Business

Jul. 25, 2014 11:44 am

Meet some of the 18 startups working from Wharton’s summer incubator

The startups led by Wharton MBAs run the gamut — from offering credit to international students to selling wrinkle-free, women's travel-wear.

Wharton MBA Lauren Raouf is the cofounder of My Best Friend's Weekend, a bachelorette party planning service.

(Photo by Juliana Reyes)

Summer internships? No, thank you. Dozens of Wharton MBAs opted to build and run their own companies this summer, and Wharton made it easy: they offered the students free office space in Center City.

Last year was the first time that Wharton offered office space to MBA-led startups during the summer. Due to high demand, it was a “no-brainer” to do it again, said Renzo Weber, one of Wharton’s associate directors of student life. The summer office space may become a perk that MBAs come to expect, he added. The space will shut down for the summer this week to make space for new MBAs.

Eighteen startups had offices in the incubator on the 8th floor of 2401 Walnut Street, Weber said. That’s about the same number of companies that occupied the 19,600-square-foot space last summer. 2401 Walnut is a tech hub that houses startups like Curalate and Ticketleap and coworking space CityCoHo on the bottom floor.

We spotted companies like:

Below, we introduce you to a few more new ones:

My Best Friend’s Weekend helps women organize bachelorette parties. It’s not exactly TripAdvisor for bachelorette parties, said cofounder Lauren Raouf, because the company works one-on-one with the party organizers, rather than leaving it up to the organizers in a self-service fashion. They’re working with their first ten beta customers now.

sagar pagare

Sagar Pagare is the founder of Ambitioni. (Photo by Juliana Reyes)

Ambitioni uses alumni data to help students plan their careers in the long term. It is running a pilot with students from the Penn Biotech Group now, said cofounder Sagar Pagare.

pragma retail

Anjali Bhatia is the founder of Pragma Retail. (Photo by Juliana Reyes)

Pragma Retail is an ecommerce shop focused on wrinkle-free, women’s travel-wear. It’s working on a set of official prototypes now, said founder Anjali Bhatia.

livealpha

Shuo Zhang (left) and Kobina Ansah are the founders of LIVEalpha. (Photo by Juliana Reyes)

LIVEalpha wants to offer credit for international students, who can’t get credit cards if they don’t have a Social Security number. The startup is aiming for a fall pilot, said cofounders Shuo Zhang and Kobina Ansah.

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Juliana Reyes

Juliana Reyes began as lead reporter at Technical.ly Philly in July 2012. Previously, she was a city services beat reporter for the Philadelphia Daily News, as part of a project called “It’s Our Money.” She is learning to drive, learning to bike (in the city) but is an expert at taking SEPTA. She grew up in North Jersey and Manila, Philippines but she left the tropics for Bryn Mawr College, where she majored in linguistics. She now lives in West Philly.

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