Stay connected. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

Apps are open for Science Center’s accelerator and STEM workforce dev program

Two of the University City Science Center’s signature programs, Launch Lane Digital Health and BULB: Building and Understanding Lab Basics are currently taking applications for their next cohorts.

Both programs are accepting applications this week, and will be welcoming their fifth and second cohorts, respectively. This will be the first cohort of the newly combined Digital Health Accelerator and Launch Lane accelerator.

Launch Lane

Launch Lane is looking for applicants that will be ready to establish startup operations in the Greater Philadelphia area and have their product at least at a prototype stage. Companies in this cohort will focus on digital health solutions that are “transformative, improve patient care and safety, and enhance wellness and patient independence,” the Science Center says on its program page.

Those companies must also be willing to partner with other area orgs or institutions, to create jobs in the area, have a history of revenue generation or the ability to provide matching source of investment, work in Pennsylvania, and have its funds expended in the region.

Science Center Marketing Director Kristen Fitch said the program is looking to host between seven and 10 companies that will receive a SAFE note (that’s “simple agreement for future equity”) up to $50,000 in funding to be spent against jointly developed milestones, and to go from research and development into sales.

Applications are open through Dec. 7 and the accelerator will begin in March 2021. To date, the Launch Lane has supported 27 companies and invested $1.2 million in them.


The BULB program was created last year by Phil Brooks, the director of STEM workforce development at the Science Center, and funded by a Lenfest Foundation grant. It aims to to connect local residents to “life-sustaining” jobs that have long-term possibility, a high pay rate, benefits and opportunity for growth.

The first round of the program, which kicked off in July, saw 118 applications, and 12 individuals participated in the two-week program. There’s no cost to the program, but interested applicants must be Philadelphia residents at least 18 years old, with a high school diploma or GED, an interest in STEM, access to a computer and internet, and knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint.

The 12 students chosen for the program will receive a stipend, a lab kit from eCLOSE for hands-on training, a professional mentor in STEM who will help connect to employers that are hiring, and access to the LabXchange platform beyond the program. The application deadline for this round of the program is Oct. 30, and the program will run two weeks beginning Nov. 9.

Media Contact:

Kristen Fitch

Kristen Fitch

Senior Director, Marketing