Start-ups, Emerging Technologies at the Heart of New Drexel-University City Science Center Partnership
December 11, 2013
By Katie Clark and Britt Faulstick
President John Fry announced on a Dec. 11 a new innovation hub that will house DreamIt Ventures, a company founded "by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs."
Drexel, the University City Science Center and DreamIt Ventures are on a mission to support innovators and entrepreneurs in the Philadelphia region. They have formed a strategic partnership that creates a hub for start-ups and provides the capital to support their continued growth.
Drexel and the Science Center announced yesterday a collaboration to form a 17,500-square-foot innovation hub that will serve as a launching pad for companies by offering business incubation and accelerator space and services to support idea generation, innovation and growth. The hub will also provide support for later-stage companies.
Located on the second and third floors of the Science Center building at 3401 Market Street, this new hub will include a suite of flexible workspaces designed to foster collaboration throughout the entrepreneurial ecosystem. The hub leverages the success of Drexel’s ExCITe Center, located on the first floor of the building, and the Science Center’s Port incubator and Quorum clubhouse programs.
“By next spring, the second floor of this building will be a business incubator and accelerator designed to launch a generation of new high-tech companies in a unique collaborative environment in the center of one of America’s great intellectual ecosystems, University City,” said President John Fry.
The hub will also house the world headquarters for DreamIt Ventures, a global business accelerator well versed in helping start-ups take flight. DreamIt Ventures is a company “founded by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs,” said Fry. They have a proven track record of launching start-up companies, and work hands-on with entrepreneurs from around the country and the world to rapidly validate, de-risk or disprove the assumptions underlying their businesses. DreamIt helps entrepreneurs achieve in three months what typically takes companies 12 to 24 months to achieve on their own. The group has launched more than 125 start-ups since 2008 — 74 in Philadelphia alone.
To further solidify this partnership and foster innovation, the Science Center and Drexel plan to invest in DreamIt’s $30 million fund to support these promising ideas and thinkers. Drexel’s investment in DreamIt Fund II recognizes the benefits of the fund's strategy: to invest small amounts of money in a large number of startups for large ownership positions relative to the money invested.