Shapiro Administration Announces $3.5 Million In New Funding For Pennsylvania Start-Up Tech Companies

Penny Ickes, DCED,

Harrisburg, PAApril 27, 2023–Today, Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Acting Secretary Rick Siger announced that a total of $3.5 million has been awarded through the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority (BFTDA)to a pair of Pennsylvania venture capital firms that will make investments in early-stage technology companies.

Governor Josh Shapiro and his Administration are committed to making the Commonwealth a leader in innovation, job creation, and economic development. The Governor’s first budget proposal— a commonsense set of solutions to the most pressing issues Pennsylvanians face — increases funding to spur innovation and attract and retain businesses in Pennsylvania.

“This funding will create opportunities for early-stage technology companies to grow right here in Pennsylvania, and ensure the Commonwealth remains an economic leader driving innovation on a global scale,” said Acting Secretary Siger. “DCED is proud to work with the BFTDA to provide funding to companies at the cutting edge of industries that drive our economy forward. Investments like these are key to the future of Pennsylvania.”

The BFTDA awarded $2.5 million on behalf of Activate Ventures III, LP, (Activate) a Bethlehem-based fund that will target investments of up to $1-5 million in approximately 30 early-stage technology companies, with an emphasis on healthcare-related software businesses led by tenured entrepreneurs.

Activate will be led by a group of investors including Managing Partners Glenn Bressner, and Todd Pietri, formerly of Milestone Venture Partners. They will be joined by Pietri’s former Milestone Partner, Edwin A. Goodman and fellow Bethlehem venture capitalist, Jeff Davidson.

BFTDA also awarded $1 million on behalf of Global Opportunity Pennsylvania GP II, LLC, (GO.PA) a Philadelphia-based fund that will target investments of up to $2-7 million in roughly 20 early-stage technology companies. This fund will involve a collaboration among the Ben Franklin Technology Partners offices statewide and as such, will draw on opportunities from around the Commonwealth.

GO.PA is being formed by Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania(BF-SEP) as a wholly-owned subsidiary. BF-SEP is staffed by 32 individuals, including seven investment professionals. Strategically, the fund will be venture-growth oriented. The team will focus on providing follow-on financing in the most promising Ben Franklin Technology Partners-backed companies.

As one of the oldest and most emulated state technology development programs in the nation, the BFTDA was established to promote an entrepreneurial business environment, advance technology innovation, and create a technology-ready workforce.

The mission of the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority is to encourage and coordinate programs and investments, which advance the competitiveness of Pennsylvania’s companies and universities in the global economy.

Governor Shapiro and his Administration are committed to growing Pennsylvania’s economy so that it works for everyone. For more information about his commitment to workers, businesses, and our economy, visit the Governor’s website.

For more information about the Department of Community and Economic Development, visit the DCED website, and be sure to stay up-to-date with all of our agency news on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Read the full press release here