First Niagara Invests in StartUp Community with Ben Franklin


New Partnership Provides $1.0 Million to Co-invest in Startups in the Five-County Region

PLYMOUTH MEETING, PA (Jan. 12, 2015) – First Niagara Bank and Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania today announced a new partnership to invest in early-stage companies focusing on the life sciences, information technology and physical sciences sectors within the five-county region of Greater Philadelphia. First Niagara is investing $1.0 million, which will be combined with Ben Franklin’s current funding pool.

Ben Franklin Technology Partners, an impact-driven investment leader for early-stage ventures, provides capital, counsel and connections that empower innovators to accelerate their ideas and investors to expand their impact. Through its unique investment model, Ben Franklin invests and connects growing technology firms with the resources and networks needed to help them grow and prosper. First Niagara is the first bank to form a unique funding relationship with Ben Franklin to help further regional economic growth.

“It took great creativity and collaboration to bring this partnership to fruition and we are thrilled to work with Ben Franklin as an expansion of our commitment to the Greater Philadelphia community,” said Robert Kane, Eastern Pennsylvania Regional President for First Niagara. “Thriving communities sustain everything that matters to us at First Niagara, and we believe that together with Ben Franklin, we will be able to foster significant economic growth by supporting emerging startups in the region.”

Ben Franklin’s mission is to boost the economy of our region through the development, commercialization and adoption of advanced technologies which create jobs and renewed competition. Throughout its 30 years, Ben Franklin has been a model nationally and internationally and has invested more than $170 million in more than 1,750 regional tech companies.

“The availability of capital to fuel the growth of emerging, advanced technology enterprises that create well-paid, sustainable employment is necessary for the growth of our region,” said RoseAnn B. Rosenthal, President and CEO of Ben Franklin. “With this commitment, First Niagara demonstrates their commitment to community through their understanding of the need to grow the industries of tomorrow, today.”


About First Niagara

First Niagara, through its wholly owned subsidiary, First Niagara Bank, N.A., is a multi-state community-oriented bank with approximately 410 branches, $38 billion in assets, $28 billion in deposits, and approximately 5,800 employees providing financial services to individuals, families and businesses across New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts. For additional information on First Niagara, visit us at, follow us on Twitter @FirstNiagara, or like us on Facebook at FirstNiagaraBank.


About Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania

Ben Franklin is the most active early stage capital provider for the region’s technology sectors. Ben Franklin combines best practices of venture capital with a public-spirited purpose: leading the region’s technology community to new heights, creating jobs and changing lives for the better. Ben Franklin is an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and is funded by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority. To learn more about Ben Franklin, visit


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