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Lab Notes: University City Science Center selects 7 local firms for Capital Readiness program

From Philadelphia Business Journal

This week's Lab Notes has details on the latest round of local participants selected for a Science Center program geared to health tech startups, an FDA's ruling on a cell therapy company's investigative new drug application and the start of a mid-stage clinical trial by a Main Line biopharmaceutical company targeting eczema.

Here's the roundup:

University City Science Center

The Philadelphia nonprofit organization has selected 12 health tech startups from across the country, including seven based or with offices in the Philadelphia region, for the third cohort of its Capital Readiness program.

The five-day intensive program, which runs Dec. 4-8, is designed to prepare medtech, digital health, and healthcare technology startups to raise their first round of capital from institutional investors.

The startups will spend those five days in Philadelphia alongside industry leaders and investors on programs that include stress test scenarios, mock board meetings, and one-on-one feedback sessions.

“Despite challenging market conditions with startup funding down significantly from its 2021 peak, there remains significant potential for health tech and digital health businesses," said Tiffany Wilson, president and CEO of the Science Center. "To be successful, however, startups must demonstrate a level of sophistication across strategy, governance, and operations to earn the trust of already timid investors.”

Wilson said the Capital Readiness program gives startups the "best chance of success" by providing a way for entrepreneurs to engage with local and national experts and investors.

Launched earlier this year, the 18 startups who participated in the first two cohorts of the program have gone on to raise a combined $6.9 million.

The local participants for the third cohort are:

  • Behemoth Technologies of Haddonfield, New Jersey, which is developing innovations that streamline dermatologic procedures for healthcare providers.
  • Journal My Health of Philadelphia, which has developed a digital platform that collects and analyzes patient-generated health data with a focus on women with chronic conditions and maternal health needs.
  • QuneUp of Philadelphia, the maker of a data-driven software tool that reduces equipment downtime, allowing biopharmaceutical manufacturing companies to better manage equipment assets and meet production goals.
  • Vasowatch of Philadelphia, the inventor of clinical decision support technology designed to improve the birthing experience and enhance maternal outcomes.
  • Viora Health of Philadelphia, a wellness company seeking to advance health equity by engaging diverse populations at home to improve health and reduce costs of care.
  • VitalStart, which has offices in Philadelphia and Princeton, has launched what it describes as the first reproductive and maternity mental health platform using virtual reality for clinically guided care.
  • Unio, which has offices in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Washington D.C., has developed a software platform designed for long-term care communities that facilitates resident-centered communication, engagement and family connectivity.

The deadline to apply for the fourth cohort of the program, which will take place March 25-29, is Jan. 5.

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Kristen Fitch

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