Outstanding entrepreneurs, funders & speakers ready to engage &
help you connect & get better results from your innovation

“Vision without execution is hallucination.”
Walter Isaacson, author of current bestseller, The Innovators
"I have an almost complete disregard of precedent, and a faith in the possibility of something better. It irritates me to be told how things have always been done. I defy the tyranny of precedent. I go for anything new that might improve the past."
Clara Barton, Founder, American Red Cross
“There should be no boundaries to human endeavor. Remember to look up at the stars, not down at your feet. Where there's life, there's hope.”
Stephen Hawking, Physicist & Author, The Theory of Everything & A Brief History of Time
If you are an innovator or work around innovators, you’re in good company.

Yet you face a nagging challenge:

How do you improve your chance of success – for yourself and your team?  Our 2015 Wharton DC Innovation Summit directly answers that challenge.

Join our 2-Day April conference:

Meet top innovation thought leaders from industry and government, including fellow entrepreneurs, funders, mentors, and outstanding Wharton. Penn and other professors  – ready to engage you and raise your odds of hitting your target, or finally testing that new product idea. In new workshops, startup veterans will guide you thru market-tested planning and execution steps, boosting your “success quotient” as you push your idea ahead. 

To learn more about the schedule and speakers, check our Summit website, WhartonDCInnovation.com.

Ever been stretched too thin at a great conference, especially with several tracks and many potential contacts?

Maximize the benefit you get, and bring a valued member of your team with you.

Confirmed speakers to stimulate and engage you already include:

  • Jordan Lloyd Bookey (a Wharton alumna & "40 under 40" featured in Wharton magazine) & Felix Brandon Bookey, Co-Founders, Zoobean.com, who got $250,000 funding from Mark Cuban on "Shark Tank" and will discuss lessons they learned in "swimming with the sharks" and in building their business
  • Craig Hatkoff, innovative entrepreneur and Co-Founder, Disruptor Foundation, Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards & highly acclaimed Tribeca Film Festival
  • Amy Wilkinson, strategist, advisor, Stanford B-School lecturer, and author of the best-seller, The Creator's Code: The Essential Skills of Extraordinary Entrepreneurs
  • Joyce Hunter, Acting CIO, Dept. of Agriculture
  • Dr. Wasif Syed, global entrepreneurship leader and CEO, The Ivy League Advisor
    • And many more results-oriented inspirational & innovative thought - and ACTION - leaders.
    • CLICK HERE to see many more of our 100+ confirmed keynote and other speakers
  • How much connecting can you do? 
  • Last year's 400 attendees represented 150+ companies of all sizes - from startup to Fortune 500, with funders, entrepreneurs and mentors - plus agencies, top universities looking for licensing partners, and other organizations in 2014
  • And we're expecting even more this year!

By design, the Wharton DC Summit helps you --

  • Connect with others - TO HELP SOLVE YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGES, and find the tricky pathways to funding sources, strategic partnerships, vital new contacts and even long-term contracts.
  • Create using agile ideas and new ways to identify talent, build teams, and move ideas through the marketplace – with guides for testing and refining all this.
  • Transform your group, your company, even your industry, as you tap colleagues in major innovation hubs and clusters. If you really want to make an impact, take this opportunity to grow your idea, refine it and build a promising business.

The 2015 Summit builds on the success-filled blueprint of its predecessor. 

Then, as now, we’ll connect innovators in many industries to new colleagues, plus many US and global resources. Our 2014 edition saw 400 attendees, 132 speakers, 45 sessions and two networking-rich receptions.

These are typical of the enthusiasm attendees expressed last year:

"The 2014 Wharton DC Innovation Summit was the best conference I've attended in 30 years. 
Most conferences we attend have only marginal interest, maybe one speaker or a specific track – the Wharton DC Innovation Summit had compelling content in every track.  
From the master class on building and leading a creative organization, to angel investor groups, to keynote speakers, to specific company briefings, all were well prepared and interesting!
And connections to others dedicated to others dedicated to more creative and effective innovation and entrepreneurship were superb."
  • Terence Winsky, Wharton MBA

"Congratulations on organizing such a successful event!  The innovation conference was outstanding.  A colleague who attended was thrilled with the whole Summit and made valuable contacts."

  • Irene Tata, Wharton Alum, Financial Advisor, Ameriprise

In 2015, you’ll also meet Fortune 500 leaders and Global 2000 innovators, but also a great many more colleagues -- in startups, mid-size firms, innovative non-profits and key corporations.

In short, you’ll get bigger opportunities to grow your network and sharpen your business acumen.

By popular demand, we’ve planned for 20% more attendees. You’ll meet more thought leaders, have more networking interactions in workshops and guided events, and new options during structured and informal breaks. Better bring ALL your business cards.

Rest assured: We’ll also build on Wharton DC’s 2014 multi-disciplinary core. It’s a design for inspiration and new learning. You’ll hear about innovation success in small and giant organizations.  You’ll learn from thought leaders in biopharma, cyber and data analytics and education.  In Wharton style, our food for thought also features finance, talent management and leadership -- all crucial at every step of the innovation journey.

Who should attend?

We welcome innovators ready to reenergize their plans and greatly expand their high-level connections:


  • An Entrepreneur in a growth or early-stage business
    • An Executive in a mid-size or Fortune 500 company needing to harness an internal team's creative powers to collaborate successfully
  • A Talent Manager who wants better strategies to attract a diverse workforce for building your organization in the near term
    • A Government, Academic, Nonprofit or NGO official who needs to be more effective and efficient in using limited resources
  • An Official of a public or private organization with technology available for licensing
    • Anyone who needs an edge up with innovative new ideas


Among the many vital resources you’ll learn about:

  • Private funding sources – ranging from angel, venture, and private equity, to crowdfunding and other investment options.
  • Public resources: News on innovation grants, loans, contracts and more.
  • Technology licensing opportunities – not just federal but local agencies, universities, plus public and private organizations
  • New partnerships and joint ventures, public and private, with organizations of all sizes
So take our invitation: Join our 2015 Summit:
  • Get inspired by our many successful serial entrepreneurs and fledgling disruptors.
  • Join many new innovators from startups to Fortune 500 firms, government, and academia.
  • Join all of us in our common journey to connect, create and transform our industries and communities.
 while space is available and prices are low, before they rise. Consider joining the Wharton Club or a Strategic Partner to get the lower rates.
  • Also, bonus session on Monday night only for earliest signups, and to increase your connections and improve your results!
  • WHEN: Tuesday, April 28, and Wednesday, April 29, 2015, 8:00 am-6:00 pm, followed by Reception each evening, from 6:00 to 8:30 pm.
  • WHERE: FHI 360 Conference Center, 1825 Connecticut Avenue, NW, 8th Floor (Universal Building South), one block south of Washington Hilton.
    • Off-site reception on at Embassy of Indonesia on Tuesday evening (click here for more information; this is included automatically for Summit registrants who register no later than April 12). 
      • NOTE: Must be registered for Summit ASAP to be assured of admission to Embassy reception. Only 17 places left.
    • Reception at FHI 360 on Wednesday, 4/29. 
    • Directions to FHI 360: Click Here
  • WHAT: Innovation Summit, as described on this webpage
    • Tracks include:
      • Funding (VCs with "fast pitch sessions" by entrepreneurs, Angels - also with "fast pitch", Crowdfunding (including new developments, such as SEC's new proposed rules), SBA, SBIRs)
      • Health Care / Life Sciences
      • Data as an Asset
      • Startup Modes, such as Lean Startup
      • Smarter Government, including public-private partnerships
      • The Workforce of the Future - how to attract, train and retain the team you need to win in the global marketplace
      • And MUCH MORE, including sessions, workshops, collaboration zones, and "lessons learned" breakouts on varied topics featuring successful innovative entrepreneurs
    • You get many BENEFITS from attending, such as those listed above. To learn more, CLICK HERE
  • ATTIRE: Business / Business Casual (no jeans, please)
  • METRO: Dupont Circle / Red Line / just 4 blocks away.
  • OTHER TRANSPORTATION: Our Strategic Partner, SPECIAL EVENT TRANSPORTATION SERVICES will provide Airport Transfers and/or specialized Car Service for Tours of DC at an INNOVATION SUMMIT  discount. Please call toll free @ 866-667-9261 or text to 571-201-4277, and/or email @ eventtransportationstar@gmail.com:
  • PARKING: Several garages in and near FHI 360, including those in Universal Bldg. South and North.
  • LODGING: We had special rates through April 6 at the Washington Hilton. Suggest you reserve early if you need a room, as April is high season in DC.  Please call 1-800-HILTONS and mention the group code WCDC to be placed within our room block. [ROOM BLOCK FILLED - Suggest you try online, such as Trivago.com or Priceline.com]
This is the fee schedule, including full access to all sessions, meals, breaks and receptions (Embassy reception only while space is available)


April 19 - 27

 Last chance/Walk-in (if space is available)

April 28 or later

 General Registration

       597  647
 Discounted: Member: Wharton Club or Strategic Partner**        397  447
Discounted Full-time Government, Nonprofit or Academic ###        347  397


  • ***The growing list of Strategic Partners already includes:
    • Appnetic (APP)
    • Augaroo (AUG)
    • Booth Entrepreneurs' Advisory Group (BEAG)
    • Center for Data Innovation (CDI)
    • Chicago Booth Alumni Club (CBAC)
    • City Club of Washington (CCW)
    • Darden (UVA) Alumni Club (Darden)
    • French-American Chamber of Commerce (FACC)
    • Harvard Club of Washington (HCW)
    • Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF)
    • MIT Club of Washington (MIT)
    • National Economists Club (NEC)
    • Princeton Club of Washington (PCW)
    • Society of Physician Entrepreneurs (SoPE)
    • Special Event Transportation Services (SETS)>>
    • Stanford B-School (SGSB)
    • Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce (SACC)
    • Tech 2000 (TECH2000)
    • Tower Club at Tysons (Tower)
    • U.S.-Qatar Business Council (QBC)
    • Wharton & Penn Clubs:
      • Penn Club of DC
      • Penn-Wharton Club of Michigan (PWCMI)
      • Wharton Club of Philadelphia (WCPHIL)
        • with more to come! (if you belong to one of these groups, be sure to type in the initials of the Partner you're a member of (under Special Instructions) when you register.
    • Media Partners already include SiriusXM 111 ("Business Radio powered by the Wharton School), Blacktie-DC.com and ExpertClick.com, with extensive media coverage expected.
  • ### Please list the name of your agency, nonprofit academic organization (under Special Instructions) when you register.
  • >> Our Strategic Partner, SPECIAL EVENT TRANSPORTATION SERVICES will provide Airport Transfers and/or specialized Car Service for Tours of DC at an INNOVATION SUMMIT  discount.   Please call toll free @ 866-667-9261 or text to 571-201-4277, and/or email @ eventtransportationstar@gmail.com

If you would like to learn about sponsorship opportunities to increase your organization's exposure, click here to send an email to Alan Schlaifer, Wharton Club President and Summit Chair.