2017 Jacobson Venture Awards Winners Announced!

The Joseph H. Lauder Institute of Management and International Studies has established the Jacobson Venture Awards thanks to the generosity of Andrew Jacobson, WG’93, and Marina Kunis Jacobson, G’93, WG’93. This new program seeks to provide Lauder students with the opportunity to focus their energies on their entrepreneurial venture during the summer. The rules and procedures governing this award are detailed here. Each venture receives a $10,000 cash award. This financial support, coupled with the many other co-curricular opportunities at Wharton, provides a strong foundation for students’ professional development as entrepreneurs.  The Venture Award supports a student’s work over the summer in lieu of a full-time internship, allowing the student to concentrate full-time on developing the venture.


Thomas Cavett – POWTI Innovations

POWTI Innovations makes the world’s first fully automated, standalone traumatic injury detection device. The Point Of Wounding Trauma Indicator, or POWTI device, detects a traumatic event and instantly sends the wearers location information to emergency rescue personnel allowing for faster recognition of a traumatic event, faster location of the individual, and faster lifesaving treatment. Thomas Cavett is a 1st Year student at Wharton and the Lauder Institute receiving his MBA and MA in International Studies. Thomas, Co-Founder of POWTI Innovations, is a former US Army Green Beret and Medic with over 12 years of civilian and military healthcare experience. He came to Wharton and Lauder to work on his startup and has gained significant traction over the last year. This is his second award for POWTI Innovations from the Lauder Institute, having won the Lauder Pitch-It Competition at the Global Alumni event in New York City last fall. Thomas says: “I am really honored to receive this great opportunity from the Jacobson family and the Lauder Institute. This funding will be critical for our success over the coming months as we gear up for our official product launch.”

Nidhi Shah – revoLOOtion

revoLOOtion aims to solve sanitation beginning with urban families in informal settlements. We provide rapid-drying composting toilets for private household use. This summer, we plan to sell our first batch of toilets for testing in the chawls of Mumbai. Our innovative toilet design and business model allow us to hold a unique position in the Indian market.

Nidhi is a 2nd year MBA at Wharton and Lauder in the Hindi track majoring in entrepreneurial management. Prior to Wharton, she worked as a chemical engineer designing chemical separation factories. At Wharton, Nidhi is an enthusiastic member of comedy club. Nidhi says “I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to present in great detail my business and work to the judges. Receiving the award presents a small, yet entirely meaningful incentive to work on my business in the face of an entire machinery that pushes us into mature recruiting.”

Antonio Muñoz Villanueva – Advans Health

Advans Health recognizes that purchasing student health insurance is expensive, confusing and sometimes unnecessary. Antonio is developing a platform to help students purchase best and most affordable health insurance with a more educated decision, contributing to value based healthcare. The aim is to launch this summer and to target different schools in Philadelphia. Antonio is an engineer trained in Spain and Germany. He is an expert in the insurance industry and has worked at McKinsey & Company, the Allianz Group and a digital insurance brokerage firm. He has also developed analytics, digital and artificial intelligence related projects for large insurance groups. An avid social entrepreneur, Antonio has a strong passion for healthcare, having led the construction of a hospital and the management of a local healthcare network in a region of Cameroon. Antonio says, “This award strengthen our mission and is key to take Advans Health to the next level, guaranteeing a successful launch this summer.”