Since its inception in the fall of 2001, Wharton Entrepreneurship’s Entrepreneur-In-Residence Program (EIR) has given more than 1,700 Penn students the unique opportunity to meet one-on-one with a successful entrepreneur. More than 170 entrepreneurs have now visited campus. This one-of-a-kind mentoring program is a fabulous complement to classroom learning, a great benefit and resource for students, and a wonderful opportunity for entrepreneurs to connect with the Penn community.
Once a week during the academic year, a highly accomplished entrepreneur visits campus to meet one-on-one with students. The visiting entrepreneurs come from diverse fields and are chosen based on their success starting and managing thriving enterprises.
This spring we are happy to welcome seven accomplished entrepreneurs to campus as EIRs :
Brett Hurt, WG’99, Venture Partner, Austin Ventures, and Founder of Bazaarvoice
Brett joined Austin Ventures in 2012 as a venture partner and focuses on early-stage software investing. Before Austin Ventures, he founded Bazaarvoice (NASDAQ: BV) and served as CEO and president for seven and a half years, leading the company from bootstrapped concept to having almost 2,000 clients worldwide and on through its successful IPO.
Howard Sherman, Founder of Inventure Holdings
Howard Sherman is a founder, advisor to, and/or investor in a diverse collection of companies from consumer products to technologies of interest to the U.S. government, to medical device companies to Internet enterprises. He is also the co-founder of Hope Village for Children, a children’s home developing best practices for foster care in the 21st century.
Robert Herzog, WG’95, Founder & CEO of ZogSports
ZogSports, a sports league for “grownups,” makes it easier for young professionals to see their friends, meet people and play team sports. In 2012, ZogSports made the INC 5000 list for fastest growing companies in the U.S. for the second consecutive year.
Christy Liu, C’04, & Evan Schneyer, W’04, Co-founders of Wanderfly (acquired by TripAdvisor)
Wanderfly, a VC-backed Internet travel startup, was named a Time Inc. Top 10 Startup and an Entrepreneur’s 100 Brilliant Companies and was nominated for a Webby. Christy led all marketing initiatives, resulting in millions of users in hundreds of countries, and she closed countless business development partnerships. Evan is a self-described builder who has started two companies and has brought multiple new products from idea to market. Christy is now the marketing director at TripAdvisor and Evan is the director of product management.
Jeff Grass, WG’99, CEO & President of buySAFE
buySAFE is a $30 million VC-backed ecommerce trust company that provides “Guaranteed Shopping” programs for online merchants and buyers. He is also the executive chairman of CrimePush, a revolutionary mobile safety app that makes users safer through better information, two-way emergency communications and empowering law enforcement professionals.
Prasad Thammineni, WG’07, CEO & Co-Founder of OfficeDrop
Prasad Thammineni is a serial entrepreneur. He has founded five companies and holds more than 20 years of product management, technology, operations, sales and marketing experience. Prior to OfficeDrop, Prasad founded jPeople, Indolis.com and Webelong.com.
Students can register to meet with the EIRs through the Wharton Entrepreneurship website.
Editor’s note: This post first appeared on Wharton’s Entrepreneurship Blog on Feb. 7, 2012.