The summer issue of Drexel Magazine includes a feature story about the influence that Eamon Gallagher, ’13, exerts in Philadelphia’s distinctive and thriving startup community.
The article focuses on Gallagher’s role as program director of ic@3401, a partnership between Drexel University and the University City Science Center that houses Philadelphia’s largest group of funded, early-stage tech companies. But Gallagher also directs the law school’s Entrepreneurial Law Clinic.
As startup incubator and accelerators go, the article notes, ic@3401 is unusual. Unlike incubators hosted on other university campuses, ic@3401 mixes academic tenants from multiple institutions, classrooms and entrepreneurs from the public. And unlike many shared office spaces, ic@3401 accommodates only startups.
Among the other innovations at ic@3401, the article explains, is the coaching Gallagher provides and the happy hour events over which he presides, often playing the role of matchmaker between professionals and entrepreneurs who share overlapping interests.
“It fosters community,” Gallagher said. “We’ve made it a space where entrepreneurs can come and support each other.”
Gallagher’s matchmaking skills were credited with introducing owners of HeavyWater, a startup that developed an artificial intelligence program to speed mortgage approvals to local investors and its future chief financial officer. Thirteen months after moving into ic@3401, HeavyWater had gone from an eight-person startup to a 19-person team acquired by a publicly traded firm and outgrown the shared work space.
“Eamon grasps at even the most complex level the mission of the company, and on its behalf articulates it and attracts other individuals,” HeavyWater CEO Soofi Safavi said.
Since 2016, the article notes, 52 member companies based at ic@3401 have raised $54 million, including $21 million last year.