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June 14, 2018
By Kristen Fitch
“Every year, regardless of being public or not, my job has been different than the year before,” Katrina Lake, Founder & CEO of Stitch Fix explained in a recent NYT interview. As seasoned entrepreneurs know, businesses evolve over time, requiring different skills, resources and expertise.
At the Science Center, we’re acutely aware of this and have developed a suite of accelerator programs that at its simplest, transform projects from ideas in the lab to businesses with revenues. The QED Proof-of-Concept program, Phase 1 Ventures, and the Digital Health Accelerator are world-class programs supporting a 21st century economy, creating businesses, jobs and a better world for all of us.
These programs have generated impressive numbers and have beat national statistics in terms of follow-on funding, company success and SBIR awards. We’re taking research projects from university labs, developing business plans, funding them, and bringing them to market.
Together, they have supported 561 businesses, invested close to $9M, resulting in $71.4M follow-on funding, and created 200 jobs.
Academic researchers don’t always have the business acumen to chart a path toward commercialization. The QED Proof-of-Concept program supports and funds novel university technologies with market potential.
We’ve partnered with 21 academic and research institutions to identify the most promising university research, build business plans around them, and avoid leaving potentially life-changing research on the shelf. We match seasoned industry experts with academic researchers. Over the course of six months, the researchers receive the knowledge and tools to seek follow-on funding to advance their projects along the commercialization pathway.
The Science Center kickstarts this process by funding up to four projects annually, with $100,000 per project coming from the Science Center and $100,000 from the researcher’s supporting academic institution. Those researchers received another 12 months of support from the industry expert they were matched with.
Phase 1 Ventures (P1V) takes promising research projects with business plans, forms a company around them by building out a management team and helping them raise funds. With a focus on “long-horizon technologies” – those that require significant development or regulatory approvals – P1V helps to ‘pressure test' commercially relevant technologies outside the academic setting.
P1V’s customized package of resources includes funding, management expertise, and professional services in areas such as intellectual property, regulations, reimbursement, market evaluation, grant preparation and financial management. When P1V participants meet their milestones, the Science Center invests, too.
The Digital Health Accelerator helps health IT companies accelerate from prototype to sales. Companies participating in this highly competitive program receive funding, workspace, professional mentorship, and introductions to key industry stakeholders and investors from around the country. The curriculum is curated based on individual company needs to help them meet their individual milestones.