Don Huesman, managing director of the Wharton Innovation Group, said the fund is open to students, faculty, and staff who think up new products or services that address large-scale problems or issues.
Wharton is aiming for big impact, Huesman said - not just mapping out a new deal-of-the-day website or new fast-food franchise.
"We're hoping to identify real entrepreneurs with real spirit," he said.
About a half-dozen students already showed some hustle by seeking out Huesman with their proposals before the fund had been formally announced, he said.
These are grants that enable the intellectual property to remain with their student-inventors. In other words, Wharton will not get a slice of equity in any of the new ventures.
The Wharton Innovation Fund adds to an arsenal of assets that Penn and its business school have available for entrepreneurial-minded students. The Weiss Tech House is a place where students can go to work on their enterprises. The Wharton Venture Initiation Program is an incubator program. And the annual PennVention and Wharton Business Plan Competitions give cash and in-kind prizes.
Tuesday's column contained an incorrect value of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co.'s
acquisition of Harleysville Group Inc.
Nationwide will pay $760 million for the property and casualty insurer.
Contact columnist Mike Armstrong at 215-854-2980
or firstname.lastname@example.org, or @PhillyInc on Twitter.
Read his blog, "PhillyInc," at www.phillyinc.biz.