- Miranda Wang C’16 (team leader)
- Jeanny Yao
- Alexander Simafranca C’18
- Eric Friedman C’16
- Daniel Chapman
Plastic pollution is a global crisis that threatens the lives of wildlife and the food safety of 4 billion people. BioCellection converts unrecyclable plastics into valuable materials using genetically engineered bacteria. For example, plastics are transformed into the valuable compound, rhamnolipid, to create textiles. This innovation has the potential to reduce plastic pollution around the world, disrupt the textile industry, and grow into a $100MM business in 5 years. Our vision is to turn a global crisis into an even greater opportunity.
The company had its start four years ago, when Vancouver, BC based high school friends Miranda Wang and Jeanny Yao entered a biotechnology science competition with their proposed project on plastic biodegradation. They won a national prize, and then were invited to speak at the TED2013 conference. In college, both Miranda and Jeanny continued to pursue relevant scientific research, and this year they decided to found BioCellection to turn their research into a startup with the potential to change the world. Founded by University of Pennsylvania undergraduates Miranda Wang, Alexander Simafranca, and Eric Friedman, and their teammates Jeanny Yao and Daniel Chapman, BioCellection is the first undergraduate team to win the Grand Prize.
And the Winner Is…
BioCellection won the $30,000 Perlman Grand Prize of the 2016 Wharton Business Plan Competition—as well as the Wharton Social Impact Prize, the Gloeckner Undergraduate Award, the Michelson People’s Choice Award, and the Committee Award for Most ‘Wow Factor,’ making them the first team in BPC history to win five awards. The prizes were awarded at the Wharton School’s annual Venture Finals on April 28, 2016, where student finalists received more than $125,000 in combined cash prizes and in-kind legal/accounting services.
The Venture Finals, which is the BPC’s culminating event, attracted over 200 entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, business leaders, faculty members, alumni and students. This year 150 venture concepts submitted to the competition, with over 350 individual participants from across six Schools at the University of Pennsylvania. While the Venture Finals judges deliberated the top three prizes, the “Great Eight” Finalist teams competed for the Michelson People’s Choice Award, which allowed the audience to vote for their favorite elevator pitch. This year, for the first time, the elevator pitches were streamed live on Facebook, and the digital audience was also allowed to vote.
- David A. Cohen (PAR’14/PAR’16/PAR’17), CEO, Chief Investment Officer and Co-founder, Karlin Asset Management, Inc.
- Carol Curley (WG’81), Managing Director, Golden Seeds.
- Marc Lore (Wharton alum), Founder and CEO, Jet.com.
- Richard Perlman (W’68), Founder & Executive Chairman, ExamWorks Group, Inc.
- Stephen Tang (WG’92), President and CEO, University City Science Center.
- Tracey Weber (WG’95), Strategic Advisor, Gilt and Hudson’s Bay Company.
- BioCellection [Official]
- Meet the 22-year-olds tackling our plastic waste [2016-09-16. Barbara Grady. businessgreen]
- Exit Interview: Miranda Wang C’16, Founder of BioCellection [2016-07-05. Nadine Kavanaugh. Entrepreneurship Blog. Penn Wharton]
- BioCellection Is Ringing the NASDAQ Closing Bell! [2016-07-01. Nadine Kavanaugh. Entrepreneurship Blog. Penn Wharton]
- The Wharton Business Plan Competition: Can You Pick the Winner? [2016-05-26. [email protected] Penn Wharton]
- UPenn’s BioCellection may hold the key to plastics pollution worldwide [2016-05-10. Alaina Mabaso. flying kite]
- Pitching to Wharton San Francisco [2016-05-06. Nadine Kavanaugh. Entrepreneurship Blog. Penn Wharton]
- Wharton Startup Tackles Plastic Pollution [2016-05-02. Nathan Allen. Poets&Quants]
- BioCellection Wins 5 Wharton Business Plan Competition Awards–Including Perlman Grand Prize! [2016-04-29. Nadine Kavanaugh. Entrepreneurship Blog. Penn Wharton]
- Wharton Business Plan Competition Perlman Grand Prize Winner BioCellection is Cleaning the Oceans with Bioengineered Bacteria [2016-04-29. Peter Winicov. Wharton News]
- BioCellection: #WhartonBPC Finalist [2016.04-19. Nadine Kavanaugh. Entrepreneurship Blog. Penn Wharton]
- Biotech Innovation That Breaks Down Plastic and Feeds the Fish [2016-03-10. [email protected] High School. Penn Wharton]
- [Video] 2016 Business Plan Competition Venture Finals [2016-06-30. Wharton School. YouTube]
- [Video] Inventing a Solution to Plastic Pollution [2016-03-09. Wharton High School. YouTube]
- [Video] Deux jeunes scientifiques font appel aux bactéries pour décomposer les plastiques [2013-07-18. TED. YouTube]
- [Video] Miranda Wang & Jeanny Yao: Breaking down plastics using soil bacteria [2012-06-25. TedTalentSearch. YouTube]