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Anish Kumar Named Managing Director at Pennovation Works

Media Contact: Jennifer Rizzi, Director, Communications, Penn Facilities & Real Estate Services, 215.573.6107, rizzi@upenn.edu

March 31, 2020

Pennovation Works now has a Managing Director, a new role designed to manage overall direction and oversight of the 23-acre innovation community adjacent to Penn’s West Philadelphia academic campus. The creation of this position, Managing Director, represents the University’s dedication to Pennovation Works, open to entrepreneurs in all disciplines across the Greater Philadelphia area.

In this new role at Pennovation Works, Anish Kumar is charged with implementation of the long-range strategic master plan. Anish leads business development of the site, including marketing, communications, and leasing. He manages the strategic direction of the Pennovation Center (the community’s business, technology and laboratory incubator) in collaboration with the operating partner, 1776.  Anish will also work collaboratively with Penn Center for Innovation (PCI), PCIVentures, and the Office of the Vice Provost for Research on company curation and programming.  In addition, Anish monitors development, design, construction and operations of the property as well as the operation of the JPod @ Philadelphia (a partnership with Johnson & Johnson).

One of Anish’s immediate responsibilities is the completion and leasing of the Pennovation Lab Building, a 65,000 SF, scientifically advanced, multi-tenant laboratory and office building. As the latest addition to the Pennovation Works community, tenants of the Pennovation Lab will benefit from the amenities and programming already available on the site.  Leasing is ongoing at the Lab, which is anticipated to open in the third quarter of 2020.

“In adding this managing director role to our team at Pennovation, and in particular with bringing on Anish Kumar in this position, Penn can fulfill the promise of this exceptional innovation space that draws talent from the entire greater Philadelphia region, with the full weight of Penn behind it,” explains Ed Datz, executive director of real estate at Penn.

Anish Kumar has built his career around improving urban life, enabling people to live and work together in the most inclusive and environmentally sustainable ways. Now, as Managing Director, Anish will focus on advancing Penn’s growing community of researchers and entrepreneurs at Pennovation Works.

A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and long-time resident of Philadelphia, Anish has multi-faceted expertise in real estate business management, planning, and architecture. Prior to joining Penn, Anish most recently served as Senior Director for Real Estate Development at Amtrak.  In that role, he led an 18-person team and oversaw all real estate activities in support of Amtrak’s operations nationwide, including planning and portfolio strategy, acquisition disposition and lease transactions, administration of property agreements, development and fit-out of facilities, space management, budgeting and real estate financial operations.  Before Amtrak, Anish held leadership positions at major planning and architectural firms including tvsdesign, Hillier and WRT. He has also served as an adjunct professor in Drexel University’s architecture program.

“Pennovation Works adds tremendous value to the two communities that are a significant part of my life, the University of Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia, and I am excited for the opportunity to collaborate with members of the Pennovation community to expand the City’s innovation ecosystem and increase Penn’s impact,” says Anish.

Since the 2016 opening of the Pennovation Center, the overall site has repositioned over 180,000 SF of usable space, hosted over 200 companies, and added unique structures to the ecosystem, like a flying robot containment net and the Penn Vet Working Dog Center seek-and-find training course. Penn’s long-range plan is to grow the community into an approximately 1.5 million square foot development.


About Pennovation Works

The Pennovation Works is a distinctive blend of offices, labs, and production space developed by The University of Pennsylvania to link the intellectual and entrepreneurial initiatives necessary for advancing knowledge and generating economic development. The master plan articulates a phased approach, with initial activity focused on site improvements and renovating existing buildings including the 2016 completion of the Pennovation Center, a business incubator that provides lab space and acts as a hub for collaboration and the exchange of ideas for innovators from all disciplines.

The 23-acre property adjacent to Penn's campus accommodates, in state-of-the-art facilities, researchers, entrepreneurs, and industry partners solving real world problems and translating inventiveness into viable ventures. By grouping facilities for innovation, technological development, and artistic production/exhibition, Penn envisions a multifaceted workshop for harnessing and commercializing the tremendous creative potential in the region

Photo of Anish Kumar, new Managing Director at Pennovation Works