Our commercialization platform continued to focus on creating opportunities for traditionally underrepresented founders.
Among the 235 Startups supported over the past year, nearly half were female-led (41%), and over half had a minority (54%) or foreign-born (57%) founder. We welcomed another Launch Lane cohort, celebrated huge gains from ic@3401 members SETVI and Stel Life inc., and held an innovative mask challenge with our partner, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). With a new strategic focus on healthcare tech, we set our sights on Israel as a key global partner with a startup ecosystem that is robust and aligned with our own.
Through FirstHand and BULB we continued to identify unique ways to bring STEM learning and career opportunities to Philadelphia students and adults.
BULB (Building an Understanding of Lab Basics) extended its apprenticeship and training to a four-week curriculum including sessions around financial literacy, and cell and gene therapy. FirstHand branched out into a “Five Days of STEM” week-long intensive, participation in the Biodesign Challenge and Summit, and “STEM in the Real World.” Just a few success stories among the nearly 400 students and adults served in 2021, were a FirstHand alum who went on to intern at Cabaletta Bio and a BULB participant who is continuing her training at the eClose Institute. We were also able to provide free laptops courtesy of BULB sponsor Citizens Bank, and delivered STEM kits assembled by volunteers and the Science Center team and hand-delivered to FirstHand students.
While limitations around gathering continued into 2021, we still managed to bring our ecosystem together through Quorum, Venture Café and our Art programming.
Our events brought over 13,000 people together through a hybrid of in-person and virtual events, including a new class of impressive Nucleus Honorees, a RAIN Conference centered around collaboration during the pandemic, and almost 1,000 speakers over the course of a year. We also celebrated the ten-year anniversary of Quorum as a community resource.
We announced this new pillar of support for startups, to help close gaps in critical funding for new technology ventures working on healthcare innovations that address systemic inequities.
More on that to come in 2022!
This work is made possible by the generous support of our funders.