High quality incubators and accelerators provide opportunities for app technology-driven startups to gain access to funding, other resources and knowledge, and join a high-caliber network of organizations. To be admitted into a competitive accelerator, incubator or pilot program you’ll first need to have defined the technical specifications and product requirements of your minimum viable product (MVP) app. Most quality programs also prefer that you’ve begun developing or already developed a prototype for your app, and established product market fit. The ten accelerators, incubators and pilot program initiatives highlighted below are either based in Philadelphia or hosted within commuting distance.
For Philadelphia’s Digital Health App Startups
Blueprint Health is a three month startup incubator, based in New York, that invests $20,000 in health IT companies and provides staff with mentors experienced in raising capital, building markets, gaining customers and refining sales pitches.
Dreamit is one of the top 20 most active venture firms in the U.S. and top 10 global accelerator. Dreamit is a 3-4 month growth accelerator designed for post-seed, mature startups with product market fit, and revenue or early traction. They’ve funded 250+ technology startups across the health, education, consumer and enterprise sectors. Instead of a fixed percentage ownership stake in your company, Dreamit receives a $50K convertible security that converts to equity during the startup’s next round of fundraising. Startups accepted into the program are expected to travel for 5 out of the 14 weeks of the program’s customer immersions and bi-coastal investor roadshow.
Nine regional healthcare leaders support local startups with assets and resources to expedite market breakthroughs. This initiative is backed by The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia. Priority will be given to those projects that represent opportunities to reduce costs tied to health care, potential benefit to patients/health care consumers and positive impact on one or more socioeconomically disadvantaged population.
This Innovation Accelerator Program is designed to support Penn Medicine faculty and staff to develop, test, and implement new approaches to healthcare delivery and patient outcomes improvement. Over six months, startups can access up to $10,000 for testing and product development. At the end of each cycle, startups vie for additional investment in a pitch event.
StartUp Health launched in 2011 with the mission of investing in healthcare startups in partnership with notable healthcare organizations including Cleveland Clinic, AON and Aurora Health Care. Their academy provides weekly and quarterly coaching to startups participating in their program and connects them to their global peer network.
For Philadelphia’s Mobile & Media App Startups
The Project Liberty Digital Incubator provides early stage startups in Philadelphia to work within one of the nation’s largest media companies: the Philadelphia Media Network, parent company of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, Philadelphia SportsWeek, and Philly.com. 22 early-stage startups have participated to date. This incubator provides access to relationships, mentoring and strategic business counseling, investor introductions, free software, support and other services.
Techstars’ new accelerator program focuses on Internet of Things (IoT) startups. The program lasts three months and is mentorship-driven, located in NYC.
For All Other Philadelphia-Based Startups
Startup PHL’s “Post a Pilot” program fosters collaboration between Philadelphia’s major business institutions and tech community. Local institutions submit pilot projects calling for startups to provide proof of concept solutions to the problems referenced by the institutions. PGW recently submitted a mobile and web based support tool onto this pilot program.
The Temple SBDC provides classes, workshops and one-on-one consulting services to existing startups. Their trainings focus on international trade, marketing, management and more.
The Wharton (SBDC) is one of 18 SBDCs in Pennsylvania providing business assistance to small businesses in the Greater Philadelphia region. They specialize in helping small businesses prepare business and marketing plans, financial projections, cash flow management and other strategic plans.