University City Science Center
received the Sal Buccieri Memorial Venture Impact Award during the 15th
annual Early Stage East
, venture capital conference, on Thursday (Oct. 4). Previously, this award, which honors individuals and organizations that help early stage companies flourish in Philadelphia, was largely given to venture capitalists.
“[The University City Science Center] has created a true center of innovation,” David Freschman, Founder of ESE, says. “It offers counsel, resources, facility and thought-leadership which has been the impetus for the launch and growth of many companies in our region that currently employ thousands of employees.”
“This award is especially meaningful as we embark on our 50th anniversary year,” Stephen Tang, President & CEO of UCSC, says of the acceptance. “I did not have the honor of knowing Sal Buccieri, but from what I've heard about him, he exemplified the pay-it-forward mentality we need to nurture a thriving culture of entrepreneurship and innovation.”
During the conference, 25 technology startups from Club Pitch
presented to venture capitalists and angle investors. Freschman says many participating companies gain their first-round investment from contacts made at ESE. Innovation Capital Advisors,
where Freschman serves as Managing Principal, invests up to 70 percent of their capital in companies that participated in Club Pitch. Among the 16 presenters from the Philadelphia region, Freschman cites Snip Snap
, People Linx
and Cloud Confidence
as companies to look out for.
“Philadelphia is very much a city driven by ‘substantive’ enterprise,” Freschman says. “These are businesses that will grow because of customer acquisition and sales growth versus publicity and marketing presence. Maybe they aren’t as sexy as what you read in INC magazine, but [Philly companies] are really productive.”
Freschman believes the greater Philadelphia public, however, needs to look beyond banking and insurance to find the real success story of our local enterprise community.
“We need to really praise and recognize these emerging companies” he says.
David Freschman, Early Stage East