Penn Center for Innovation

The UPstart program offers a wide array of services to assist entrepreneurial faculty members in 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 new venture creation.

UPstart provides valuable services to newly formed companies:

Addressable Market Analysis

UPstart employs student teams from the Wharton SBDC to research potential applications for the company’s technology. These teams perform analysis on the size of the addressable markets and work with the company to begin developing product strategies.

Commercialization Grant Support

PCI Ventures provides comprehensive support that founders need to produce high-quality grant applications that are well-positioned to secure commercialization awards, such as SBIR/STTR funding.

Development of Marketing Materials

PCI Ventures creates websites as well as marketing materials for conference and investor presentations. Logo design is available on a limited basis.

Entrepreneur Coaching

PCI Ventures works with startup CEOs to help them perfect the content and delivery of their company pitches.

Executive-Level Recruitment

PCI Ventures introduces the founders to entrepreneurs with the experience and capabilities necessary to begin building out the management team and infrastructure of the company.  We want our faculty to be entrepreneurial without needing to be an entrepreneur.

Fundraising Strategies

PCI Ventures collaborates with the founders to develop strategies and timelines for seeking funding opportunities. Numerous potential sources are pursued including, but not limited to, angel investors, economic development funds, seed stage venture funds, and government grants.


PCI Ventures matches entrepreneurs with highly qualified students looking for an internship with an early-stage company.




For students looking to get involved in one of our portfolio companies, click here.

IP Strategy Development

PCI Ventures employs students from the Legal Law Clinic to develop IP strategies for companies in conjunction with their plans for the business.

Legal Agreement Templates

PCI Ventures has assembled template documents covering most of the legal documents that may be required including operating agreements, management contracts, subcontract agreements, etc.

Preferred Vendor Relationships

PCI Ventures has developed relationships with several service providers that are comfortable and willing to work with newly-started companies that have very limited operating capital.

Strategic Partner Outreach

PCI Ventures actively markets the company’s technology to potential partners as a method of providing alternative funding sources and to advance the pace of innovative research.

Mentor-in-Residence Program

The Mentor-in-Residence (MIR) program pairs startup companies with accomplished entrepreneurs and industry leaders who serve as informal advisors.  Mentors participate in the development of PCIV portfolio and Pennovation companies, providing advice on business strategy, and fundraising.

Learn more about the MIR program here >>

Weekly Office Hours

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.



Learn more about PCI Ventures’ virtual office hours here.