Fall 2018 Newsletter
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PCI Ventures News
Our Team Evolves
Jaime Sweet Has been promoted to the Pennovation Center's Programming Manager, where she is acting as the community's relationship manager,  leading the programming committee, developing entrepreneurial seminars and workshops, managing the Mentor-In-Residence program, and coordinating events/content with the JPOD team.
Jordana Barmish is our newest Portfolio Manager and comes to us from a corporate startup where she developed strategic partnerships. Jordana leverages her mixed medical and business background to support a portfolio of med tech, healthcare IT and life science companies.
Raquel Giron is on board as our Admin Coordinator. She provides administrative support to the team, including coordination of all aspects of company formation, managing schedules, preparing marketing materials, updating websites, and supporting UPstart companies.
This summer, we said farewell to Ryan Mendoza. He will be missed, as he moves back to his home state, California, to join Scrum Ventures in the San Francisco Bay Area.  We wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors!
Upcoming Programs
JPOD @ Philadelphia:
Call for Companies
Learn More
October 9th-11th:
Design Innovation Showcase: Spacial Efficiency
Learn More
October 11th:
Meet Ben with BFTP
October 17th:
Office Hours with
October 23rd-24th:
Principles of Confident Pitching Workshop
October 24th:
Strategy Stack @ Pennovation
In the News
Carisma Therapeutics: Announces a $53 million Series A Financing
Exyn: Self-Piloting Drone Launches in South Philadelphia
& Drones flying through mines without GPS
Ghost Robotics: Penn-Made Robot Appears on 'The Daily Show'
& Raises an Additional $160k
ViRAZE: Targeting a viral vulnerability to treat disease
Pennovation Center: A bustling summer at the Pennovation Center
6th Annual Showcase

On September 13th, we held our 6th Annual Showcase at the Pennovation Center!  This year the showcase featured companies from our UPstart and UPadvisors portfolios as well as Pennovation member companies.  In between networking, we had the chance to listen to Dora Mitchell share Carisma Therapeutics' journey to success with their recent series A financing.  Dr. Nicole Lipkin, engaged the crowd with her keynote, Mental Agility for Entrepreneurs. 

The 2018 PCI Ventures CEO of the Year Award went to Dr. Patrick Mooney, for the incredible work he has done with UPstart portfolio company, Linnaeus Therapeutics.

We would like to send a special thank you to our sponsors and everyone who attended our 6th Annual Showcase.  We look forward celebrating with you next year!

Portfolio News
Several companies were recently awarded competitive federal SBIR & STTR small business grants. These awards will enable the companies to continue with product and technology development.
  • Linnaeus Therapeutics – NIH STTR Phase I
  • LignaMed – NASA SBIR Phase II; NIH SBIR Fast Track; NIH STTR Phase I
  • QRS – NIH SBIR Phase II
  • Prohibix – NIH STTR Phase I
  • Axonova Medical – NIH SBIR Phase I
  • Paradigm Surgical – NIH STTR Phase I
  • Vetigenics – NIH SBIR Phase I
  • Onocor – NIH STTR Phase I
Carisma Therapeutics (formerly CARMA Therapeutics), an UPstart portfolio company, closed on a $53 million Series A financing!  The investment will further the clinical development of their innovative technology which is the first to combine antigen recognition and CAR macrophages to treat cancer.  The financing round was led by AbbVie Ventures and HealthCap and included existing seed investors IP Group, Penn Medicine and Grazia Equity. New investors include Wellington Partners, TPG Biotech, MRL Ventures Fund and Agent Capital. 
"We are thrilled about the composition of our financing syndicate, which brings varied and deep experience in cell and gene therapy to further support our research and development efforts," says CEO Steve Kelly, who joined the company in March.

Greppo Technologies, an UPstart portfolio company, is developing a unique high-performance, actively steerable platform technology that will enable enhanced diagnosis and targeted delivery of minimally invasive cancer treatments.  Sasha Schrode, CEO and Co-founder of Greppo Technologies was recognized as Female/ Minority Entrepreneur of the Year at The Philadelphia Inquirer's 2018 Stellar Startups Award Gala.  "Our Vision," says Schrode, " is to transform healthcare through innovation and we are committed to developing steerable technologies that will improve the diagnosis and treatment for cancer patients, while adding value to the healthcare system."
Exyn is paving the way for aerial robotics! Exyn has formulated their software to allow aerial drones full autonomy that can operate in complex environments. Recently, they have been testing their drones inside Latin American mines.  The autonomous drones are able to navigate this space without outside guidance thanks to onboard accelerometers, gravitometers, cameras and MiDAR technology.

This UPstart company is expanding their team!  If you have relevant experience and are looking to join a roll-up-your-sleeves, fast-paced, multi-disciplinary team of world-class professionals- take a peak at their openings here.

Linnaeus Therapeutics closed a financing with support from Kairos Ventures and Penn Medicine. The investment will further the development of its small molecule compounds targeting novel signaling pathways that inhibit melanoma, pancreatic and other forms of cancer and synergize with immunotherapies and targeted therapy. “We are excited to close this critical financing with Kairos and Penn Medicine,” commented Patrick T. Mooney, M.D., Linnaeus’s CEO. “This funding will allow us to complete our preclinical IND-enabling work, so we can begin our first-in-human studies next year.”
One of the most important aspects of building a successful business is hiring the right talent, and with that in mind, we are very excited to announce that Jerri Ann Thatcher has joined FloBio as CEO.  Jerri Ann brings over 25 years of leadership experience in Strategic Planning, Product Development, and Business Development in drug, drug-device combinations and in-vitro diagnostics.  Her background and skill set will be invaluable as she works with Dr. Scott Diamond, the founder of FloBio, to develop and commercialize technology that advances the field of Point of Care Blood Diagnostics and hemostasis management.

Pennovation Center News
Penn recently announced a collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC to open the first JPOD location in the United States, JPOD @ Philadelphia! The JPOD will be located at Pennovation Works, within the Pennovation Center! The JPOD @ Philadelphia will serve as a regional resource amplifying the programming and engagement of the JLABS ecosystem by tapping into the existing nexus of science, laboratory and entrepreneurial efforts taking place at the Pennovation Center and the regional life sciences community.
JPOD @ Philadelphia is looking for high-potential companies from diverse healthcare sectors, including pharmaceuticals, medical devices, consumer and digital health to become a part of JLABS.
Johnson & Johnson Innovation (JJI) announces the JPOD @ Philadelphia QuickFire Challenge to accelerate healthcare innovation and commercialization in the region. The innovator with the best idea, technology, or solution that improves human healthcare will receive up to $30,000 in grant funding, residency at the Pennovation Center, access to educational programs at JPOD, and mentoring from the JJI network of experts.
Congratulations to the first cohort of the Pennovation Accelerator on a hugely successful summer!  The Accelerator closed out with a Demo Day, where participating companies presented a comprehensive slide deck that covered the different topics addressed during the Accelerator - market strategy, business and team formation, as well as raising capital.  Dorothy, a company building a ground-breaking risk assessment platform for homeowners in flood zones across the country, took home the Pennovation Accelerator Growth Award along with three months of free membership at the Pennovation Center. Simply Good Jars, a company that is changing the way Philadelphians think about healthy food options, took home the Best Pitch Award.
Find a home for your team at Pennovation!
Startup garages and laboratories are now available at Pennovation Center, Philadelphia's most impressive community of technologists, app developers, creatives, and VCs. Experience co-working collaboration with access to two levels of Inventor Garages, private offices, bio labs, dedicated desks, and hot-desking with flexible membership options.
Schedule a tour today!
Copyright © 2018 PCI Ventures at the Pennovation Center, All rights reserved.

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