Speakers & Panels: Startup Showcase

As Wharton Women, we aim to connect promising early-stage female entrepreneurs to a powerful network of investors, mentors, and coaches to accelerate their growth, and provide them with resources they can use to develop into regional powerhouses.

As part of this initiative, the Wharton Women’s Summit is pleased to announce the second annual Start-up showcase at this year’s conference. Contestants will submit an application outlining their start-up or idea, and we will select 7-10 finalists to pitch to an experienced panel of judges and the audience at the conference.

If you believe that your idea has what it takes, please read through the eligibility details below and submit your application by Friday, October 6th, at 11:59PM EST by sending it to whartonwomenssummit@gmail.com.

Why compete?

The finalists gain…

  • The opportunity to present in front of top VCs and leading minds in entrepreneurship
  • Invaluable feedback from pioneers in the start-up field
  • Access to networking opportunities with others interested in Wharton entrepreneurship

… and the grand prize winner receives $5,000 of funding for their venture (no strings attached!)

What you need to know

Eligibility Criteria

  • At least one of the founders must be female and Wharton MBA class of 2018 or 2019.
  • Can be non-profit, for-profit, or social enterprise.
  • Fewer than 50 employees.

Submission Instructions

  • Strict deadline of Friday, October 6th, 11:59 PM EST.
  • Submit 4 page (maximum) deck including 1 page on the leadership team.
  • Deck must highlight problem and solution proposed, and must demonstrate unique competitive advantage and potential for significant growth in the next five years.


  • Finalists will be notified by Friday, October 13th.
  • Finalist are expected to purchase tickets to the conference if they choose to attend and present
  • There will be 3 rounds throughout the course of the day. Applicants should therefore prepare 3 documents:
    • Pitch #1 (1 minute) = 1 slide
    • Pitch #2 (2 minutes) = 2 slides
    • Pitch #3 (3 minutes) = 3 slides (please bear in mind all judges will be present for all 3 rounds – repetitive material is therefore discouraged)
  • Judges will select one winner for the grand prize.


What content should I cover?
Suggested material includes:

  • The Hook
  • Opportunity
  • Solution
  • Competitive Advantage
  • Market
  • Competition
  • Revenue Model
  • Management Team
  • Execution Plan (marketing, sales, customer acquisition, plan to scale, fundraising)
  • Risk Assessment
  • Current Status and Milestones
  • What you would do with the prize money

Can I include a video?

My business is already generating money, can I still enter? OR I have received some angel funding, can I enter?
A plan is not eligible if it has been used to receive institutional funding (including from an incubator or accelerator) in excess of $75,000 or has earned more than $100,000 in gross revenue before September 1, 2017.

If I win, do I have to invest the prize money in my business?
You do not; the money is yours to do with what you want - though we hope to see you invest it in the business!

Can I enter more than one idea into the competition?
Absolutely! You can enter as many ideas as you would like, however, you have to submit an application for each idea.