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November 13, 2019 | Philadelphia Magazine
The Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians and the University City Science Center are seeking entrepreneurs to join the latest cohort of the Global Startup Accelerator (GSA). The program, funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration, assists companies with technology commercialization and expansion into new markets. This year, the GSA is seeking companies with an interest in improving population health through technology and scaling their business to India.
“Most start-ups don’t think about expanding internationally, and if they do, they don’t think of expansion into places like India,” said Blandine Chantepie-Kari, director of the GSA.
But they should. India is one of many countries that lack expert healthcare professionals; in some areas there is only one physician to every 1,000 residents. This opens the door for companies that are using technology to improve access to healthcare here in Philadelphia to offer their products and services in an international market that already has a great need.
“India is a very big market and there’s been a big push from the government in India to move towards digitization across the board,” said Anurag Jain, a member of the GSA Advisory Board with expertise in the Indian market. “We wanted to get companies in the Philadelphia area exposed to the Indian market so that they could at least begin to think about it as an option for expansion.”
In the spring, 12 companies graduated from the first GSA cohort, which aimed to give companies a pathway to expansion in European markets. Accepted applicants in this year’s cohort must demonstrate a focus on connected devices, fintech, education technology, energy efficiency, cybersecurity or digital health and the social determinants of health, with an underlying goal to improve a civil service or population health.
In addition to funding, companies accepted into the cohort will receive a six-month membership to ic@3401, the largest tech co-working hub of funded, early-stage companies in Philadelphia.
The open enrollment period runs through December 1 and will accept up to 25 companies across a wide spectrum of development stages from the Greater Philadelphia area.