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Spring/Summer 2022

Fulton

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In developing their line of footwear insoles, Libie Motchan WG21 and Daniel Nelson WG21 faced an age-old problem: How do you make a boring product cool? Their solution is to take aim at foot problems that plague people of all ages, whether due to work, sports, or squeezing into fashionable but often painful dress shoes. Fulton’s insoles are designed to give customized arch support that enhances body alignment and helps ease pain and prevent injury. They’re also made from sustainable materials like cork and vegan leather, so customers can feel good about more than just their feet.

Spring/Summer 2022

Karat

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This billion-dollar startup is giving companies a leg up in the highly competitive search for software engineers. The brainchild of Mohit Bhende WG08 and Jeffrey Spector, Karat is accelerating the hiring process to help businesses land top talent before it gets swept up by other employers. With its unique platform and a team of “interview engineers,” Karat conducts technical-assessment interviews on behalf of companies at the start of the hiring process. The 24/7 service touts its ability to conduct 50,000-plus online interviewing hours each month and is designed to give job candidates more flexibility to schedule interviews while freeing up time for software engineers to do more developing.

Spring/Summer 2022

Described as “the perfect plant-based snack,” Munchrooms aims to offer a tasty and sustainable alternative to traditional jerky — one made entirely from mushrooms. Founder Gina Shi WG19 acquired a passion for the versatility of the humble mushroom as she explored Taiwan’s delicious vegan food and creative use of the fungus. Now, having developed Munchrooms with “big flavors and real ingredients” as part of Wharton’s VIP-San Francisco program, the company aims to share this healthy and satisfying snack with the world.

Spring/Summer 2022

Mocktail Club founder Pauline Idogho WG10 aims to capture the palates of social drinkers seeking non-alcoholic options. For her line of globally inspired ready-to-drink mocktails, Idogho has assembled a collection of bold, innovative drinks served with a twist: healthy ingredients flowing with fruit-forward flavors that maintain the complexity of traditional adult beverages. Mocktail Club concocts drinks for any occasion — from parties to brunches to baby showers — and donates a percentage of sales to providing access to clean water in underdeveloped nations.

Spring/Summer 2022

With a business model that recalls a successful Wharton-powered eyewear company, Parfait (formerly named Hairtelligence) is making it easy to buy custom wigs online. Recently part of Venture Lab’s VIP-X accelerator program and a New Venture Competition finalist, the startup — co-founders include Isoken Igbinedion WG21 and Simone Kendle WG21 — leverages computer-vision technology to capture customers’ head measurements and other information from just a few selfies. Customers choose from seven wig-customization options (from hair pattern to part style) and virtually try on wigs before shipment to their homes, cutting out the need for a trip to the salon.

Spring/Summer 2022

Kasa

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Looking for another way to find the perfect stay? Characterized by Forbes as “a more formal Airbnb,” Kasa was founded in 2016 by Roman Pedan ENG10 W10 to help travelers locate reliable short-term bookings. The startup’s differentiator: The company has amassed its own portfolio of apartments and hotel rooms, meaning Kasa — rather than individual owners — styles each space, provides amenities, and handles check-ins and departures. The company operates at some 60 locations across more than 40 U.S. cities and even has spots in Tokyo.

Spring/Summer 2022

Somos

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Three former Kind Snacks executives created Somos with a mission to bring authentic Mexican food to American pantries. (The name means “we are” in Spanish.) The brand’s lineup of rice, beans, chips, salsas, and vegetarian entrées was inspired by the home-cooked food that founders Miguel Leal WG02, Daniel Lubetzky, and Rodrigo Zuloaga ate themselves while growing up in Mexico. Wharton alum Leal — previously chief marketing officer at Kind — is chief executive of the new venture, which officially launched in January.

Spring/Summer 2022

Chef Robotics founder Rajat Bhageria W18 GEN18 was named to this year’s Forbes 30 Under 30 list for his efforts to automate commercial kitchens — and for the investment his work has attracted. The business has racked up at least $7.7 million from a long list of backers, including Kleiner Perkins, Bloomberg Beta, and Red and Blue Ventures, a fund that focuses on Penn companies. Although Chef Robotics is still in its early stages, there are some things we know about the business: There will be robots — and those robots, we’re promised, will increase production, reduce costs and food waste, and improve their own performance via machine learning.

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