Supporting Early-Stage Technology Companies

Technology-Driven Economic Development

Happy valley Launch Box

Happy Valley LaunchBox – an example of university and entrepreneurial collaboration. Photo credit: Curtin Chan

Pennsylvania has long been a leader in technology-driven economic development strategies. We know that technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship often go together, and we have worked hard to create an environment and business climate that supports startup companies.

What sets Pennsylvania apart from many of our competitors around the United States and internationally is our strong technology commercialization pipeline. Our research institutions are among the best in the world, and they produce world-class technology. For decades, we have supported researchers looking to become aspiring entrepreneurs by helping them to make the transition from the lab to the marketplace. Along the way, we have established a robust ecosystem to guide these individuals through the process of commercializing their research and new technologies to get them ready for market, find investors and customers, and ultimately become successful members of our business community.

A Leader in Tech-based Economic Development

The Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority (BFTDA) is one of the largest and most widely recognized technology-based economic development programs in the country. By encouraging and coordinating strategic programs and investments, the BFTDA advances the competitiveness of Pennsylvania companies and universities in the global economy. Under the auspices of BFTDA, the DCED administers the Innovate in PA – Venture Investment Program. This vehicle supports PA’s venture capital community by offering loans to venture management teams. By virtue to the statute governing this program, interested applicant must demonstrate a primary focus on early-stage technology investing as well as the intent to put a substantial emphasis on PA-based opportunities.

During the past fiscal year, the BFDTA approved commitments to One Palmer Square IX, LLC, SSC GP, LP and 1855 Capital Partners, LLC (1855 Capital) to support early-stage technology companies.

Investing in the Next Generation of PA Technology Companies

One Palmer Square IX, LLC is the venture manager for Domain Partners IX, LP. Domain, has been headquartered in New Jersey for over 20 years. In response to the BFTDA’s commitment, the manager has agreed to set up shop in Philadelphia. The firm will bring its expertise in life science investing and will canvas the eastern PA marketplace for cutting edge bio-pharma and diagnostic start-up companies.

SSC GP, LP is the venture manager for SeventySix Capital, LP. The Fund will invest in companies that bridge the gap between the “digital” and bricks-and-mortar” worlds. Target companies will center on e-commerce, retail and healthcare. SSC GP, LP is being formed by longtime venture capitalist Wayne Kimmel in concert with Jon Powell of KRAVCO, Inc., former developers and owners of numerous high-end shopping venues including the King of Prussia Mall of Montgomery County, PA.

Venture IP

Examples of early-stage companies receiving funding from Invent Penn State. Photo Credit: Lee Erickson

1855 Capital is a seed and early-stage venture capital fund investing in companies with an affinity to Penn State. It develops investment opportunities by actively engaging with current faculty, staff, and students involved in world-class research efforts and the university’s alumni network of more than 600,000. Being located in Penn State’s Innovation Park is beneficial for Capital 1855 for several important reasons, including the fact that the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Central and Northern Pennsylvania is co-located at Innovation Park and provides a pool of high-quality venture candidates. This type of venture capital investment is critically important for the continued health and growth of Pennsylvania’s technology companies. Great ideas, new technology, and innovative solutions are being created every day at institutions of higher education across Pennsylvania, and we are proud to help our top talent transform into successful entrepreneurs.

To continue to stay up-to-date with Pennsylvania news, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, subscribe to our monthly newsletter, and become a Keystone Ally to help spread #PAProud stories across your social media channels.

Deputy Secretary Sheri Collins
In her role as Deputy Secretary of the Office of Technology & Innovation at the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), Sheri Collins is responsible for fostering innovation and entrepreneurship to ensure the success of Pennsylvania’s technology industry.
Translate »