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Delaware News Roundup: The Innovation Space’s First Fund has more money and resources for science startups

Plus, a rundown of big Delaware tech news from the week, upcoming events and recent Power Moves.

At work in the Delaware Innovation Space's chemistry research lab. (Courtesy photo)

Editor’s note: This story first appeared as a newsletter alongside a roundup of’s best Delaware reporting from the week, job openings and more. Subscribe here to get updates on Delaware tech, business and innovation news in your inbox on Thursdays.

Big news for science startups.

Delaware Innovation Space has increased the amount of cash and support offered in its First Fund program, which helps science startups grow by providing resources, lab space and seed funding. Regional startups including Versogen and Gaskiya Diagnostics are among those that have benefitted from the program.

“We’ve increased the amount of cash and support up to $200,000 per company and are providing up to 50% discounts for access to our state-of-the-art laboratories as part of the package,” DIS CEO Bill Provide said. “In addition, every startup that we invest in can tap into the many mentoring and support services that we offer.”

Deadline to apply is March 31.

DIS has also announced that its Science, Inc. accelerator has announced its third cohort. While the previous cohort included a plethora of green tech startups such as Elyte Energy and Carbon Reform, this one is packed with medtech and health tech expertise. You may not know their names yet, but these innovators are poised for growth:

$56 million for broadband infrastructure

In other news, Gov. John Carney and State Chief Information Officer Jason Clarke of the Department of Technology and Information this week announced $56 million in Broadband Infrastructure Grants to begin making high-speed wired broadband connections available to every Delaware home.

“Didn’t Delaware already get universal broadband?” you may ask. Indeed, it’s been an ongoing project for the state. But this grant is for wired infrastructure, which many parts of the state don’t have.

Comcast, Verizon and Mediacom will use the funding to extend their existing coverage areas to serve more than 11,600 Delaware homes and businesses that do not have access to high-speed, wired broadband service. Construction is expected to begin in the next few weeks.

What else happened this week in Delaware?

Barclays US Consumer Bank has committed an additional $100,000 to the Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation, in addition to the $300,000 already donated to the organization since 2020 to support its Equitable Entrepreneurial Ecosystem (E3) and Reinventing Delaware program.

Delmarva Power has given $400,000 to four area community colleges and historically Black colleges and universities to support local scholarships, teacher training and a curriculum to educate the future members of the energy workforce. The recipients are Delaware State University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Delaware Technical Community College and Wor-Wic Community College.

This week, Chemours joined representatives from the National Hockey League and the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation to launch a new science, technology, engineering, and math program for fourth- through eighth-grade students at Drexel Neumann Academy in Chester, Pennsylvania.

Greater Newark Boys & Girls Club held a grand opening for their new Maverick music studio. The program is a component of a nationwide nonprofit, the Music & Youth Initiative, which is part of a larger partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America. The Music and Youth Initiative offers music education and mentoring to youth who would not otherwise have access to such resources. The program will be at the Greater Newark Boys & Girls Club, Newark Charter High School and William Penn High School.

Inside the Maverick studio. (Courtesy photo)

Upcoming Delaware events

YWCA Delaware and DSU’s Trauma Academy are launching the series “Transformational Healing Racial Conversations” this month, beginning Sunday, March 20, 1 to 2:30 p.m. and continuing with six sessions through March 24.

Great Dames’ THRIVE! 2022 Powerful Conversations Series continues Tuesday, March 22, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. with “I QUIT! Seeking more joy and purpose in our work,” hosted virtually on Zoom and moderated by Dame Kathy Palokoff.

The Original Coloure Collective will host a celebration of Women’s History Month with “It’s HER Legacy,” showcasing local women artists including Erica Jones, JoNia Miller and Irina Turner. The creative group will be highlighting the art of the three artists along with live painting, discussions and artist exhibits on Tuesday, March 22, at the Brandywine Hundred Library.

Jobs for Delaware Graduates and Goodwill of Delaware and Delaware County are partnering to host a job fair for high school students on Wednesday, March 23, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Goodwill Center in Wilmington.

Emerging Enterprise Center’s virtual Cutting Edge: ChemTech and BioTech Innovations Symposium is happening on March 24.

Buccini/Pollin Group invites high school students to apply for its summer 2022 BPG University internship program. Launched last year, BPG U is the Buccini/Pollin Group’s first internship program designed explicitly for teens to learn all aspects of real estate development prior to finishing high school. The summer 2022 session will begin June 13 and run through July 1. Students must be a rising junior or senior at a Delaware high school to be eligible to apply. Apps are due April 15.

Did you hear? The festivals are coming back in full force this year, including the Ladybug Festival (May 20), the Flower Market (May 5 to 7) and St. Anthony’s Italian Festival (June 6 to 19). The Delaware State Fair also announced its concert lineup for festival week (July 21 to 30), which includes Nelly, Halestorm, Frank Reyes and Hank Williams, Jr.

Philly Tech Week presented by Comcast 2022 — which, as always, is not just for Philadelphians — returns this May.’s Developers Conference, our annual “tasting menu” of trending technical topics and real-world deployments, will get a hybrid twist on May 10. Then join entrepreneurs, HR pros and other company culture and tech ecosystem leaders to build better companies at Introduced by on May 12.

Recent Delaware Power Moves

Michelle Harris is the new district director of the US Small Business Administration’s Delaware office. Before joining the SBA, Harris was regional assistance division manager for the US Department of Transportation’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, served as an SBA lead business opportunity specialist in SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Continuing Eligibility Office and was the executive director for the State of Delaware’s Office of Supplier Diversity.

Prelude Therapeutics announced that Jane Huang, M.D. has been appointed to the newly created position of president and chief medical officer, effective April 4. Dr. Huang is currently chief medical officer of hematology at BeiGene, Ltd., a global, science-driven biotechnology company developing oral small molecules and monoclonal antibodies for cancer.

Short Order Production House won gold at the 2021-2022 Philadelphia Metro American Advertising Awards (aka the ADDYs) for 10 videos in the Delaware Developmental Disabilities Council’s Disability Pride series in the category of “Branded Content & Entertainment Campaign.” The series was produced by Hannah Geller, directed by Jason Prezant and edited by Sam Molloy.

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Companies: Delaware Innovation Space / State of Delaware
People: John Carney

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