pennovation

The Pennovation Center is set to open at the Grays Ferry Avenue location on Oct. 28.

Photo: Julio Sosa / The Daily Pennsylvanian

Whether members of the Penn community are looking for research labs, affordable co-working space or drone-testing facilities, they can find these resources and more at the new Pennovation Center.

Here’s everything you need to know to interact with the center:

Where is it?

The Pennovation Center is a 58,000 square foot business incubator and laboratory located on Grays Ferry Avenue by the Schuylkill River.

The center is just one part of a larger campus of buildings, called “The Pennovation Works,” a 23 acre property adjacent to Penn’s University City campus.

“This is not just an island,” said Vice President of Facilities and Real Estate Services Anne Papageorge.

The University envisions a broader plan of growing the community in and around The Pennovation Works, including working with the city to optimize traffic in the area.

“The hope is to keep these businesses in Philly,” said Managing Director of The Pennovation Center Amy Yozviak.

When will the center open and how can students get there?

The Grays Ferry Avenue location is set for a grand opening on Oct. 28, though events (both public and restricted) have already begun and will continue up through the formal opening. SEPTA bus routes 12 and 64 also service the site, according to the Pennovation website.

Penn Transit provides free on-demand transportation to the center for PennCard holders. Inside the center, memberships start at $99 per month and include access to the co-working space. A cafe area will be operated by Heathland Hospitality group.

What events will take place there?

The building will host a number of programs geared towards fostering entrepreneurship and innovation. In a program called ”Startup Grind,” monthly speakers come in to share their stories and lessons learned in the foundation of successful businesses. In “AppItUp,” students can submit app ideas in a competition for the chance to have their idea developed by professionals for free.

“It’s an ecosystem,” said Executive Director of Facilities and Real Estate Services Ed Datz. “You have access to other entrepreneurs, mentors and business leaders.”

Other events and speaker series will be held at the Pennovation Center throughout the year.

The Pennovation Center was designed with flexibility in mind, Datz said. As members grow their businesses and require more resources, they can move into larger office spaces which are dispersed throughout the building.

“The idea is that we have a continuum of space for you to grow into,” Papageorge said.

Which businesses will be there?

Among the members that have recently signed-on are past President’s Innovation Prize winners FeverSmart and XEED, according to the center’s website. The Hershey Company joined as a corporate sponsor in May.

“It’s exciting to have a connection with the school and the city,” said Fever Smart and 2016 Engineering graduate co-founder William Duckworth.

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