The Michelson Medical Research Foundation seeks to drive technological innovation in the nation’s premier universities. Founder, Dr. Gary K. Michelson has a longstanding history of supporting university research and entrepreneurship.
University Research & Entrepreneurship Initiative
The Michelson Medical Research Foundation recognizes the need to support our next generation of leaders in business and research. Dr. Gary K. Michelson is a proud supporter of the Wharton Business Plan Competition. A year long platform, students and their teams collaborate to develop and launch their businesses with support from top business leaders. Three finalists receive more than $115,000 in cash with the overall leader earning $45,000 in cash and prizes. Thanks to Penn’s vibrant biotech community, many of the participants in this competition are involved in the sciences.
Dr. Gary K. Michelson has also supported the Business Association of Stanford Entrepreneurial Students (BASES). The student-run organization, established to support entrepreneurship education and innovation, encompasses a number of programs aimed at encouraging collaboration between student entrepreneurs and seasoned mentors.
And, in collaboration with the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition, Dr. Gary K. Michelson supported over $350K in prizes given to aspiring entrepreneurs through participation in a series of three contests: the Pitch Contest, the Accelerate Contest, and the Launch Contest. The program, now in it’s 24th year, brings together a network of resources aimed at guiding participants through the process of creating a new venture.
Wharton Business Plan Competition
Not just ideas – The Wharton Business Plan Competition (WBPC) is a comprehensive platform, spanning the entire academic year, that helps student entrepreneurs and their teams develop and launch their businesses, and provides a network for brainstorming, feedback, and future business opportunities. Participating teams develop their ideas with guidance from top business leaders who serve as mentors and judges. After three rounds of competition, the top three finalists receive national press attention and share more than $115,000 in cash and in-kind prizes to help them jumpstart their businesses. The Grand Prize winning team will walk away with The Perlman Prize (made possible through the generous support of Ellen Hanson Perlman and Richard E Perlman, W’68). The Perlman Prize carries a $30,000 cash prize and $15,000 of in-kind services.
The WBPC is among the leading global university-run business plan competitions. The WBPC was launched in 1998 by the Wharton Entrepreneurship Club and is now part of Wharton Entrepreneurship, which co-manages the event with a specially selected student management committee. The WBPC is open to all students at the University of Pennsylvania and, since its inception, has drawn over 150 student teams annually, comprising nearly 400 participants from Schools across the University of Pennsylvania.
The Venture Finals is the culminating event of the Wharton Business Plan Competition. It is the signature opportunity for the Wharton Business Plan Competition’s Great Eight Finalist teams to present their business plans to distinguished judges who will award prizes. The Venture Finals is a great event for the entrepreneurial community, bringing students together with angel investors, venture capitalists, Wharton alumni, entrepreneurs, and others from the entrepreneurial business community.
Following the formal presentations, there is an Elevator Pitch Competition. While the judges deliberate Grand, Second and Third prizes, each Finalist team delivers a short Elevator Pitch on their business concept. Based on these pitches, the audience selects the winner of the Michelson People’s Choice Award.