PCI Ventures (PCIV) is a division of PCI specifically focused on creating early-stage businesses founded on Penn technology.
PCIV prides itself on promoting entrepreneurial activities and new company formation around Penn’s leading research and innovations. PCIV actively seeks entrepreneurs to lead its companies and investors to provide funding for a portfolio of new ventures in development. PCIV also provides a suite of products and services to support its portfolio as spinouts make their way towards commercial success.
How PCIV Helps Penn Spinouts
Since 2010, PCIV has worked with over 200 faculty and staff members to form and launch new companies based on selected inventions and innovative technologies.
While there are many paths to commercialization of a new technology, the PCIV team works with Penn inventors to develop a commercial strategy that utilizes company creation as a means to increase the value of the technology while giving it exposure in the marketplace. PCIV will assist the business team through the entire commercialization process with an array of services that includes matching a strong entrepreneur to each company, providing a network of partners to help with any number of startup needs, and assisting with fundraising.
By connecting local entrepreneurs, investors and partners with Penn inventors, PCIV adds a powerful platform for a larger entrepreneurial ecosystem in greater Philadelphia and beyond.
PCI Ventures Services
The UPstart program offers a wide array of services to assist entrepreneurial faculty members with the company formation and development process. UPstart smooths the path to future success by working closely with faculty members as they build value into their technology through a new venture.UPstart
The UPadvisors program provides support to companies that operate independently, and want to leverage the resources of the PCI Ventures team, services, programs, and network to help navigate the challenges of an early-stage startup.UPadvisors
PCI Ventures produces programs, trainings, and events to support the development of their portfolio companies and Pennovation Works companies.Learn more
PCI Ventures Weekly Office Hours
PCI Ventures hosts virtual office hours every Wednesday from 9:00 to 12:00. Each week, a member of the PCI Ventures team will be available to answer business questions on topics ranging from company formation and legal agreements to benefits and insurance.
Anyone is welcome to take advantage of the office hours, click here to sign up for a session today!
PCI Ventures supports a wide-ranging portfolio of early-stage companies through their UPstart and UPadvisors programs.View Our Full Portfolio
Building customizable robotic machines highly adept at perceiving tactile sensations
Diagnostic blood test for sensitive detection of circulating tumor cells.
Catheters using real time anatomic video feedback and fluoroscopic assistance for precise gene therapy delivery and treatment of other disorders of the central nervous system
Proprietary technology platform allowing stretch growth of axon bundles for use as fully functional grafts to address peripheral and CNS neuropathies.
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Michael D. Poisel, MS, MBA
Executive Director, PCI Ventures
Bhavana Mohanraj, PhD
Associate Director, PCI Ventures
Yi-Yen Chen, PhD
Associate Director, PCI Ventures
Melisa Lopez-Anton, PhD
Assistant Director, PCI Ventures
Associate Director of Programming at Pennovation Works
Working with PCI Ventures has been tremendously helpful. Moving to contributions in the commercial sector rather than the academic world is not an easy one for faculty. PCI Ventures’ broad knowledge, willingness to help, and proactive guidance has made it possible to be both a professor and a founder in a medical device company – something I would never have imagined to be possible.
Dr. Mark Yim, Founder of Prendo Systems & Greppo Technologies; Professor and Director of Integrated Product Design – Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics
PCI Ventures offers an excellent program for commercializing innovative technologies from the University of Pennsylvania. The organization was instrumental in helping Quantitative Radiology Solutions receive non-dilutive funding from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health STTR grant programs, and connecting us with providers of accounting, insurance, and payroll services. PCI Ventures offers multiple opportunities for entrepreneurs to network and support each other in building successful companies.
Joe Camaratta, CEO of Quantitative Radiology Solutions
We have been a proud partner of PCI Ventures for several years. They have been instrumental in both facilitating our ability to invest in emerging technologies from Penn as well as supporting the evolution of these technologies into viable and compelling commercial enterprises. From our vantage point as a dedicated, University-focused, hard science investment platform, PCIV provides Penn with a unique and highly valuable capability to engage with partners such as ourselves and to drive the successful commercial exploitation of its research and intellectual property.
Michael Burychka, Managing Director, North America, IP Group
We have been a proud supporter and resource for PCI Ventures for the past 6 years and counting! It is exciting to be a part of a start-up community where you have a front row seat for the innovative ideas coming out of UPenn and finding their way into industry. PCI Ventures is a reliable incubator to the network of participating companies whether it be through the support they provide with funding strategies and mentoring or the physical Pennovation community they are constantly emerged in. PCI Ventures is an invaluable resource for these start-ups to have by providing a solid support system to rely on as they endure all of the challenges of starting and funding a new business.
Mike Stephano, Managing Partner, Stephano Slack
PCI Ventures took us by the hand and helped us navigate the previously uncharted (for us) waters of company creation. The portfolio manager assigned to us was an absolute blessing and has been with us every step of the way. Together, we have built a highly productive nucleus of key company members (CEO/president, operations, legal, regulatory and scientific co-founders) in a short period of time and 16 months later we have raised a seed round and we are well on our way to a Series A raise.
Dr. Saar Gill, Founder of CARISMA Therapeutics; Assistant Professor of Medicine; Director, Gill Laboratory, Center for Cellular Immunotherapies
As a novice founder, the team from PCI Ventures has been instrumental in helping me navigate the complexities of launching and growing a company. They are an outstanding group of professionals dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and committed to the success of their startup companies. The PCI Ventures team has helped me in many areas including navigating agreements and contracts, engaging in networking opportunities, applying for funding, connecting me with resources across the Penn campus, identifying business partners, and assisting with strategic planning. I greatly appreciate their support and very much enjoy working with them!
Dr. Tanja Kral, Founder of MeMix; Associate Professor of Nutrition Science
PCI Ventures has created mechanisms to develop the lab-to-market pipeline, with new opportunities for faculty and students to have an impact. It supports faculty who are interested in commercializing their technologies while being engaged in teaching and research at the university.
Dr. Vijay Kumar, Founder of Exyn Technologies; Nemirovsky Family Dean, Penn Engineering and Professor Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, Computer and Information Science, and Electrical and Systems Engineering
Over the last seven years, I have worked closely with the staff at PCI Ventures. I can speak to their professionalism and support in the establishment of startup companies. They have accepted the challenge of supporting the creativity and innovation of Penn faculty, and I believe this is only the beginning of a phenomenal trajectory for this program. All of our faculty would benefit from PCI Ventures, and I think it is the envy of the Ivy League Schools. I sincerely thank PCI Ventures for their support in helping us realize our dreams in moving our technologies ahead for the benefit of patients and the world.