The Penn Center for Innovation Just Added a $300K Hammer to Its Tool Box

Source: Philadelphia Business Journal

Penn initiative nabs $300K from National Science Foundation

Penn-Center-for-Innovation-LogoThe Penn Center for Innovation was recently awarded a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation.

The $300,000 grant will go toward establishing an NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps) site at the University of Pennsylvania. Working as a business accelerator, I-Corps will facilitate the process of commercializing technologies created by Penn students and faculty.

How it will work: This summer, 30 faculty-student interdisciplinary teams will create commercialization plans to bring early-stage technology from Penn labs to the market. Teams will be made up of an entrepreneurial lead, an industry mentor and an academic lead. Each team will receive about $2,500 as part of the I-Corps grant to help develop ideas with market feedback, and hopefully launch new companies by the end of the year. The same process will continue through 2017, when the grant money is slated to run out.

Interested participants can attend a networking event Feb. 24 at 4:30 p.m. at World Cafe Live.

I-Corps is partnering with the city as well as Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania to hopefully attract mentors and advisers for the program and hold events, said Laurie Actman, chief operating officer of PCI.

“For any university that wants to get active in innovation and commercialization, getting this grant is symbolic to moving these issues forward,” Actman said. She added that hopefully the program will help teams prepare to seek more funding from NSF.

PCI was launched this past summer to help support commercialization of Penn technologies. Read more about PCI here.

This grant just adds another “tool in [PCI’s] toolbox,” Actman said.