Posted February 27, 2012

Incubator space will help spawn Temple tech businesses

In an effort to assist start-up companies working to develop and commercialize university-created technologies, Temple’s Office of Research and Business Development has leased incubator space at the University City Science Center in West Philadelphia.

The office space is part of the Science Center’s Port Business Incubator and will serve as a launching point for new businesses being spun out of Temple.

“From a commercialization aspect, Temple has experienced a phenomenal increase in revenue,” said Anthony Lowman, Temple’s vice provost for research and business development. “Temple has always had outstanding researchers and scholars, but now there is a focused effort to assist our faculty in developing their technologies for use in societal applications.

“This growth in revenue has enabled us to join the Port Incubator which provides us dedicated office space for our companies and entrepreneurs at the Science Center,” he said. “This is an important leg in a strategy to build and enhance Temple’s capabilities along the commercialization pathway. Having dedicated incubation space is a key component in allowing Temple to spin out companies in an off-campus environment.”

Stephen G. Nappi, director of technology development and commercialization in Temple’s Office of Research and Business Development, said that Temple requires these spin-out companies to find off-campus business space. However, the cost of incubator space is often too expensive for a nascent company to lease and expends resources that can be used to move Temple-created technology forward.

With incubator space in which to hold meetings and conduct business, new businesses can focus their efforts and resources on fundraising and developing technology.

“If you are going to establish an environment for an entrepreneur to thrive, the Port Business Incubator at the University City Science Center is one of the best in the region,” said Nappi. “You have access to other entrepreneurs, investors, shared professional space, conference rooms and other important resources that will allow start-up companies to develop and grow.”

Nappi said he has companies lined up to utilize the space at the Science Center. One example is pureNANO, a company spun out with assistance from the Fox School of Business that is developing nano-technology created by Temple Chemistry Professor Eric Borguet.

“We’d like to position them there,” said Nappi. “They need space, and this would move them off campus while allowing them to focus their efforts on fundraising and product development.”

According to Nappi, this is the first time Temple has had off-campus incubator space dedicated to commercialization efforts. He said the new companies will be able to utilize the space and resources until they begin to grow and acquire the financial resources to lease their own space.

“These companies will eventually have to graduate and move on, but for now, with this space, we’re giving them a chance to get started,” said Nappi.