Wharton Impact Venture Associates (WIVA) gives students real-world experience in impact investing.

We knew when we launched the Wharton Impact Venture Associates (WIVA) program this year that students need more than book learning to land a coveted job in impact investing — they need hands-on experience. So, we didn’t just teach students to find and conduct research on impact companies. We made sure the students spoke with entrepreneurs, conducted financial and impact analysis on their companies, and helped connect entrepreneurs to investors.

It didn’t take long before our first researched company — an at-home blood testing company called InnaMed — closed its current funding round on the investment platform Republic.

InnaMed aims to disrupt the blood testing industry by providing accessible blood diagnostics to patients, many of whom live in economically underserved communities and/or live far away from health centers. Over 70% of clinical decisions require lab testing. InnaMed is seeking to eliminate the barriers to getting blood testing done in a lab by shifting this outpatient care to patients’ homes.

InnaMed’s initial goal was to raise a total of $50,000. Having met that goal in less than 24 hours, the company is now on track to raise $1 million on Republic. InnaMed has raised over $260,000 to date.

“Anyone with $60 and a credit card can invest in private startups like InnaMed at an early stage. This really opens up startup investing to everyone,” said Matt Melbourne, investment team principal at Republic.

Evan Wijaya, W’19, sourced this transaction. “At WIVA, we were trained to stick to investment fundamentals, while ‘hustling’ to get in front of entrepreneurs, and other potential partners. I took the ‘hustle’ part to heart and visited many incubators in the Philadelphia region over the last year. I met the two InnaMed co-founders at one such incubator and after a few weeks of analysis and pitching in our internal meetings got approval to proceed.”

InnaMed’s co-founder, Anup Singh, was pleased to collaborate with WIVA. “Our experience working with WIVA has been great thus far. I appreciated the constant interaction and updates — the WIVA team was always aware of our needs and used their networks to help move forward various aspects of our venture,” he reflected.

In the program’s first year, WIVA students looked at more than 300 companies that offered the prospect of attractive financial returns and measurable social impact.

InnaMed’s success helps reinforce the goals of WIVA: to advance student learning in impact investing and support companies that can improve society and the environment. Through WIVA students like Evan can get real-world experience working with entrepreneurs and analyzing the financial and social impact propositions of early-stage companies.

Our students have been hard at work all year researching companies making a difference — we are excited to announce additional deals soon.

Students, investors, and entrepreneurs: Learn more about WIVA.

— Rajith Sebastian


Neither the University of Pennsylvania, the Wharton School, Wharton Impact Venture Associates (WIVA), nor any of their respective students, faculty, directors, officers, employees, representatives, affiliates, or agents (collectively, the “Penn Parties”) (i) is acting as underwriter, broker-dealer, promoter, financial advisor, or other intermediary with respect to any offering of securities by any entity mentioned in this article, or (ii) has received or will receive any compensation from any person or entity as an incentive to publish of this article. In addition, the Penn Parties have not received and will not receive any compensation or other item of value in connection with any possible or future investment in any securities issued by any entity mentioned herein.

Any research or diligence described above (i) was performed by WIVA solely for its own, limited, educational purposes, and not for the purpose of aiding any person in making any investment decision, and (ii) may be limited and incomplete, by its very nature, as a result of limited publicly available information and other limited information voluntarily made available to WIVA. No Penn Party shall have any liability whatsoever arising from any error or incompleteness of fact or opinion in, or lack of care in the preparation or publication of, this article.

Copyright ©2022 the Wharton School. All rights reserved. The information, methodologies, data and opinions contained or reflected herein are proprietary of the Wharton School and/or its students, are intended for non-commercial use, and may not be copied, distributed or used in any way, including via citation, unless otherwise explicitly agreed in writing. They are provided for informational purposes only and (1) do not constitute investment or financial advice; (2) cannot be interpreted as an offer, indication, solicitation, or recommendation to buy or sell any securities or to undertake any kind of business transactions; (3) do not represent an assessment of any issuer’s economic performance, financial obligations nor of its creditworthiness; and (4) are not a substitute for a professional financial, legal, and tax advice.

Posted: May 22, 2019

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