This was a year of firsts for the Wharton Business Plan Competition (BPC). Judges for Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs’ premier event considered the most ventures ever: 152. It was the first year that the winning team comprised students from Wharton’s MBA for Executives Program (WEMBA). RightCare Solutions—created by three members of the WEMBA Class of 2012, team leader Eric Heil, Mrinal Bhasker and Matt Tanzer—was awarded the $30,000 Michelson Grand Prize for developing an algorithmic solution to help hospitals identify patients at risk at discharge of being readmitted, based on research by Dr. Kathryn H. Bowles, associate professor of nursing at the University of Pennsylvania.
“Since we’ve been on the road speaking to investors, speaking to customers for the last several months, we’ve had an opportunity in very high-stakes, pressurized situations to perfect, to hear the pushback, to modify our plans, based on the challenges we’ve heard from professional investors and hospital administrators,” Tanzer told Wharton Magazine at the Venture Finals.
“We’re thrilled, we’re honored. The competitors today were fantastic,” Heil said about the BPC. “We’re excited about our opportunity, and glad that we were able to communicate our plan and vision.”
During the Venture Finals, each of the eight finalists had 20 minutes to present and respond to questions from the elite panel of judges: Michael Burns, EE’95, GEE’95, W’95, managing partner of Alara Capital; David A. Cohen, president of Karlin Asset Management; Richard Perlman, W’68, chairman of Compass Partners LLC; and Santo Politi, WG’97, general partner at Spark Capital.
—By Matthew Brodsky
Editor’s note: View our video highlights of the Business Plan Competition Venture Finals.