press releases

Science Center Invests $300,000 in First Cohort of the Launch Lane Accelerator

April 7, 2020

(Philadelphia, PA – April 7, 2020) -- Seven tech and tech enabled companies have been selected for the inaugural cohort of the University City Science Center’s newest startup accelerator and will receive a collective $300,000 investment. Launch Lane is also supported by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and Ventas, Inc.

 

In addition to a Science Center investment, the Launch Lane cohort will receive, weekly programming (currently offered virtually) tailored to their growth needs, $50,000 in AWS credits, space at ic@3401 for a year and access to the Science Center’s vast network of connections and resources.

 

“Startups will play a significant role in the city, region, and country’s economic growth as we emerge from this unprecedented time,” says Science Center Vice President of Science & Technology, John Younger, MD. “This Launch Lane cohort represents sprouts in tomorrow’s economy, with the Science Center’s role to stimulate and nurture their growth.” 

“This Launch Lane cohort represents sprouts in tomorrow’s economy, with the Science Center’s role to stimulate and nurture their growth.”

John Younger, MD Vice President, Science & Technology

Launch Lane Cohort:

 

Arke Aeronautics partners with local First Responders to develop a public safety platform that gives them secure access to accurate response information the moment a 911 call is dispatched.

 

envoyatHome lowers the cost of care for seniors living alone by analyzing movement information generated from a loved one’s home and reporting actionable insights to remote family caregivers that promote peace of mind and improve quality of care.

 

Kliit Health is a digital health company with a mission to provide young multicultural women with access to on-demand sexual and reproductive health resources by connecting them with clinicians and women’s health experts through their smartphones.

 

The OrVac manufactures a portable handheld aspirator for oral liquid evacuation, created to assist people with swallowing disorders, and oral conditions to self-suction without outside assistance.

 

Pera Labs, predicting male fertility, one sperm at a time.

 

Pippy Sips has created "Maia," a thermos-sized system capable of 24 hours of storing, cooling and monitoring breastmilk, so that moms who use breast pumps don't have to worry about accessing a refrigerator when they're at work or otherwise away from home

 

Tozuda designs and manufactures head impact indicators for concussion awareness.

The seven companies were selected from a pool of 206 applicants. The initial applicants were narrowed down to 47 through a blind application process and the finalists were chosen by a diverse selection team made of 31 people, of which 77% are from underrepresented demographics.

 

Demographics data revealed the pool of applicants was comprised of racially diverse and traditionally underrepresented groups and varying educational backgrounds and locations.    

 

“Launch Lane is a great complement to the Science Center’s commercialization programs,” says Shintaro Kaido, Vice Provost and Chief Innovation Officer at Drexel University and Launch Lane selection team member. “The cohort is an exceptional group of companies that will drive economic impact in the Philadelphia region. The selection process resulted in a diverse and representative cohort, which reinforces the Science Center’s commitment to equitable access.”

"The cohort is an exceptional group of companies that will drive economic impact in the Philadelphia region. The selection process resulted in a diverse and representative cohort, which reinforces the Science Center’s commitment to equitable access.”

Shintaro Kaido, Vice Provost and Chief Innovation Officer, Drexel University and Launch Lane selection team member

Launch Lane’s leadership team features accomplished and established members of Philadelphia’s innovation ecosystem: Liz Brown, Nestor Canales and Allen King of BCK Group; Brigitte Daniel, Founder of Mogulette and Executive Vice President of Wilco Electronic Systems; Thom Webster, advisor to Black & Brown Founders and Backstage Capital; and Aron Starosta, director of the Science Center’s Digital Health Accelerator.

 

Since the inception of Launch Lane in October 2019, preparations have included a recurring presence at the Science Center’s weekly Venture Café program, partnerships with a vast network of other organizations that support early stage companies and a continuous reevaluation of the multistep application process which borrowed several components from the Science Center’s successful Digital Health Accelerator.

The inaugural class of companies kicked off the Launch Lane curriculum on March 5 with an event to recognize the progress of the cohort to be organized in the fall.

 

About the Science Center 

Located in the heart of uCity Square, the Science Center is a mission-driven nonprofit that commercializes promising technology, cultivates talent and convenes people to inspire action. For over 50 years, the Science Center has supported startups, research, and economic development across the emerging technology sectors. As a result, Science Center-supported companies account for one out of every 100 jobs in the Greater Philadelphia region and drive $13 billion in economic activity in the region annually. By providing the right help at the right time, the Science Center is turning bright ideas into businesses and nurturing a workforce to support our 21st century economy. Visit sciencecenter.org to learn more.