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U.S. Small Business Administration leaders present the $50,000 cash award to the University Science Center, located between Drexel and Penn campuses. Photo: AL DÍA News

University City Science Center awarded $50k for accelerating IT health startups

In a world where most IT startups crash before takeoff, accelator programs like the University City Science Center can help get them to next stage.

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On Tuesday, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) handed over a $50,000 check to the University City Science Center for helping incubate local startups in the health IT sector.

Located near Drexel and Penn campuses, the center is one of a handful of Digital Health Accelerators (DHA) that help early- and growth-stage digital health companies. The technology that comes out of these accelerators ranges from care coordination to patient engagement and more.

“SBA continues to make advances in support of unique organizations helping the start-up community grow, become commercially viable, and have a real and sustained economic impact,” said Natalia Olson-Urtecho, SBA’s administer for the mid-Atlantic region.

In the last year, startups that worked through the center turned over $13 million in profit. Anthony Ortiz, founder and CEO of the SmartPlate, the first technologically aware plate that can analyze its contents, said the center’s DHA program has helped him navigate the usual pitfalls of young startups.

“Through the widespread outreach of this competition, we are able to reach entrepreneurial ecosystems across the country,” Olson-Urtecho added. “Our commitment is to make resources available to 21st century entrepreneurs where they are, and these accelerators, also known as incubators and innovation hubs, are the gathering place for today’s innovators.”

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