AI for Business Award

The AI for Business Award

AI at Wharton is proud to partner with Venture Lab to offer the AI for Business Award for the 2024 Startup Challenge. These monetary awards are given to the teams that best exemplify the usage of innovative artificial intelligence in their business model.

2024 Judges

Jarvis Bowers

Co-Founder and COO, Revere


Jarvis Bowers has a wealth of experience in digital marketing and leadership roles. He is the Co-founder and COO of Revere, Inc, a marketing products concern committed to elevating brands in a world of Generative AI. Bowers previously served as vice president, Global Marketing with Holland America Line where he also led Digital Transformation efforts for Carnival Corp.  Prior to that he led the global loyalty marketing for Expedia. He also served as senior director in Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business, where he led customer and product strategy for the Xbox Store. Bowers has held marketing leadership roles at SunPower, ESPN Digital Media, American Express, AT&T Wireless and Sony Electronics. Bowers holds an MBA in Marketing from the Wharton School and a BA from Amherst College.

Joseph Davin

Founder and Managing Partner of Davin AI


Joseph Davin is Founder and Managing Partner of Davin AI.  Previously, he was Head of Data Science at Two Six Capital and West Monroe Partners. He received his PhD in Marketing from Harvard Business School and is a Senior Fellow at Analytics at Wharton.

Nigel Edelshain

VP of Digital Marketing Services at Wainscot, WG'93


Nigel Edelshain is considered one of the early pioneers of social selling. He is the VP of digital marketing services at Wainscot, a marketing agency and publisher in New Jersey. He is currently researching and writing on how AI will make sales more “human” again on his blog and newsletter at Nigel has an undergraduate degree in microchip design from Edinburgh University and an MBA from Wharton.

Sajjad Jaffer

Head of Data Analytics and Machine Learning, GrowthCurve Capital, WG'01


Sajjad Jaffer is the Head of Data Analytics and Machine Learning and a member of the Firms’ Investment Committee at Growthcurve Capital.  Previously, Sajjad co-founded Two Six Capital, the Silicon Valley firm that pioneered Data Science for Private Equity. The company grew into a technology platform deploying large-scale engineering and data science models to over $30 billion of global private equity deals closed across multiple industry sectors. This platform was acquired in 2020 as an AI asset by West Monroe Partners.  Sajjad holds a B.A. from Bowdoin, and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School. He serves on the Board of Analytics at Wharton.

Jennifer Lee

Director of Perseverance Capital, WG’11


Jennifer Lee is the Director of Perseverance Capital, an asset management firm investing in emerging technologies. As a senior leader in Investor Relations, Jennifer facilitates venture capital investments between the U.S. and Asia, and guides startups in fundraising and strategic communications throughout their growth journey to IPO. Additionally, she excels as a host and moderator at major tech conferences, fostering meaningful dialogue among global leaders in AI, Cloud and Blockchain. Previously, Jennifer delivered Wall Street insights to over 360 million Asian audiences worldwide while serving as a financial news anchor for Phoenix Television, one of the largest media groups in Asia. She also shaped the e-commerce strategies for Yahoo! APAC, driving digital innovation in the region. Jennifer earned her MBA from The Wharton School and served as a Wharton-Omnicom Communication Fellow.

Balu Masti

Entrepreneur, Co-Founder, and Deep Tech Professional


Balu Masti is a seasoned technology leader, entrepreneur, and startup ecosystem enabler with expertise in DeepTech startups, product scalability, development, operations, and customer acquisition.  Currently engaged with UC Berkeley Skydeck, CMU’s Schwartz Center of Entrepreneurship, and prominent Indian accelerators like NASSCOM, T-Hub, and IIT-B eCell, Balu provides strategic guidance to startups across the globe. Balu has worked extensively in the Wireless Semiconductor industry in Qualcomm, USA, and Intel, India, for two decades and co-founded DeepTech startups. Balu’s technical expertise includes AI, data analysis, software/system design, IoT, and Embedded Systems. He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Computer Science & Engineering from the University of Mysore and the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, respectively.

Damon Miller

CEO and Founder of Enov8 Mobile, WG'96


Damon Miller is a start-up and mobile industry veteran.  He is CEO and Founder of Enov8 Mobile, a digital marketing & sales solutions company that delivers innovative AI based marketing solutions to help businesses generate more revenue, find new opportunities, reduce costs, or mitigate risk.  Prior to Enov8, he was Vice President of Mobile Commerce Platforms at Poynt – a publicly traded Canadian company that developed a mobile local search application that at its peak had over 25 million monthly active users. He has been a co-founder and held senior management positions at several other technology and Fortune 500 companies including UnoMobi, Kirusa, Motorola, Arco Chemical, and AT&T. Mr. Miller earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University and his MBA from the Wharton School.

Mary Purk

Executive Director, AI at Wharton


As Executive Director of AI at Wharton, Mary Purk leads the AI academic research center that focuses on how AI tools can be utilized to solve business problems, customer journeys, and discover the human impact of AI and smart technologies for consumers, firms, and society. With her team, she has positioned the Wharton School to be seen as a world leader in the study of business and societal impacts of advancements in AI and technology by expanding the AI knowledge domain through research, conferences, and experiential learning for students. Previously, Ms. Purk managed research centers at the University of Chicago and held senior positions at Nielsen, Information Resources and Accenture. She received an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a B.S. at the Gies School of Business at the University of Illinois.

Brett Topche

Co-founder and Managing Director of Red & Blue Ventures, W'02


Brett Topche has more than two decades of venture capital and private equity experience.  He is co-founder and managing director of Red & Blue Ventures, an early-stage venture capital fund primarily focused on investments in the information technology industry from the Penn ecosystem.  Previous positions include MentorTech, Hamilton Lane Advisors, and NJTC Venture Fund, evaluating funds and investments in commerce, digital media, mobile applications, marketing technologies and B2B software.  He represents Red & Blue as an observer on the Boards of Directors of MD Ally, Strella and Burrow. He previously served on the Board of Wanderfly (acquired by TripAdvisor).  Brett is a magna cum laude graduate of the Wharton School, with a B.S. in Economics.

Previous Winners

2024 Winner


Jochi is an integrated management platform that enables secondary schools to effectively identify and support neurodiverse learners, ensuring no student is left behind.

Yash Dhir, SEAS’24; Rahul Nambiar, SEAS’24

2024 Winner

Walnut Research

Walnut Research is an Artificial Intelligence evaluation company for developers of large language models that standardizes and streamlines the evaluation process from foundational to multi-step models.

Alex Kim, W’26; Bruce Lee, SEAS’26; Aiden Lee, SAS’26

2023 Winner


EmployAI is a decision intelligence platform for e-commerce executives. This tool harnesses the power of no-code machine learning to provide actionable strategic insights in boardroom-ready slides and an interactive dashboard. EmployAI is the perfect solution for professionals who may not have a technical background in data analytics, but hope to benefit from the insights and recommendations it can produce.

Tara Balakrishnan, WG’23, Amelia Cohen, WG’23

2023 Winner


Groov uses modern technology and a consumer-focused approach to provide users with high-end, fully customized shoe inserts called Groovs. Following instructions from Groov, customers can utilize depth-mapping camera functions available on Apple mobile devices to get a perfect 3D scan of their foot. Groov then uses that data to craft a perfect Groov and deliver it within seven days.

Daniel Cataldi, WG’23

2023 Winner


PopEye is the world’s first autonomous anchor-monitoring system for large commercial vessels. At the intersection of mechanical design, electronics, and computer vision, our “camera-in-a-box” both solves the problem of anchor loss, malfunction, and danger, and takes the first step toward fully autonomous, more sustainable anchoring.

Nicholas Anderson ENG’23, Orestis Skoutellas, ENG’23 GEN’23 W’23, Jacob “Rocco” Bendell, ENG’23, Mario Ferre, ENG’23, Benjamin Abt, ENG’23 GEN’24

2022 Winner


PitchPrez is an AI-speech coach that analyzes user-submitted videos to evaluate posture, enunciation, and more, and provides recommendations for improvement.

Jack Zhang, C’24, Alice Liu, Jack Lee

2022 Winner

Shinkei Systems Corp.

Shinkei Systems builds robotics minimize fish waste and multiply shelf-life. From 1.2B lbs caught every day, as little as 1 in 3 fish make it to a plate; we can save the fishing industry more than $50B annually.

Saif Khawaja, W’21, G’23

2021 Winner


Félix Pago is a chat-based platform for sending money from the United States to Spanish-speaking countries abroad.

Bernardo Garcia, WG’21, Manuel Godoy, WG’21