University City Science Center Program Wins SBA Grant to Help Commercialize Tech
The University City Science Center’s newest commercialization program will now be able to support the development of even more technologies coming out of local colleges, universities, and startups. The program, Phase 1 Ventures (P1V), announced on Tuesday that it was awarded a competitive $50,000 grant by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
P1V soft-launched in 2014 with $1 million from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to help academics and entrepreneurs in the region move their products to the market. Since then, the accelerator startup has worked with 10 companies specializing in “long horizon” technologies — those that take longer to develop and are subject to extensive regulations.
“With long-horizon technologies, we’re distinguishing technologies like therapeutics and medical devices from digital technologies that market [in] 12 to 18 months,” said Peter Melley, the director of the Science Center’s New Ventures program. “It takes a few years at the soonest for some of our technologies to get to the market.”
To develop their technology, the program’s ventures receive research collaboration opportunities as needed, direct funding from P1V, and assistance in raising non-dilutive funding. And P1V’s dual-track program ensures that technologies originating from both local startups and university partners like Lehigh University and Thomas Jefferson University can receive support. Some of the accelerator’s ventures include PolyCore Therapeutics, a company out of Rutgers and Drexel University working on a treatment for Parkinson’s disease, and Quantitative Radiological Solutions, launched by the University of Pennsylvania, which is developing medical-imaging technology to help doctors make better treatment decisions.
With the new funding from the Small Business Administration, Melley says P1V is on track to meet its five-year goal, put into place last year. “We have about $5 million that we’re looking to deploy,” said Melley. “Our goal is to support approximately 30 to 40 companies at different stages over the five years.”
The Science Center was among 68 winners selected by the Small Business Administration from a pool of 400 applications for the third-annual Growth Accelerator Fund Competition.
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