Penn Center for Innovation

If your small business or startup needs help during this difficult time, please look through the list of programs below collected by PCI staff and partners.

Do you know of a program not included in this list? Please email us about it at

Page last updated: 4/28/2020


View Penn COVID-19 related technologies available for licensing or co-development


General Resources:


Research Funding:

  • NSF SBIR/STTR Phase 1 opportunity for funding for Pennsylvania-based companies – can get assistance in the first step of their proposal application (Project Pitch) through Kelly Wylam (Ben Franklin Technology Partners) at Innovation Partnership (IPart)  (see below).  The  IPart website provides very helpful information on proposal writing and application submission to federal opportunities.
  • HHS’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority is working with our partners to explore the development of new medical countermeasures and take other actions to enhance health security. To support ongoing U.S. Government COVID-19 medical countermeasure development efforts, BARDA is pleased to open our EZ BAA program and seeks abstract submissions for select COVID-19 medical countermeasures only. Please see solicitation BAA-20-100-SOL-0002 for more information.


Government Programs:


  • SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact.
  • FEMA Public Assistance application requesting reimbursement related to federal emergency and major disaster declarations for Coronavirus 2019. FEMA is simplifying the Public Assistance application and funding process to address the magnitude of this event and allow local officials to receive eligible funding more quickly.
  • The Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) program provides unemployment benefits to individuals who have become unemployed as a direct result of a Presidentially declared major disaster.
  • The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act establishes a new $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program, which will provide much-needed relief to millions of small businesses so they can sustain their businesses and keep their workers employed. Eligible businesses can begin applying on April 3.



  • The Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) offers low-interest loans and lines of credit for eligible businesses that commit to creating and retaining full-time jobs for the development of industrial parks and multi-tenant facilities.
  • City of Philadelphia overview of the CARES Act and other resources
  • Through the COVID-19 Challenge opportunity, DCED seeks to engage PA colleges and universities in the
    rapid development and deployment of new technologies, products, and processes with the potential to
    positively impact the Commonwealth’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. View the RFP.  Deadline May 15


New Jersey:

  • A package of new initiatives from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority includes a grant program for small businesses, a zero-interest loan program for mid-size companies, support for private-sector lenders and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), funding for entrepreneurs, and a variety of resources providing technical support and marketplace information. View the list of NJ state programs here.


Private Programs:

  • The PHL COVID-19 Fund will provide grants to Greater Philadelphia organizations with a successful track record of serving at-risk populations such as the seniors, people with disabilities, and those who are experiencing homeless or are economically disadvantaged, in order to continue community safety nets such as food pantries and health services, and help with preparedness and protection such as hygiene supplies, access to accurate current information, and available services.
  • Facebook Small Business Grant Program
  • The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is accepting applications for its Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund. The deadline to apply is April 4. The fund provides grants of up to $10,000 to businesses facing immediate financial pressure due to COVID-19—especially entrepreneurs of color, women-owned businesses and other enterprises in historically underserved communities who don’t have access to flexible, affordable capital.