Penn Wharton Entrepreneurship announced the winner of the fourth annual Startup Challenge, is My Virtual Veterinarian, founded by alum Felicity Johnson and advised by John Hurst. A virtual veterinary portal for pet owners, My Virtual Veterinarian makes it possible for pets to receive the care they need, when they need it. Due to the global health crisis surrounding COVID-19, Penn Wharton Entrepreneurship held the competition in a virtual setting on May 1 and 2, following the leadership of the University of Pennsylvania and The Wharton School.
My Virtual Veterinarian connects pet parents with veterinarians for video and chat appointments, providing a unique solution during the COVID-19 pandemic. Johnson founded the company after experiencing time-consuming medical visits when her cat Tiffany was diagnosed with cancer. Through the My Virtual Veterinarian iOS app, pet parents can access their primary veterinarian, or find a different veterinarian who is available for virtual veterinary appointments, and schedule a convenient appointment time. This flexibility extends to the veterinarians, who can schedule appointments that fit their schedule, avoid unnecessary office visits and access new customers.
My Virtual Veterinarian was selected from the field of Eight Finalist teams—including tropical fruit ice cream and curated flower rental companies—who advanced from the nearly 30 Semifinalists during Day 1 of the competition. Day 1 consisted of several hours of Semifinalist virtual pitching and Q&A in front of alumni entrepreneur and investor panels. On Day 2, Finalists pitched a panel of judges with the public able to view via livestreaming. More than 170 viewers from across the globe tuned in to watch teams compete for over $135,000 in cash and prizes to launch their startups.
The Startup Challenge marks the end to another exciting year of entrepreneurship across the Penn community. Students engaged in entrepreneurial programming are founding, developing, and scaling companies utilizing the multitude of resources available within the Penn and Philadelphia ecosystems. Penn Wharton Entrepreneurship is proud to continue to be a leader in entrepreneurship education, with plans to open Tangen Hall, the university’s first dedicated space for cross-campus entrepreneurship and innovation, in the coming year. To view the full list of winners and learn more about Penn Wharton Entrepreneurship, click here (https://entrepreneurship.wharton.upenn.edu).