Philadelphia, PA – (July 21, 2021) – The University City Science Center announces a fourth strategic pillar focused on attracting and deploying capital for startups addressing health inequities for underserved populations. The Capital pillar will complement the Science Center’s three existing strategic pillars including the Commercialization of promising technologies, Cultivating STEM talent, and Convening people to inspire action.
The Capital pillar will be led by Heath Naquin, BBA, MSTC, PMP who joined the Science Center in June as Vice President, Government & Capital Engagement. Under Naquin’s leadership the Science Center will develop funding mechanisms with a priority on diverse founders building innovative ventures addressing inequities impacting Philadelphia and at a national level.
“With a sharpened vision and a new strategic plan in place, we’re eager to set into motion the next chapter of the Science Center’s impact on healthcare innovation.”
“With a sharpened vision and a new strategic plan in place, we’re eager to set into motion the next chapter of the Science Center’s impact on healthcare innovation,” said President & CEO, Tiffany Wilson. “We’re committed to mobilizing capital in Greater Philadelphia and doing our part to close the gap in health inequities for underserved populations. Heath’s expertise, paired with our robust commercialization activity will position the region as a leader in healthcare innovation.”
The mobilization of capital isn’t new to the Science Center. In 2014 the organization, with early support of the Economic Development Administration (EDA), established a pilot concept for capital deployment and has since invested over $4M in 43 companies across the region. The new commitment to capital will expand and refine this concept for deployment at a national scale.
“The Science Center’s focus on attracting and deploying capital will provide viable access to early-stage funding for healthcare-focused startups, multiple engagement points for investors across the capital stack, and yield a positive impact on healthcare disparities,” said Naquin. “I’m excited to work with the Science Center and prove a new model for innovation intermediaries in synching commercialization activities with meaningful deployment of capital while addressing key issues on a local and national scale.”
In addition to his role at the Science Center, Naquin also serves as Managing Partner and Co-Founder of International Innovation Associates, a boutique consultancy firm with practice areas in healthcare innovation, angel and venture capital fund creation, DEI support programming, global venture creation and strategic economic advisory.
“The Science Center’s focus on attracting and deploying capital will provide viable access to early-stage funding for healthcare-focused startups, multiple engagement points for investors across the capital stack, and yield a positive impact on healthcare disparities.”
Naquin has been a part of large scale national and international technology transfer, commercialization, and fund creation efforts for nearly 20 years. Recent work includes serving on the NIH RADx Initiative on the External Commercial Partnerships team. Internationally he has served as a subject matter expert and key advisor for European Investment Fund Venture Fund Deployment Projects and for nearly a decade he led the US Department of State Global Innovation in Science and Technology program, focused on country building efforts in more than 130 countries by advancing economic development efforts through the translation of research to commercial outcomes in conjunction with capital development and deployment. Previously he served as Executive Director in the Office of the Vice President for Research at the University of Texas at Austin, managed the National Science Foundation SW I-Corps Node at The University of Texas at Austin, and oversaw a leading energy-focused NSF academic and industry consortia along with a host of international technology transfer and commercialization efforts that spanned the globe.
Naquin is active in the investment space as an early-stage investor himself and a leading participant in the Angel Capital Association, as well as other internationally renowned organizations.
About the Science Center
Established in 1963, the Science Center is a mission-driven nonprofit that commercializes promising technology, cultivates talent, and convenes people to inspire action. With partnerships across top academic and research institutions, industry, and healthcare systems, the Science Center is helping life-saving technologies transition from bench to bedside and nurturing a workforce that supports a 21st century economy. For more information, visit sciencecenter.org and follow @UCScienceCenter.