$25M Gift to Enhance Entrepreneurship at Wharton
The Wharton School’s More Than Ever fundraising campaign has received a significant boost thanks to a $25 million gift from Wharton School alumnus Nicolai Tangen and his wife Katja Tangen. The gift supports entrepreneurship and will spearhead construction of a new campus building—Tangen Hall—plus establish an international scholarship fund.
Tangen Hall represents the first-ever dedicated space for cross-campus student entrepreneurship at the University of Pennsylvania. “Talented and creative students are working hard to identify challenges where they can implement efficient, sustainable, and actionable solutions through innovative ventures,” says Penn President Amy Gutmann in a statement announcing the gift.
Additionally, a new Katja and Nicolai Tangen International Endowed Scholarship will provide financial aid to international undergraduate students facing prohibitive economic challenges.
“Katja and Nicolai Tangen’s immense impact will be felt for decades to come,” says Wharton Dean Geoffrey Garrett.
A New Home for Entrepreneurship at Wharton
Penn Wharton Entrepreneurship and other student entrepreneurship programs across the university will come together within Venture Lab at Tangen Hall.
“Tangen Hall marks a new chapter for the entrepreneurial community at Penn and in Philadelphia, providing a central hub for the groundbreaking innovations that happen here every day,” says Wharton Vice Dean of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Karl Ulrich. “This physical space will allow faculty to more strongly support students who turn ideas into outcomes that will transform business for years to come.”
Plans for the building include:
- Dozens of meeting and collaboration spaces for students
- Storefront retail space for student ventures
- A test kitchen for food-centric startups
- A Maker Lab operated by Penn’s School of Engineering and Applied Science and featuring 3D printers and laser cutters
- A virtual reality environment or VR cave
- A café for re-energizing and socializing
Wharton Faculty to Also Benefit
Undoubtedly, the Venture Lab will enhance faculty involvement in entrepreneurship across the university. Penn has more than 55 standing faculty in a wide range of disciplines with a demonstrated interest in entrepreneurship. Furthermore, 15 members of the standing faculty at Wharton primarily focus their teaching and research in this area.
In the end, Dean Garrett believes Tangen Hall will energize the entire campus community. In fact, he calls it a “game-changing facility for innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Tangen says, “We look forward to their many achievements in the years ahead, and to witnessing how this new building will bring together the next generation of entrepreneurs, leaders, and innovators to share their talents with one another and for the greater good.”
Construction of Tangen Hall will begin in 2019 and should finish by 2020. You can learn more about entrepreneurship and innovation at Wharton here.