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ic@3401 Adds “Character” to its Repertoire

PHILADELPHIA--(September 19, 2017) – A best-selling author and an international law firm are joining Philadelphia’s largest group of funded early-stage tech companies. “Grit” author Angela Duckworth and her team at Character Lab have joined Philadelphia’s ic@3401 as an anchor tenant. Also joining the ic@3401 community is Cooley, an international law firm with decades of experience supporting high-growth companies in the technology and life sciences industries.

Character Lab’s team of scientists, designers and educators is advancing the science and practice of character development in primary and secondary schools. The organization designs, funds, and implements research in schools; creates interactive online activities for students and professional development and materials for teachers; and new measures of character for learning and growth.

Character Lab was founded in 2013 by “Grit” author Angela Duckworth, who is also the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “genius grant;” Dave Levin, co-founder of the KIPP public charter schools; and Dominic Randolph, head of Riverdale Country School. The organization was originally established in New York City as a 501(c)(3) and moved to Philadelphia in 2016.

Cooley is one of the largest full-service law firms in the world, and a leader among those representing high-growth companies in the technology and life sciences industries. The firm represents over 5,000 emerging growth companies currently, including over a third of the US companies listed in The Wall Street Journal’s Billion Dollar Startup Club. Cooley attorneys will become active members of the ic@3401 community.

“Overwhelming scientific evidence shows that character is important: When it comes to a kid's achievement and well-being, character is at least as consequential as are IQ and socioeconomic status” says Angela Duckworth, Founder & CEO. “Character Lab is dedicated to helping kids develop character strengths. But knowing how to cultivate character is an age-old challenge. Solving an old problem requires new thinking. We think that the Innovation Center @3401 can help us do that. It provides a space for us to do audacious, creative work.”

Launched in 2014 as a partnership between Drexel University and the University City Science Center, ic@3401 allows members to tap into the creative minds of academia and industry. ic@3401 enhanced its offerings in 2015 when Ben Franklin Technology Partners (BFTP) became a partner and Safeguard Scientifics its first Sustaining Member. ic@3401 is the largest group of funded, early-stage tech companies in Philadelphia. Funding highlights include:

  • BFTP has invested over $5.5 million in 19 ic@3401 companies over the last three years, representing over a third of ic@3401’s early-stage tech companies.
  • ic@3401 members and alumni companies represent four of the six Digital Health Fund companies, a partnership between BFTP, Safeguard and Independence Blue Cross.
  • 21 ic@3401 members have raised over $16mm in the last twelve months.

ic@3401 offers flexible workspace, shared amenities, and services to connect its members with the people and resources needed to grow. ic@3401 is home to over 30 early-stage tech companies from Philadelphia, Drexel Ventures, and the Science Center’s Digital Health Accelerator. It is also home to the world headquarters of DreamIt Ventures.

About the Science Center

Located in the heart of uCity Square, the Science Center is a mission-driven nonprofit organization that catalyzes and connects innovation to entrepreneurship and technology commercialization. For 50+ years, the Science Center has supported startups, research, and economic development in the life sciences, healthcare, physical sciences, and emerging technology sectors. As a result, graduate firms and current residents of the Science Center’s incubator support one out of every 100 jobs in the Greater Philadelphia region and drive $13 billion in economic activity in the region annually. By providing resources and programming for any stage of a business’s lifecycle, the Science Center helps scientists, entrepreneurs and innovators take their concepts from idea to IPO – and beyond.

For more information about the Science Center, go to

About Drexel University
Drexel University is a comprehensive global research university ranked among the top 100 in the nation. With more than 26,300 students, Drexel is one of the nation’s 15 largest private universities. Drexel Ventures was established in 2013 under the office of Corporate Relations and Economic Development to amplify Drexel’s capacity for translational research and commercialization, provide venture acceleration services to Drexel affiliated companies and be the one-stop “front door” to Drexel’s innovation ecosystem for potential industry collaborators, investors and entrepreneurs. For more information, visit

Media Contact:

Kristen Fitch

Kristen Fitch

Senior Director, Marketing