The U.S. Small Business Administration has awarded $50,000 to the University City Science Center’s newest commercialization program, Phase 1 Ventures. Soft launched in 2014 and formally rolled out earlier this year, Phase 1 Ventures (P1V) is a startup accelerator for “long horizon” technologies – those requiring significant development and/or regulatory approvals – such as healthcare, materials, or energy companies.
Phase 1 Ventures provides know-how, management, facilities, and investment to universities looking to spin out new companies, and to startups formed for the purposes of commercializing academic technologies.
The program leverages the Science Center’s network of experienced entrepreneurs along with corporate and product-development professionals to strategically contribute expertise to the commercialization process and help applicable companies apply for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants.
Funding from the SBA Growth Accelerator Fund will match experts in the P1V network with companies applying for SBIR funding. These experts are well-versed in research and commercialization, having supported many companies on the path from discovery to IPO. Support from the SBA will allow P1V to support an additional 10 companies through the SBIR application process.
To date, 10 companies have participated in P1V. They have collectively raised over $1.2 million in non-dilutive funding and have been awarded close to $700,000 in P1V funding.
The companies are developing technologies from six academic institutions including Drexel University; Lehigh University; Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; Temple University; Thomas Jefferson University and the University of Pennsylvania.
The Science Center is among 68 winners selected by the SBA from a pool of 400 applications for the third annual Growth Accelerator Fund Competition. Applications were judged by more than 100 experts with entrepreneurial, investment, startup, economic development, capital formation and academic backgrounds from both the public and private sector.
“We’re honored that the SBA Growth Accelerator Fund has recognized Phase 1 Ventures as an investment-worthy program,” says Science Center President and CEO Stephen S. Tang, Ph.D., MBA. “Through Phase 1 Ventures, we’re creating a better pathway for technology transfer in the 21st Century. As we do so, we’re scaling up the SBA’s mission to create a strong national economy based on scientific excellence and strong technological innovation.”
A partnership between the Science Center and Wexford Science + Technology, P1V is also supported by funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration.