and navigating complex regulations as you scale your business.

Who Should Attend?

Founders and leaders who are growing their firms and business units and looking to do it in a scalable manner.

Upcoming Scale School Events

Stay tuned for the upcoming 2019-2010 Scale School series. 

Past Scale School Events

Scaling an Omnichannel Fulfillment Strategy

DATE: May 21, 2019

Omnichannel retailers face hard choices when they decide how to improve the way they serve their customers, using levers such as improving delivery and return policies, providing access to detailed product information and reviews, and offering lower prices. Because it is difficult for firms to excel on all dimensions simultaneously, it is crucial for firms to have a profound understanding of the trade-offs consumers make when evaluating their offering. If managers have biased perceptions of consumer trade-offs, these can represent serious obstacles to designing a winning omnichannel proposition. We will discuss the degree and nature of such managerial biases and propose a remedy to them.

Moderator:  Santiago Gallino, Assistant Professor of Operations, Information and Decisions, The Wharton School

Panelists: Emily Fan (W’95, WG’02), VP Supply Chain & Operations, Madison Reed; Miriam Bloom Williams (C’04, WG’15), Co-Founder, Bloomwell

SCALING THROUGH MACHINE INTELLIGENCE AND DATA SCIENCE

As a company’s customer and employee count grow, scaling poses new challenges as many of the activities that worked well in a startup stage are no longer practical. For example, close and frequent interactions with customers by founders or customer success teams are ideal during an early stage but become expensive as businesses grow. Taking the business to the next level requires taking many of these successful approaches and automating them through internal or external tools. This session will focus on how to scale operations, customer acquisition, servicing, and retention through machine intelligence. We will discuss some of the tools available to businesses and whether to build or buy.

Date: March 27, 2019

Moderator:

  • Kartik Hosanagar, John C. Hower Professor of Technology & Digital Business, Professor of Management at the Wharton School

Panelists:

  • Stacey Epstein, CEO, Zinc
  • Ashu Garg, General Partner, Foundation Capital
  • Gaurav Mendiriatta (GEN’05), CEO, SocioSquares

LEADERSHIP AND THE IMPORTANCE OF COMPANY CULTURE

Intensifying demands for high performance are pressing new and established firms to become more quick-acting and fast-growing.  Companies are finding that such initiatives demand energetic leadership and a compelling mindset, and this has become all the more critical in an era of change and uncertainty.  Swift scaling depends upon a capacity to think strategically, communicate persuasively, and decide decisively, and drawing on their own tangible experiences, panel members point to the essentials of leadership and culture for ramping-up and sustaining growth.

Date: December 6, 2018

Moderator:

  • Mike Useem, Professor of Management, Director, Center for Leadership and Change Mangement, The Wharton School

Panelists:

  • Joseph Ansanelli, W’92, CEO of Glady; Partner at Greylock Partners
  • Jane Fisher, WG’17 Co-Founder, Harper Wilde

GROWTH THROUGH ACQUISTIONS

In the competitive environment of technology, speed to market is often a key to success. But creating every capability internally often takes the time and skills many startups fail to have. In this session, we examine when to look outside the firm for missing pieces, how to find a company with the right fit, and how to price the deal in a way that retains value.

Date: January 22, 2018

Moderator:

  • David Wessels, ENG’92, W’92 Adjunct Professor of Finance, The Wharton School

Panelists:

  • Vicente de Baca, WG’09 Partner, v2 Ventures
  • Anton Hanebrink, WG’04 Chief Corporate Strategy & Development Officer, Intuit
  • Jamie Kim, WG’14 Corporate Development & Strategy, E la Carte Inc.

SCALING VENTURES: LINKING STRATEGY AND EXECUTION

How should a firm build its systems, people, and process to support its effort to scale? Our panelists discuss the key challenges firms face when trying to scale: moving from tactical opportunistic thinking to a strategic one, from local to global, from short-term to long-term thinking, and the relationship between people and processes.

Date: October 9, 2017

Moderator:

  • Gad Allon, Jeffrey A. Keswin Professor of Operations, Information and Decisions; Director of the Jerome Fisher Program in Management and Technology

Panelists: 

  • Steve Polsky, ENG’86, W’86, Founder and CEO – Juvo
  • Ravi Viswanathan, ENG’90, WG’98, General Partner – NEA
  • Joey Zwillinger, WG’10, Co-Founder and Co-CEO – Allbirds

BEYOND THE CORE: HOW TO BECOME A MULTI-PRODUCT COMPANY

How do you think through multi-product families? This well-respected panel discusses product innovation, product footprints, and product scaling.

Date: June 8, 2017

Moderator: Professor Laura Huang

Panelists: 

  • Amy Errett, WG’88, Co-founder and CEO, Madison Reed
  • Ania Smith, WG’02, Head of Business Operations, Airbnb
  • Dan Springer, CEO, DocuSign

SCALING YOUR BUSINESS WITH ANALYTICS

How can companies use the best data practices at various stages of growth? This panel of successful entrepreneurs shares their answers from implementing a CRM system to how to hire for analytics roles and the importance of experimentation during growth.

Date: April 24, 2017

Moderator: Eric Bradlow, W’88 Wharton Marketing Professor and WCAI Faculty Director

Panelists:

  • • Jessica Lachs, WG’11 Head of Business Operations and Analytics, DoorDash
  • • Ethan Prater, WG’04, Chairman, Digital Health Track; Alchemist Accelerator
  • • Krista Seiden, Analytics Advocate, Google

ALTERNATIVES TO EQUITY FINANCING

Though equity may be a primary source of capital for your business, what are alternatives that can be approached confidently?

Date: December 7, 2016

Moderator: Jennifer Freil Goldstein, Managing Director, Life Sciences – Silicon Valley Bank

Panelists: 

  • Jason Mok, Managing Director and Sector Head, Consumer Internet – Silicon Valley Bank
  • Chanel Li, VP Business Operations, Rocksbox

SCALING TALENT

How can a rapidly growing organization best attract, retain, and develop its employees?

Date: June 1, 2016

Moderator: Cade Massey, Professor of Operations, Information, and Decisions – The Wharton School

Panelists: 

  • Evan Wittenberg (WG’02), Senior Vice President, People – Box
  • Ron Storn, Vice President, People – Lyft

SCALING THE SALES PROCESS

Discover how to make the transition to a sustainable, scalable sales process for the rapidly growing start-up.

Date: March 23, 2016

Moderator: Ravi Mohan, Managing Director – Shasta Ventures

Panelists: 

  • Ravi Kumaraswami, Chief Revenue Officer – Lithium
  • Evan Liang, Co-Founder & CEO, LeanData
  • Moti Rafalin, Former CEO – WatchDox

Still Have Questions?

We’re happy to help.