Following the global pandemic, it is evident that cooperation and collaboration between scientists, researchers and healthcare institutions across the world, has become vitally important in order to effectively solve healthcare challenges, for current and future generations. The innovations in healthcare have been rising at a faster pace in recent years and show no signs of reverting back to that of the pre-pandemic status quo.
Census experts predict that by 2045, the population of America will have grown so considerably that the healthcare systems of the future will need to be prepared to serve this ever expanding community. The Philadelphia region in particular, boasts a high concentration of Eds and Meds but has significant disparities in health equity, meaning not everyone has full and easy access to healthcare.
The Science Center is a mission-driven nonprofit that has been at the forefront of innovation in science and technology for 60 years. Established in 1963 as a first-of-its-kind institution, it was designed to support promising technologies while cultivating an inclusive STEM workforce that is reflective of Philadelphia. With a mission to power progress that advances equitable healthcare innovation, uplifts communities, and improves lives, the organization's vision is to catalyze Philadelphia’s entrepreneurs and accelerate technology innovation that addresses society’s biggest healthcare challenges today.
“Over the last 12 years the Science Center has supported over 600 startups in our ecosystem who have gone on to raise a billion dollars in follow-on capital and have a persistence rate of 85% which is amazing” says Tiffany Wilson, President and CEO of Science Center.
The Science Center’s connections with leading universities, research entities, institutional partners, payors and providers, accelerate collaborations for clinical trials, partnerships and investment. The center helps entrepreneurs, Philadelphia youth, researchers, adult learners and the local community.
“We sit at the intersection of innovation and entrepreneurship and economic development and really serve as an innovation intermediary, which is really the connective tissue of all of these different activities to accelerate new ideas and solutions into the marketplace.” says Tiffany Wilson, President and CEO of Science Center.
The organization's latest economic impact report showed that the activities of the Science Center contribute to a $13 billion economic impact within the Greater Philadelphia region. The Center’s three core areas of focus to pave a path for the future are to; expand commercialization activity, serve the local community and address early-stage capital gaps.
Their commercialization programs help startups deliver their first products, generate first revenues, grow their teams, and raise capital. The center is providing additional access to capital for healthcare startups, offering multiple engagement points for investors, and working to close the gap in health inequities for underserved populations with their Capital strategic pillar. An example of which would be the organizations commercialization support of Stel Life, a medtech startup helping to close the digital divide through at-home devices that connect to healthcare providers.
In 2014 the Science Center, with early support of the Economic Development Administration (EDA), established a pilot concept for capital deployment and has since invested over $4 million in 43 companies across the region. The Science Center is building on that momentum with the creation of a new fund focused on deploying capital to healthcare technology startups.
The Science Center is uniquely positioned as an organization, identifying, supporting, and bringing to market the most promising technologies with the potential to transform patient outcomes. With sixty years of experience filling gaps in the commercialization continuum, the Science Center’s legacy continues to leave a mark on global health.