Global Soft Landing

Innovation without boarders



Considering an expansion to the U.S. market? Philadelphia is the place to be. The city boasts a vibrant startup community, with access to a diversely talented workforce and deep connections to many prestigious institutions of higher education. Philadelphia has built a reputation on breakthroughs in science, education, technology, healthcare, and more. And today we're among the most popular, affordable, and accessible destinations to live, work, play, and learn.


At the epicenter of it all is the University City Science Center - a dynamic hub of innovation that leverages all Philadelphia has to offer. With programming designed to fit your needs, the Science Center can help international companies establish a foothold in the U.S. market.


Our Global Soft Landing Programs enable companies to form meaningful relationships with stakeholders, and establish a presence in the life sciences and technology markets in and outside of the US. 


The Science Center has a 55+ year legacy of building and delivering successful acceleration and incubation programs with a broad network of academic and research institutions. We have partnerships with leading corporations in a wide range of industries, and we are plugged into with corporations, industry partners and government initiatives including:

  • 31 shareholders representing top research & academic institutions,
  • BARDA's DRIVe Accelerator Network,
  • a network of 150+ experienced business advisors and mentors that help companies build funding paths and go-to-market strategies, giving them the best chance for success.

Global Soft landing Accelerator

This accelerator creates a road map for your company's expansion to the U.S. We'll provide you with the tools, while leveraging the Science Center's partnerships with universities, healthcare institutions, government agencies, service providers and other organizations in the emerging technology sectors.


Companies have access to the Science Center's virtual Signature Programming and Venture Cafe Philadelphia Thursday Gatherings. The accelerator will include deep-dive seminars and curated one-on-one meetings with experts on the following topics:


The Global Soft Landing Accelerator is offered in multi-week sessions during which founders and CEOs produce a custom plan for expansion. The accelerator targets companies with proven market traction and revenue in their own region.


Topics covered include:


  • Doing business in the US
  • Localization of your product and service
  • Legal and visa issues (incorporation vs. LLC, JV, visa options)
  • IP exploration
  • Introduction to funding sources, structures, and the  local funding ecosystem
  • Accounting/tax/valuation
  • Regulatory and compliance
  • Industry night
  • Pitch to investors
  • HR practices
  • Leveraging conferences for maximum impact


US Market Expansion Fellowship


This six to 12-month program is designed to help international companies choose Philadelphia as their destination for entering the US market and to acquaint them with the resources and expertise found in the Greater Philadelphia region.


The Science Center’s role is to help companies achieve successful US market entry by making introductions to our vast network of investors, service providers, executive leaders, strategic partners and potential board members, as well as to provide assistance securing office space in the region. Companies that already have market traction and revenue in their own regions will benefit from this program.


We offer the following services to international companies interested in landing and growing their business in the Mid-Atlantic region:


Local Operations:

  • Assistance setting up a legal entity in the US
  • Virtual office with access to conference rooms, printers, wi-fi and mailbox
  • Personal introductions to service providers, such as corporate attorneys, immigration attorneys, accounting firms, localization services and market research firms
  • Access to programming at Quorum


Growth Support:

  • Introduction to local network of Angel investors and VCs
  • Introduction to Key Opinion Leaders and potential sales leads
  • Support in building Advisory Board and Board of Directors through partnerships with American College of Physicians (ACP) and CEO Connection
  • Help to identify key hires


Additional services available from strategic partners:

  • Market research & corporate strategy
  • Market size & opportunity / Competitive peer analysis
  • Regulatory landscape
  • Sales strategies and pricing analysis
  • Manufacturing / supply chain / logistics overview
  • Talent resources & labor law
  • Financing options


Go-to-market Implementation & Project Management:

  • Identify, negotiate and secure partnership agreements (Joint venture / licensing / distribution/ manufacturing)
  • Identify, negotiate and secure financing partners
  • Localize office
  • Logistics & import


Local Operations

  • Government relations and community support
  • KOL network and brand management
  • Supply chain & manufacturing strategies for scaling




Companies tend to see international expansion as an afterthought.


But as a startup, you’re in the business of thinking BIG.


With 95% of the world’s consumers living outside of the U.S., your customer base looms large. But odds are you are not reaching most of it.


Stop playing small! For those startups focused on connected devices, smart cities, smart government, digital health, fintech, education technology, cleantech, the Global Startup Accelerator is here to help you go global!


Why go global? You’re an innovator… going global is part of the business plan!

And the benefits are many:


  • Taking advantage of overseas opportunities adds volume and growth to your company
  • Differentiates your product or service by being a global player
  • Decreases costs through more efficient ways of doing business, while increasing profit margins
  • Improves business bargaining power


Who is this program for?

This program benefits entrepreneurs aiming to build a healthier and smarter society.


The 2020 GSA cohort will be exploring the Indian market and its opportunities in the areas of connected devices, smart-cities, digital health, fintech, education technology, and other products looking to democratize access to technology solutions. 


So, what exactly is the Global Startup Accelerator?

Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians and the University City Science Center have been awarded $500,000 in funding from the U.S. Department of Commerce. This program is one of 27 chosen nationwide for funding by the Economic Development Administration (EDA).


Through this 3-year grant, the EDA’s Regional Innovation Strategies i6 program is funding the launch of the Global Startup Accelerator (GSA) to:


  • Foster the global innovation ecosystem and open new doors to global markets for businesses across the Greater Philadelphia region.
  • Generates a much wider range of knowledge sources, and other resources and capabilities
  • Leverages local successful immigrant communities for global knowledge


Indeed, Philadelphia proudly boasts one of the largest and fastest growing immigrant populations amongst major U.S. cities. According to the latest Pew State of the City report, 15% of Philadelphia residents are foreign-born; and a study by the New American Economy found that immigrants in the Philadelphia region are 43% more likely to be entrepreneurs than native-born residents.


The Global Startup Accelerator is tapping into Greater Philadelphia’s business community and is ensuring that Philadelphia’s immigrant entrepreneurs are at the table and invited to contribute their vast knowledge on how to navigate international, global markets.


As a whole, if you are interested in gaining insight into the international market without having to travel, this six-month program is for you.


Why should you apply?


  • Gain insights into business and business growth opportunities in the Indian market
  • Gain access to potential funding sources
  • Make direct connections to mentors, partners and potential clients
  • Meet and pitch Indian partners at local events
  • 6-month membership at ic@3401, the largest tech co-working hub of funded, early-stage tech companies in Philadelphia  



Oct. 7, 2019 - Call for Cohort 2 - Indian Track 

Dec. 1, 2019 at 12:00 am - Application Deadline 

Dec. 2 to Dec. 13, 2019 - In person interviews 

Dec. 16, 2019 - Announcement of the selected participants 

Jan. 23, 2020 - GSA Info Session 

Jan. 30 to Mar. 19, 2020 - Module 1:  Market Framework: Indian Channels, access market data and Funding Mechanisms 

Mar. 26 to May 14, 2020 - Module 2: Legal & Regulatory Frameworks – IP, Taxes, Regulations in India

May 28 to Jul. 16, 2020 - Module 3: Cultural Framework: Localization & Soft skills Development


Each module includes workshops, testimonials of entrepreneurs, pitch sessions to angel investors, one-to-one meetings with experts and mentors. 


Want more information about GSA? Get in touch with us and we will be happy to answer your questions! 


The first cohort ran from January to June 2019 supporting startups with a focus on life sciences, MedTech, and eHealth in Greater Philadelphia, that wanted to explore European opportunities.


A partnership between the Science Center and the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians, the Global Startup Accelerator (GSA) is designed to foster the global innovation ecosystem in Philadelphia. The GSA leverages the knowledge of successful immigrant professionals and international communities in the region to help local early-stage life sciences and technology startups as they plan for future expansions into foreign markets.


The Global Startup Accelerator is supported by the Economic Development Administration’s Regional Innovation Strategies program.