An intelligent advertising app?
Yep. The three Wharton MBAs along with a Wharton undergrad who dreamed up that idea were awarded first prize in the school’s annual Business Plan Competition. Their company, called Slidejoy, produces an Android app that pays users $5 to $15 per month to display advertising on their smartphone lock screens. The ads adapt to user preferences and are time and location sensitive. Since launching three months ago, Slidejoy has been downloaded more than 20,000 times and has delivered more than 26 million ad impressions. Slidejoy’s clients include Groupon, Macy’s, and Best Buy.
Wharton’s May 1 business plan event marked the largest in the competition’s history with nearly 500 participants and the introduction of the Wharton Social Impact Prize, which went to Dana Cita, an educational lending venture.
More than $125,000 and in-kind services were distributed among eight finalist teams and the social impact prize winner. A panel of judges including investor David Cohen and ExamWorks Group founder Richard Perlman, selected the top teams, which were announced during the Venture Finals. Second place and $15,000 went to PhaseOptics, an imaging technology that detect the causes of blindness, while VeryApt, an intelligent apartment recommendation website, won third and a $10,000 prize. The Michelson People’s Choice Award, decided by audience vote, also went to PhaseOptics.
Wharton MBAs Sanghoon Kwak, Jaeho Chung (on leave), and Robert Seo and Wharton undergraduate alumna Diana Kattan created Slidejoy.
Wharton MBA Susli Lie led the Dana Cita team to claim the inaugural Wharton Social Impact Prize. The company, whose name translates to “Aspiration Fund” in Indonesian, provides school loans and career connections to Indonesian youth.
The Wharton Business Plan Competition, now in its 17th year, is open to all University of Pennsylvania students. Competitors spend seven months developing their ideas and honing their business plans. This year’s event attracted 181 entries. The teams are whittled down to the “Great Eight” through three rounds of competition. The finalists earn a chance at the grand prize and the opportunity to present their elevator pitches before an audience of more than 300 venture capitalists, business leaders, faculty, and students.
Previous competitions have give rise to such success stories as chic glasses purveyor Warby Parker, which has raised $115.5 million, and online baby products retailer Baby.com.br, with $16.7 million in funding.