The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

Students walk by Steinberg-Dietrich Hall on Feb. 23. Credit: Sophie Poritzky

Wharton’s Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Club will host a Phase Zero Grant Competition on April 14.

WUEC will collaborate with HAX Accelerator, an early-stage investor focused on hard tech. Winners of the competition will be able to join the 10-week HAX Phase Zero grant program, which gives startups $10,000 of funding and pairs them with mentors, industry partners, and angel investors.

The deadline to apply for the competition is April 10, and selected applicants will be able to present their pitches to a panel of judges from HAX in Huntsman Hall.

Dylan Crow, a HAX Associate who has been working with WUEC, said that he hopes the Penn community will be able to help solve problems with hard tech through the collaboration. He added that a crucial way to do this is at the university level.

“It’s never too early to get in touch and engage with us around an idea technology someone is working on — we would welcome anyone in the Penn community, student, faculty, staff to engage with us,” Crow said. 

James Klusaritz, the co-president of WUEC, noted the difficulties and risks that entrepreneurs often face in building a physical product, as they must invest a lot of time and capital. He added that through the competition, WUEC hopes to provide an incentive for entrepreneurs to take that risk.

“We not only provide them with a lot of money to get started, but through HAX, provide them with top-class mentorship,” Klusaritz said.

Klusaritz added that applicants do not have to have a sophisticated pitch prepared to be eligible for the program.

“You don’t have to be working on something for 2 years to do this — if you have a really good idea [HAX will] want to hear it, and if it's good enough, they want to provide you with the tools to make it happen,” Klusaritz said.