Sunday, February 14, 2016

Warming to the Drexel U. business incubator

Amid the too-evident wreckage of capitalism's "creative destruction," signs of business creation continue to show up.

Warming to the Drexel U. business incubator


Amid the too-evident wreckage of capitalism's "creative destruction," signs of business creation continue to show up.

Three new companies won acceptance last week to the business incubator at Drexel University's LeBow College of Business.

An annual competition for admittance to the incubator had already brought 32 companies under the roof of Drexel's Baiada Center for Entrepreneurship since 2003.

The center's Web site lists 15 current residents of the incubator, such as Renaissance Scientific L.L.C., a competition winner two years ago that is developing a microbe- and sperm-killing condom lubricant effective against HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Some of the rest ultimately failed, and eight have hatched from incubation, said Baiada Center director Mark Loschiavo.

This year's winners are:

Stabiliz Orthopaedics, whose organizing team of M.B.A. students - including Doug Cerynik, the director of research in orthopedic surgery at Drexel's medical school - are developing bone fasteners using bio-absorbable materials;

Ranter, a social-networking tool that one of its principals, 27-year-old M.B.A. student Brad Welch, calls a "stripped down application" for texting groups through a cell phone chat window;, a new run at the concept of business-to-business Web portals.

Each won a modest pot of seed money - Stabiliz Orthopaedics got the most, at $12,000 - along with space in the incubator, and access to mentoring and other support services there.

While they're not ignoring the recession, "I don't see them moping around," Loschiavo said of denizens of the incubator.

"From the entrepreneurs' perspective, they see the economy as just one of the many variables that they have to deal with, . . . one more challenge to overcome," the director said.

"It's going to be more difficult to raise funds in this economy," said Brian Schneck, 24, the other principal of the Ranter texting tool. "The good thing, development costs these days are very low."

He and Welch expect to have a beta version of their would-be Twitter-killer in three months.

Mike Armstrong is away. Contact Reid Kanaley at 215-854-5114 or

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Mike Armstrong blogs about Philadelphia corporations and business-related topics. Contact him at 215-854-2980. Reach Mike at

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