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Big news for AWE Ventures – Powered by Ben Franklin this week: Penn Mutual has signed on as a Platinum Founding Contributor, and the first AWE Ventures companies have been named: LIA Diagnostics, My MilkCrate and ROAR for Good.

“Penn Mutual, the Alliance of Women Entrepreneurs and Ben Franklin are fittingly aligned in empowering women to shape the future,” according to Eileen C. McDonnell, Penn Mutual’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “Our Platinum Founding contribution to AWE Ventures will help women-led enterprises in their early stages, and I encourage other companies and individuals to consider becoming investors in this worthy endeavor.”

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There’s a very good chance you’re already familiar with the companies. LIA made a huge splash in Fast Company and TheBump this summer. My MilkCrate has been winning in TechRepublic and the Inquirer and in the Boston Metro after their latest expansion. ROAR for Good has been crushing it in 6abc and Fast Company too.

These are some fantastic women-led companies with truly unique ways of addressing both socially conscious topics and market needs.

  • LIA Diagnostics is creating the first foldable, flushable and sustainable pregnancy test: more discreet, more user-friendly and environmentally conscious – no plastic.
  • My MilkCrate is an app and website that simplify sustainable urban living by connecting you to the breadth of sustainable businesses in your area.
  • ROAR for Good has created Athena, fashionable safety jewelry that emits a loud alarm, messages loved ones with your location, and calls authorities for immediate help.

The companies will be featured as part of next week’s AWE Ventures – Powered by Ben Franklin Founders Celebration, Thursday, October 8, 6:00-9:00 PM at Benjamin’s Desk. The event will feature keynote speaker Loretta McCarthy, managing director of Golden Seeds New York City and a panel discussion with the companies, led by Katherine O’Neill of JumpStart NJ and the Angel Capital Association.

Interested in attending? All you have to do is donate.