The Penn Innovation Conference was held on October 20, 2017 at Huntsman Hall in the University of Pennsylvania. The Penn Innovation Conference was hosted by the Weiss Tech House, a student-run tech incubator, aimed at fostering an entrepreneurial environment at the University of Pennsylvania. The Conference featured a variety of resources, opportunities, and networking sessions for its’ attendees.
It featured Dr. Kathy Crothall, the Chief Executive Officer of Aspire Bariatrics, numerous early to middle staged start-ups, and a venture capitalist panels. The venture capitalist panel was comprised of Genacast Ventures, Red and Blue Ventures, Seventy Six Capital, and Edison Ventures. Daniel Khasahabi, a graduate student in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences discussed how he enjoyed hearing from the Keynote Speaker and the Venture Capitalist Panel. He adds that hearing from Dr. Crothall, the founder of four successful start-ups was incredibly inspiring and that the advice provided from the venture capitalists was additionally helpful for young entrepreneurs.
The early to middle-stage startups featured at the conference included Lupeer, Blackfyn, Exyn Technologies, and Burrow. TJ, the co-founder of Jefferson’s List, discussed the importance of being prepared in front of a venture capitalist and talked about his plans of licensing the data from Jefferson’s List next. Joost Wagenaar of Blackfynn, tells students that the most “important thing in being successful is the people you bring into the company”.
The Venture Capitalist Panel provided helpful advice to students, including the importance of networking early on and finding great co-founders. The conference concluded with a networking session to help students connect with each other.