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Independence Meets Innovation at JPOD @ Philadelphia


Independence Meets Innovation at JPOD @ Philadelphia

With delivery drones, self-driving cars, and grocery-shopping refrigerators, today’s rapid and transformative innovations permeate just about every facet of our society.

Every facet, perhaps, except life sciences and health care. There is significant unmet patient and consumer needs in medical devices, pharmaceuticals, consumer and health technologies, but the prohibitive cost, infrastructure, and regulatory obstacles associated with the industry can sometimes stifle innovation.

Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS (JLABS) gives healthcare innovation a fighting chance by connecting startups with the tools and expertise they need early on. This means that everything from lab space to secure meeting rooms to mentoring and networking opportunities can be found at our JLABS locations, all without strings attached.

Innovation can happen anywhere, and it would behoove us to be there when it does. That’s why we have JLABS locations in hot healthcare innovation environments across the world, and it’s why we are happy to announce the imminent grand opening of our newest JPOD in Philadelphia.  

To identify and spur rapid early-stage healthcare innovation in the region, this JPOD will serve as a networking hub connecting Philadelphia area innovators to the vast Johnson & Johnson Innovation network. It will also support them with training, mentoring and networking programs designed to equip them with a mix of resources to help enable their success.


JPOD @ Philadelphia will include a secure telecommunications conferencing system and will be the first of its kind in the United States. It is located within The Pennovation Works, a hub for collaboration and the exchange of ideas for innovators from all disciplines, developed by the University of Pennsylvania.

It’s easy to see why we chose Philly’s burgeoning entrepreneurial ecosystem as the location of our first American JPOD. Since 2013, $1.5B in venture funding has been invested in over 361 companies in the region[1], and in 2016, it made the Martin Prosperity Institute list of the Top 20 Global Metros by Venture Capital Investment.

With almost 90,000 students graduating from the region’s 100+ colleges and universities each year, 13,000 of whom from STEM-related fields, and over 280,000 STEM-related jobs in the region (and counting)[2], the talent pool is ripe for innovation, and that’s exactly what we’re looking for.

Sound interesting? If you’re a young life sciences startup in the local ecosystem, we’d love to hear from you. We are proud to announce the first cohort of companies accepted to the JPOD @ Philadelphia.

You’re also invited to take part in our JPOD @ Philadelphia QuickFire Challenge, launched in honor of the grand opening. The innovator with the best idea, technology, or solution that improves human healthcare will receive up to $30,000 in grant funding, residency at the Pennovation Center at the University of Pennsylvania, and access to educational programs at JPOD @ Philadelphia and mentoring from the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies global network of experts. Get in there!

We can’t wait to see who joins us at JPOD @ Philadelphia and what comes of the partnership. The city’s attitude of independence and history of revolution seems tailored-made for our own bold and ambitious goal to transform health care. Let’s do this, Philadelphia!


[1] PwC Q1 2013 – Q4 2015 aggregated investment p.p1 dollars – all sectors – Philadelphia metro region

[2] Greater Philadelphia’s Growing Innovation Ecosystem, Select Greater Philadelphia & Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, http://pci.upenn.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/VCBrochure16-Online.pdf