A new program helps ventures grow through unprecedented access to investors and corporate partners.

PHILADELPHIA, PA Nov 2, 2017 — Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania (Ben Franklin) announces the launch of First Meeting, a program that helps entrepreneurs develop relationships with local and national institutional investors and corporations. Exclusively for Ben Franklin portfolio companies, the program leverages the strength of Ben Franklin’s connections to facilitate key early conversations with potential sources of capital and partnerships.

The program encompasses two tracks: VC First Meeting and Corporate First Meeting. VC First Meeting promises Ben Franklin portfolio companies a meeting with participating investors, whose investment criteria they meet. Corporate First Meeting promises companies access to decision makers at potential corporate partners actively looking for innovative technologies. For both iterations of First Meeting, Ben Franklin has developed partnerships with participating investors and corporations to assure facilitation and efficacy of these key early conversations. In line with Ben Franklin’s mentoring efforts, First Meeting supports entrepreneurs with strategic, actionable guidance for funding opportunities and corporate collaboration.

While the list of investors and corporate partners continues to grow, the 20 venture capital firms participating in the VC First Meeting Program include: 215 Capital; Ascent Ventures; Bullpen Capital; Domain Associates; Edison Partners; Ekistic Ventures; First Round Capital; Harbert Management Corporation; JMI Equity; Main Line Equity Partners; NewSpring Capital; Osage Venture Partners; Rittenhouse Ventures; River Cities Capital Fund; Safeguard Scientifics, and SRI Capital.

The 12 corporate partners include multi-national and global companies like, Janney Montgomery Scott, and DSM Biomedical.

“Fundraising can be an all-consuming and belaboring task for entrepreneurs; half the battle is getting your foot in the door,” says Brian Kim of NewSpring. “Experienced entrepreneurs understand the value of a warm introduction and this program ensures that they happen.”

“Ben Franklin’s approach to due diligence helps validate companies’ potential for success, attracting follow-on investment, and preserving the long-term health of each venture,” adds Nate Lentz of Osage Venture Partners. “Knowing that a company fits both the criteria of Ben Franklin and Osage Venture Partners, makes that initial conversation much easier to have.”

“VC First Meeting provides unprecedented access to opportunity for investment and business development, and it encourages companies to think about next steps, even when they’re not fundraising,” says Scott Nissenbaum, Chief Investment Officer at Ben Franklin. “When a company becomes eligible for investment or potential business from one of the First Meeting partners, we can make those connections.”

“Corporate First Meeting represents a partnership for open innovation between our portfolio companies and strategic corporate partners, many with their own venture funds,” says Anthony P. Green, PhD., Vice President of Technology Commercialization at Ben Franklin. “These relationships are an essential element to the growth of early-stage technology companies.

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. www.sep.benfranklin.org