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Founders Fellowship

An immersive startup experience for individuals with an advanced STEM degree

Founders Fellows
Founds Fellows Raquel Hollatz and Ian Dardani

Founders Fellowship

This 12-month experiential program offers hands-on startup experience for those with an advanced STEM degree to transform concepts into a business reality.

Selected participants receive a $50K stipend and access to the Science Center's robust network of industry experts, investors, and entrepreneurs in addition to facilities at CIC Labs + Innovation Campus in Philadelphia.

Meet our fellows

Tiara Durham

Director of New Ventures

Interested in applying?

  • Check back soon for open application period, or subscribe to our newsletter for program updates

Program Structure

The Fellowship includes in-person lectures, online workshops, and facilitated meetings with startups that is delivered over 12 months in two phases: Immersive Learning and Active Building.

MONTHS 1 - 6

Immersive Learning

Fellows are embedded with startups to learn from and provide direct support to the founders, in addition to serving as a Venture Associate for Capital initiatives.


Technology and Market Assessment


IP Protection and Management


Raising Capital and Negotiation


Valuations and Deal Screening




Marketing and Corporate Management

months 7 - 12

Active Building

Fellows apply lessons learned from the Immersive Learning phase to transform their business concepts into a business reality. Fellows explore capital and private investment and develop a path to market.

  • SBIR/STTR application
  • Company legal structure definition
  • IP option or license agreement execution
  • Due diligence package development
  • Customer discovery for prototype development
  • Fundraising and partner development cultivation

Our 2022-2023 Fellows

Raquel Hollatz

Founded Nesys, a food label that monitors perishables and produce for freshness, indicating the current state of shelf life and helping to reduce waste.

Ian Dardani

Providing life sciences researchers over 100X the amount of biological samples in just a few days, to accelerate understanding of disease biology and new therapeutic approaches.

Kristina Li

Developing a digital platform that democratizes drug development to improve access to healthcare.

Our 2023-2024 Fellows

Daniel Baker

From the University of Pennsylvania, Danial is working to unite the fields of cell therapy and longevity to generate translational cellular products to ameliorate aging and its associated pathologies.

Yazmin Feliz

From Columbia University, Yazmin is developing low-cost ultrasound prototypes.

Divya Gowdar

Founded NubGenix Consulting, a quality and regulatory consulting firm who provides services related to design and implementation of Quality Management System (QMS), establishing regulatory, quality and compliance strategies for product launch and streamlining workflows.

Aravind Krishnan

From the University of Pennsylvania, founded ToxiSense, a biotech venture developing more sustainable and cost-effective bacterial endotoxin assays by engineering a plant biosensor system.

Program FAQs


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