Santander Venture Awards Celebrate Lauder Institute Innovators

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Awardees use funds to develop agriculture venture and tools for career planning and job development.

The Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and Santander Bank, N.A., through its Santander Universities Global Division, today announced three Santander Venture Awards to innovative Lauder students. With funding provided by the Bank’s Santander Universities Global Division, which is committed to supporting higher education through grants and scholarships, the awards are given to entrepreneurial students who develop creative business concepts while pursuing joint Wharton MBA/Masters in International Studies degrees through the Lauder Institute. The Lauder Program offers advanced business and cultural studies in nine languages programs that include Hindi, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, French, German and Russian. Lauder’s newest expansion includes a Global Program, designed specifically for multilingual Lauder candidates with interest in deepening their inter-cultural and cross-border knowledge.

"The Lauder Institute prepares students not just for careers at established corporations but also for launching their own ventures. We help them find opportunities around the world and pursue them in successful ways," says Mauro Guillén, Director of the Lauder Institute.

The award is intended to financially support entrepreneurs during a time when funding for new ventures typically comes from only friends and family. The $10,000 cash rewards, coupled with other business education opportunities at Wharton, help provide a strong foundation for students' professional development as entrepreneurs. The awards are intended to support a student's work over the summer in lieu of a full-time internship, so they can concentrate full-time to developing the venture.

“We strongly believe that by investing in education, we are investing in our future,” said Eduardo Garrido, Director of Santander Universities US. “The Santander Venture Award recognizes the business concepts of tomorrow’s leaders and provides funding to help bring their ideas to life today.” The winners of the 2014 Santander Venture Award include:

  •     Agribots is an agricultural venture started by Carlos Vadillo and Juan Abraham, and focuses on increasing crop yields by mitigating the effects of agricultural freezes while providing a process for freeze control. Through the utilization of unmanned drones, Agribots can collect data while physically creating micro-weather patterns that affect crops.
  •     Ambitioni, started by Sagar Pagare, aims to use big data to help students and early career professionals visualize long-term career paths. We believe that with ambitioni our customers will be able to make intelligent choices about their careers.
  •     Tango, developed by Ting Cui, is the go-to platform for students who want to get insider job information faster. Our 1) day-in-the-life job videos 2) actual work examples and 3) career path trajectories help students easily discover, learn, and evaluate jobs to make more informed long-term career decisions.

The Lauder Institute has helped educate a number of successful entrepreneurs such as Davis Smith, founding CEO of Cotopaxi, an e-commerce brand in the outdoor space, and Co-CEO of, Brazil's leading e-commerce company focused on the baby care. Other ventures from Lauder alumni include the investment advisory group, Anchorage Capital and Caja Rural de Los Andes, a profitable, deposit-taking, regulated bank that caters to the needs of the rural community in the southeast Andean region of Peru.

About the Lauder Institute:

The University of Pennsylvania’s Lauder Institute, founded in 1983, combines a world–renowned Wharton MBA with a Master’s in International Studies, offering advanced business and cultural studies in nine languages programs that include Hindi, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, French, German and Russian. This advanced language and foreign culture training, a two-month in-country immersion program, and a Master’s Thesis from the School of Arts & Sciences all prepare Lauder Fellows for the ever-evolving global economy. This year’s offerings include the new Global Program for students who are already fluent in several languages but have interest in deepening their intercultural and cross-border knowledge. Graduates join the diverse, supportive and committed worldwide Lauder community – continuing a nearly 30-year tradition of international business leadership. The Lauder Institute also offers an MA/JD joint degree. For more information, visit

About the Wharton School:

Founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education. With a broad global community and one of the most published business school faculties, Wharton creates economic and social value around the world. The School has 5,000 undergraduate, MBA, executive MBA, and doctoral students; more than 9,000 annual participants in executive education programs annually and a powerful alumni network of 92,000 graduates.

About Santander:

Santander Universities was founded in 1996 as a means of advancing the Santander Group’s mission to contribute to the advancement of society through its support of higher education. The Santander University Global Division provides funding for teaching and research, international cooperation, knowledge and technology transfer, entrepreneurial initiatives, student exchange and innovation. It maintains more than 1,100 agreements with universities and research centers worldwide, including 32 in the United States. In 2013, Santander Universities provided funding for 4,105 new projects and 37,712 scholarships globally, as well as over 100 projects and over 1,000 scholarships in the United States. For more information about Santander Universities Global Division, visit

Santander Bank, N.A. is a top 25 retail bank in the United States by deposits. Its main corporate offices are in Boston and it operates principally in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Santander’s 9,469 employees serve its 1.8 million customers through the Bank’s 706 branches, 2,074 ATMs, call centers, website and mobile app. Supervised by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Santander in the United States is a wholly-owned, financially autonomous subsidiary of Banco Santander (NYSE: SAN), a global commercial and retail bank. For more information about Santander, visit or call 877-768-2265.

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