The Michelson People’s Choice Award for the 2017 Wharton Startup Challenge was awarded to SPLACED, the “Airbnb of commmercial space”, whose team is comprised of: (top row) Emily Smith, WG’17 (team leader), Ruchi Banka, WG’17, Jake Kramer, WG’17, (bottom row) Dan Norelli, WG’17, Matt Panas, WG’17, Trang Pham, WG’18. Competition took place on April 28th, 2017.
- Emily Smith, WG’17 (team leader)
- Ruchi Banka, WG’17
- Jake Kramer, WG’17
- Dan Norelli, WG’17
- Matt Panas, WG’17
- Trang Pham, WG’18
Splaced is a revolutionary online marketplace, working as an intermediary to connect guests who seek affordable, on-demand locations with businesses who have underutilized space. Splaced matches the unique needs of individuals seeking space with commercial real estate owners which are taking advantage of this unique opportunity to monetize the underutilized spaces within their business. The goal is to increase efficiency in use of commercial real estate while addressing a pain point for businesses with underutilized space.
- The idea for Splaced came from Emily’s experience seeking quiet, inspiring workspaces at Wharton.
- From her work in the commercial real estate industry, Emily encountered many businesses whose high-rent spaces were unused for most of the business day.
- Splaced brings the opportunity for businesses to meet peoples’ space needs while recovering and monetizing the high cost of the business’ idle spaces.
- Splaced will seek to deliver unique working spaces available to the average person for living, working and collaborating.
- Splaced will make the commercial real estate market more efficient and truly address pain points: affordable, hourly spaces for guests and maximum profitability for hosts.
And the Winner Is…
On April 28th, 2017, Splaced was given the Michelson People’s Choice Award and accompanying $3,000 prize at the 2017 Wharton Startup Showcase. The Startup Showcase is the culmination of the Wharton Startup Challenge, formerly the Wharton Business Plan Competition, showcasing the best student-founded startups from across the University of Pennsylvania. This year, over 30 student startups demonstrated their ideas in front of an excited crowd. Student entrepreneurs pitched their “elevator speeches”, in an actual elevator, to passionate alumni investors.
Emily Smith, Splaced Team Member:
When we learned that we had won this award in particular, we were elated. To the Splaced team, this award proved that there is a genuine public interest in our concept and validates what we had hoped was the case. Since winning this award, we have been contacted by many people interested in our company for various reasons, and many have noted the People’s Choice Award as the initial way they heard about Splaced. The award will make a difference in the future success of Splaced, and we are honored to receive it.
Ruchi Banka, WG’17, Emily Smith, WG’17 (team Leader) and Jake Kramer, WG’17 receive the Michelson People’s Choice Award from the hands of judge David A. Cohen, PAR’14, PAR’16, PAR’17, CEO, Chief Investment Officer, and Co-founder, Karlin Asset Management, Inc. (Credit: Wharton School)
- 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
- Karen Griffith Gryga, GEN’93, WG’93, Chief Investment Officer, DreamIt Ventures
- Marc Lore, Wharton alum, Founder and CEO, Jet.com; President and CEO, Walmart U.S. Ecommerce
- Richard Perlman, W’68, Founder and Executive Chairman, ExamWorks Group, Inc.
- Stephen Tang, WG’92, President and CEO, University City Science Center
- Note: WG=MBA alum; W=Undergraduate Wharton alum; PAR=Penn parent
- Splaced — Rent unique places as hourly spaces [2017. Splaced]
- Splaced — Wharton 2017 Startup Challenge Semifinalist [The Wharton School. University of Pennsylvania]
- Wharton 2017 Startup Challenge Semifinalists: Splaced [The Wharton School. University of Pennsylvania]
- Wharton 2017 Startup Challenge Finalists: Splaced [The Wharton School. University of Pennsylvania]
- [Slideshow] Startup Showcase 2017 | Penn Wharton Entrepreneurship [Wharton]
- [Audio] Startup Showcase: 7. Michelson People’s Choice Award: $3,000 to Splaced [Wharton]
- [Video] Entrepreneurial UPenn Students Compete In Start-Up Challenge [2017-04-28. Steve Tawa. CBS Philly]