The University City Science Center has partnered with local entrepreneurs to introduce a new Philadelphia-based accelerator.
The Launch Lane accelerator is focused on helping a diverse group of tech-enabled startups grow.
“This will all be focused on tech-enabled companies and what tech-enabled means is that there is a tech component to your organization and it drives your business — whether that’s on the front end or the back end,” said Allen King, a member of the leadership team for Launch Lane, co-founder of BCK Group and director of Backstage Philadelphia.
“With its legacy of supporting early-stage companies matched with its commitment to inclusive growth, the University City Science Center is uniquely positioned to bridge and grow Philadelphia’s tech sectors,” said Brigitte Daniel, another member of the leadership team for Launch Lane, founder of Mogulette and executive vice president of Wilco Electronic Systems. “They are making sure that from the top down that this accelerator will be designed to make sure that they are reaching many more communities.”
The accelerator will offer a 12-week program, which begins in February, that will provide entrepreneurs with insight from advisers and up to $50,000 in investment funding.
Applications will open in October for the new accelerator, which will accept six to 12 companies for the first cohort.
King said he hopes local startups will apply and tap into what the accelerator is offering.
The initiative is supported by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The program is building on the success of the center’s Digital Health Accelerator, which has invested more $900,000 in 20 companies since its 2015 launch. During 2018, the Science Center has supported more than 150 research projects and businesses.
Other members of the initiative’s leadership team include Liz Brown and Nestor Canales of the consulting firm BCK Group; Thom Webster, adviser to Black & Brown Founders and Backstage Capital; and Aron Starosta, director of the Science Center’s Digital Health Accelerator.