First Meeting

The program helps entrepreneurs access institutional investors both in and outside of Pennsylvania.

First Meeting 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: 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.

Currently the program has 20 venture capital firms participating in the VC First Meeting Program, which 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.


Q: What is it?

A: A program that helps entrepreneurs access institutional investors and corporate partners.

Q: How does it work?

A: Ben Franklin identifies potential opportunities, prescreens, and connects portfolio companies with investors and corporate partners whose criteria they match. Investors and partners are committed to a conversation with those portfolio companies.

Q: Is investment guaranteed?

A: No, investment is not guaranteed.

Q: Do I have to be a Ben Franklin portfolio company to participate?

A: Yes, all companies that participate in the VC First Meeting must be a Ben Franklin portfolio company, meaning, they have received investment from Ben Franklin.

Q: Will other investors be able to participate in this initiative?

A: Yes. We are growing this program with the intention of adding more collaborators. More investment and partnership opportunity for our companies will allow companies to grow while bringing money from outside of the region, into the region.

Q: Can companies meet with multiple investors through VC First Meeting?

A: Yes. Pending Ben Franklin’s vetting, companies can meet with multiple investors and corporate partners if they fit the criteria of those investors.

When does this start?

A:It already has. There has already been active collaboration on opportunities between Ben Franklin’s portfolio companies and the investors we’ve partnered with.

Contact Scott Nissenbaum to learn more about the initiative.