Launching JPOD @ Philadelphia: Accelerating Health-Care Innovation at Pennovation Center

caption: Even Benjamin Franklin (far left) visited Pennovation Center last Thursday to join in the celebration for the launch of JPOD @ Philadelphia. Photo by Marguerite F. Miller.

On November 1, Penn President Amy Gutmann and EVP Craig Carnaroli welcomed Johnson & Johnson executives, including William Hait, global head, external innovation, as well as Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and other guests to the grand opening celebration of JPOD @ Philadelphia. J&J’s new innovation accelerator hub is the first of its kind in the world and is located at Penn’s Pennovation Center. Innovation is a central pillar in President Gutmann’s Penn Compact 2020. She said we can only imagine the future breakthroughs that will come out of this partnership. The hope is “to advance knowledge for good in the world,” she said.

There were 90-second pitches from the seven new JPOD @ Philadelphia resident companies who presented on their technologies and why they are excited about being part of this collaborative ecosystem. Several of these companies have Penn connections: Some are leveraging nanotechnology developed at Penn, some have Penn faculty as advisors and others include Penn alumni.

There was also a panel discussion on the Future of HealthTech.

JPOD is a collaboration between Penn, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, and JLABS that offers resident companies and innovators training, mentoring and networking programs to equip them with a mix of resources to enable their success. JPOD @ Philadelphia will serve as a regional resource, amplifying Philadelphia’s innovation ecosystem. JPOD taps into the existing nexus of science, laboratory and entrepreneurial efforts taking place at the Pennovation Works and the region’s life sciences community to accelerate health-care innovation. The JPOD is a networking hub, which includes a secure telecommunications conferencing system to connect regional innovators to the J&J Innovation network. The goal is to identify and accelerate the development of early-stage health-care solutions from the life science ecosystem that address significant unmet patient and consumer needs in medical devices, pharmaceuticals, consumer and health technologies. The JPOD will support those innovators with training, mentoring and networking programs designed to equip them with a mix of resources.