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LifeX won a $2 million economic development grant

  • Technology & Science
  • Our City/Our Campus

LifeX has been chosen as a recipient of a $2 million grant through the Build to Scale program that administers funds annually through the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA). The Build to Scale program, which is intended to accelerate technology entrepreneurship, will allow LifeX to make a larger impact in the life science startup ecosystem locally, nationally and globally.

LifeX is a life sciences capital growth company established by the University of Pittsburgh that supports therapeutic, device, diagnostic and digital health technologies that are poised to transform the future of health care through a continuum of programming from startup guidance through seed stage funding. With the Build to Scale program LifeX will focus on:

  • Scaling its existing Accelerator and Commercialization Program
  • Nurturing the life science entrepreneurship ecosystem that LifeX supports
  • Creating events and resources to attract and engage talent
  • Developing opportunities to overcome the common risks associated with startups
  • Building the industry life science leadership network to help younger founders succeed

“I want to congratulate LifeX on winning an EDA Build to Scale grant to accelerate their work supporting Western Pennsylvania’s growing life sciences innovation ecosystem,” said Rick Siger, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. “LifeX’s collaborative model serves Pennsylvania’s innovators by encouraging sharing of resources and expertise through its Accelerator and Commercialization Programs, as well as its capital funding across the board.  Investments like this one reinforce Gov. Josh Shapiro’s goal of fostering innovation and supporting transformational economic development for our commonwealth.”

LifeX’s highest priority is expanding the opportunity for entrepreneurship in the life science ecosystem. Its programming establishes access to the tools and networks that will increase the probability of success for entrepreneurs.

“We are extremely pleased to have our unique business model at LifeX recognized by the EDA to assist life science startups with support at varying stages of their commercialization process. LifeX’s continuum of expertise and funding from startup to later stage seed investment provides multiple entry points to work with the entire LifeX organization to ensure meaningful and measurable impact on their commercial success. We are excited to work with Gov. Shapiro and Sec. Siger in growing life science economic development impact in Western Pennsylvania and beyond,” said Gerald J. Vardzel Jr., resident and CEO of LifeX.

With the injection of funds from the Build to Scale program, the impact of LifeX will continue to benefit Pennsylvania economically by creating new job opportunities and bringing new innovations to the local landscape. LifeX will meet the goals of this program by increasing inclusive access and support needed to make a lasting impact on entrepreneurs, the region and the health care industry.


Photography by Tom Altany