The Sixth Annual Pennovation Accelerator Pitch Day [event recap]

On Wednesday, July 26th, the Pennovation Accelerator held their sixth annual Pitch Day at the Pennovation Center. The culminating event for the six-week program focused on business development. In case you missed it, you can find a recording of the event here.  

Each of the nine cohort companies presented a 5-minute pitch to an enthusiastic audience, followed by questions and feedback from a panel of judges: 

  • Denita Henderson, Managing Director of Pennovation Works
  • Glory Durham, Director of Operations at Penn Health-Tech
  • Sasha Schrode, President & CEO, Serpex Medical, Partner, Robin Hood Ventures

At the conclusion of the nine pitches, the judges and Pennovation Accelerator review committee deliberated on the winners. In the meantime, the audience heard from Pennovation Accelerator Alumni Speaker, Sarah Beth Gleeson, Co-Founder and COO of Baleena. Baleena participated in the 2022 Accelerator and was named the Overall Winner at the 2022  Accelerator Pitch Day.

After the deliberation, the two winners were announced:

  • Medicratic was named the overall 2023 Pennovation Accelerator Winner, based on engagement throughout the program, growth over the six weeks and the final pitch.  Medicratic was awarded a $7,000 cash prize, Pennovation Center Resident Desk membership for six months (for up to 4 people), and promotion at the PCIV @ Pennovation Center Showcase.
  • Medicratic is leveraging data and machine learning to bring speed, equity, and holistic review to medical education and admissions.


  • Pocket Scribe won Best Pitch at the 2023 Pennovation Accelerator Pitch Day, based on scores provided by the panel of judges.  Pocket Scribe’s Best Pitch prize package includes a cash prize of $3,000, Pennovation Center Resident Desk membership for six months and promotion at the PCIV @ Pennovation Center Showcase.
  • Pocket Scribe is working on an AI-powered dictation tool for physicians to help improve workflow and fight burnout.

Leading up to Pitch Day, the cohort participated in six weeks of programming to develop their business strategies and cultivate their networks. With weekly workshops led by subject matter experts on Wednesday afternoons, followed by pitch practice and networking opportunities, the teams all made great strides in a short time developing their business strategies and refining their elevator pitches. 

The cohort learned from a variety of speakers and mentors across the Pennovation Works network, including:

  • Scott Fishman, CEO Envisage and angel investor with Robin Hood Ventures, on target market and competitive landscape analysis
  • Mike Dishowitz, Portfolio Decision Sciences, R&D Strategy and Portfolio Management at GSK, on business models.
  • Emily Foote, Partner at Osage Venture Partners on fundraising and startup teams
  • Taylor Durham, Director of Marketing & Digital Studios for Venture Lab on branding and storytelling
  • A panel discussion on ‘The Ask’ portion of a pitch was led by guest speakers:
    • Brett Topche, Co-founder and Managing Director at Red & Blue Ventures
    • Julia Anthony, Founder & President at SOLUtion Medical, Pennovatin Accelerator ‘20 - Best Pitch Winner
    • Josh Mastromatto, Founder and CEO at REGO, Pennovation Accelerator ’21 – Overall Winner

In preparation for Pitch Day, the cohort companies had the opportunity to each join a virtual pitch practice session to receive feedback and workshop their five-minute pitch.  The pitch practice sessions were co-hosted by the PCI Ventures team including Michael Poisel, Bhavana Mohanraj, Yi-Yen Chen, and Melisa Lopez-Anton, along with Jason Glickman, Managing Partner at Tribal Ventures.

For a full list of mentors who supported the program, check out our Pitch Day program! We are tremendously grateful for everyone involved, very proud of the cohort’s progress, and cannot wait to continue to support the growth of these nine companies.

2023 Pennovation Accelerator Cohort