Drexel University is launching a seed fund and business incubator for faculty and student startups, according to a release. The program, called Drexel Ventures, aims to fight brain drain, Drexel president John Fry told the Philadelphia Business Journal.
Modeled after similar initiatives at schools like Stanford University, Georgia Institute of Technology and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the tech transfer program will help bring Drexel inventions to market. It’ll also connect startups to investors.
The announcement comes at a time when the university is making a big innovation and entrepreneurship push.
Not through policy alone, but public relations as well. It’s recently marketed student startups (see: “EZ-Pass for parking” startup Hot Spot Parking and scholarship app Scholly) from Drexel’s communications office. But as spokesman Britt Faulstick puts it, there hasn’t been a concerted effort to publicize student startups. Rather, Drexel pitches “good student stories” to the media and they just happen to be startup-centric right now. Regardless, it’s a sign of the times: even without a university seed fund, student entrepreneurship is flourishing.
As per the release, Drexel’s innovation push includes:
- the formation of the $12.5 million Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship
- establishment of the Office of Corporate Relations, to better leverage corporate support
- development of the “Innovation Neighborhood” around 30th Street Station
- the music and technology-focused ExCITe Center
And don’t forget Drexel’s incubator four-year-old incubator the Baiada Institute for Entrepreneurship.
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