The Joseph H. Lauder Institute of Management and International Studies established the Jacobson Global Venture Awards in 2017 thanks to the generosity of Andrew Jacobson, WG’93, and Lauder alumna Marina Kunis Jacobson, G’93, WG’93. Venture Awards provide Lauder students with resources to focus their energies on their entrepreneurial venture during the summer.
Cash Award for Venture Development
The 2023 venture winners receive a $12,000 cash award. This financial support, coupled with the many other co-curricular opportunities at Penn, 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 them to concentrate full-time on developing the venture. Dr. Sudev Sheth, Senior Lecturer and Faculty Lead for the Jacobson Awards says, “The Jacobson Global Venture Awards provide an unparalleled opportunity for Lauder students to unleash their creative spirit and entrepreneurial vision across industries and geographies. It offers young visionaries a chance to harness emerging technologies and leverage global networks to build sustainable businesses that will change the 21st century for the better.”
PROJECT GREEN SWAN
Masaki Goto, Ilia Beloly, Mehrnoosh Aryanpour
Project Green Swan is an investment platform focused on early-stage development opportunities in sustainable infrastructure and energy, with a geographical focus on emerging and economically fragile states. Such challenging markets receive a smaller share of investments in clean energy and infrastructure projects and, as a result, many projects cannot “take off”. Green Swan aims to enable such projects through deploying early-stage capital and providing technical and legal advisory, particularly in the initial de-risking phase when projects need support in seeking permits, securing land, and conducting feasibility studies.
Ilia Beloly is a first-year MA/MBA student in Lauder’s East and Southeast Asia (Japanese) Program. Prior to Lauder, Ilia worked in renewable energy development in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. Masaki Goto, a first-year MA/MBA student in the Global Program, has experience in impact investing and emerging markets through his work at the International Finance Corporation (IFC). Mehrnoosh Aryanpour, an SJD student at Penn Carey Law, has over 10 years of legal advisory experience in sanctioned and high-risk states.
Project Green Swan plans to utilize the Jacobson funding to further refine their business plan as well as visit target countries to meet local policymakers and stakeholders, and to source projects.
Re-trade is solving America’s skilled trades labor shortage crisis by matching high school students who want lucrative, stable jobs without a college degree to employers in construction, plumbing, and other trades. Unlike traditional trade schools, Re-Trade employers pay, train, and hire the high schoolers. Re-trade further adds value by providing student success coaching and analytics.
Graham Anderson, Founder of Re-trade, has a background in EdTech consulting and a deep interest in empowering young people to develop lifelong skills and long-term employability.
Graham plans to use the Jacobson prize money to fund marketing and partnership development efforts in coordination with a pilot program in San Francisco. The pilot program will run this summer with a cohort of high schoolers who will be paid to train and then hired by the fall.
Karim Stinner, Mohamed El Agroudy
Koterie is a digital platform that facilitates fractional ownership (as little as 1 SQM) of institutional-grade commercial real estate securities, with the aim of democratizing real estate access in the Middle East. Koterie simplifies the real estate investing experience, providing end-to-end investment management and seamless liquidity through their secondary marketplace.
Koterie plans to use the Jacobson funding to digitize and design their services and platform to be user-ready.
Karim Stinner is a first-year MA/MBA student in the South Asia, Middle East and North Africa (SAMENA) Program studying Arabic. Prior to Lauder, Karim worked in multiple countries as a management consultant and private equity analyst, with a specialization in emerging markets. Mohamed El Agroudy has a background in private equity and corporate development for e-commerce platforms, also with a specialization in emerging markets. Karim and Mohamed met while working at The Abraaj Group.
Special thanks to our 2023 Judges
Marina Kunis Jacobson G’93, WG’93
Stephan Jacob G’11, WG’11
Allan Kwan G’87, WG’87
Michelle Larivee G’12, WG’12
Rosanna Ramos-Velita G’92, WG’92
Bart Swanson G’89, WG’89
Annie Wang G’13, WG’13