Benefits will include an up-to-$50,000 investment, operational support to help transition from R&D to sales, space to work at ic@3401 for a full year, access to mentors and advisors, introductions to investors and other relational resources. Up to seven startups — based in Philly or not — will be selected and asked to commit to once-weekly in-person programming.
The program will run for four to six months, depending on accepted companies’ needs, and begin in February or March. The Science Center won’t take equity, Marketing Director Kristen Fitch wrote in an email, “but there will be a mechanism implemented for successful companies to pay back the program in an effort to make it more sustainable.”
Launch Lane is supported by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Its leadership board is made up of entrepreneurship pros with “a longstanding history of cultivating underestimated entrepreneurs,” including Liz Brown, Nestor Canales and Allen King of BCK Group; Brigitte Daniel, founder of Mogulette and EVP of Wilco Electronic Systems; Thom Webster, advisor to Black & Brown Founders and Backstage Capital; and Aron Starosta, director of the Science Center’s Digital Health Accelerator (DHA).
Launch Lane follows a format similar to the DHA, which began in 2014 and supports health IT startups. Both accelerators use a double-blind application process developed by Starosta as one of a few ways to keep the recruitment process inclusive, Fitch said.
In other local accelerator news, apps are also open to Philly Startup Leaders’ idea-stage accelerator, Founded in Philly, as well as the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing’s Innovation Accelerator — and Comcast NBCUniversal’s LIFT Labs Accelerator just graduated its second cohort of media, entertainment and connectivity companies last week.