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A COVID-19 update

Over the last few weeks we’ve transitioned from taking steps out of an abundance of caution into decisive action.

A few weeks ago, we shared that Venture Café Philadelphia would go virtual until further notice. We’re now taking additional steps to do our part in limiting the spread of the coronavirus.

Effective immediately, we’re making the following changes:

  • The Science Center is now closed for in-person meetings and all non-essential staff are working remotely until further notice.
  • The Quorum Drop-In Lounge and Esther Klein Gallery are temporarily closed.
  • FirstHand STEM education programs are on hold.
  • Science Center accelerator programs have transitioned to virtual mentoring.
  • Venture Café will remain virtual.
  • you have questions about building operations, please contact the Property Management Office at (215) 243-2222.

The last few weeks have been a constant reminder of how interconnected we all are. Until we meet again, it is our goal to find new ways to maintain that connectivity with you.

In the meantime, we encourage everyone to follow WHO’s recommendations:

  • Washing your hands for 20 seconds and using alcohol based hand sanitizer
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – discard tissue immediately into a closed bin
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Stay home if you have a fever and until you are free of a fever for at least 24 hours

We encourage you to take care of yourselves. We will continue to communicate as needed. As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at if you have any questions or concerns.

COVID-19 RElated Resources

As we navigate to a virtual world for the foreseeable future, we’re faced with mental, physical and professional challenges.

To help cut through the noise, here are some resources to may be useful for your startup.

Philadelphia and PA-Specific Funding and Business Assistance

  • Philadelphia’s COVID-19 Page:
    • Business Impact Survey The City of Philadelphia wants to learn how COVID-19 is impacting business activity via a Business Impact Survey
  • The City of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Foundation, and United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey today launched the PHL COVID-19 Fund to aid nonprofits that are on the frontline of the pandemic, providing urgent resources throughout the Philadelphia region.
    • The PHL Covid-19 Fund will deploy solutions and resources to help Philadelphia’s nonprofit community navigate near-and longer-term challenges from COVID-19 and ensure that critical resources remain available for those in our community who need it most.
  • The University City District is offering an Emergency Relief Fund for retailers and Restaurants in the district. A survey is also available to provide feedback on any gaps in this support. For questions on this initiative, please contact
  • Ballard Spahr established the Entrepreneur Legal Relief Program (ELRP) to ensure that entrepreneurs have the resources and counsel required to endure the current coronavirus crisis.
  • PIDC’s COVID-19 Resource page
  • Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce’s COVID-19 Guide and a webinar from the Chamber on COVID-19
  • The COVID-19 Working Capital Access (CWCA) Program is administered by the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) and provides critical working capital financing to small businesses located within the Commonwealth that are adversely impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • The Business Center and SCORE Philadelphia are offering their business courses online and can be contacted if you require assistance transitioning online.
  • Philly VIP remotely matches businesses with pro bono legal representation.
  • The Merchants Fund’s list of resources for small businesses.
  • The NSF’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I Program is accepting applications for all early stage companies working on new products or services to aid in the national and global response to novel coronavirus. Pennsylvania-based companies can get assistance through Innovation Partnership, which is funded to help Pennsylvania companies through Ben Franklin. Contact Kelly Wylam for assistance with your application.



  • SBA Disaster Assistance Loans
  • Goldman Sachs is offering a $10M paycheck protection program for small businesses unable to apply for loans through a lender. The loans will be offered through the initiative’s partnership with community development financial institution Lendistry.
  • Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries.
  • To help meet the critical needs resulting from the global COVID-19 pandemic, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have committed $25 million to support organizations on the front lines responding to the outbreak.
  • PECO is suspending late fees and shut-offs for three months now through at least May 1, 2020.

Face Masks

  • Open Media has designed an origami mask that can be made at home
  • Project Shields is assembling 2,500 shields / day for healthcare workers. In-person volunteering opportunities ranging from hole packaging our shields to writing thank you notes to front line workers, to assembling 3D printers, and more.

Media Contact:

Kristen Fitch

Kristen Fitch

Senior Director, Marketing