News & Events

Ben Franklin’s 2023 Program Overview

An overview of Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Central & Northern PA’s work in 2023.

The Innovation economy in Pennsylvania is not confined to its urban centers like Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Every day, entrepreneurs in more rural areas of Pennsylvania channel their creativity into building remarkable products, employing their neighbors, and creating sustainable businesses. BFTP/CNP, in collaboration with local partners, has been supporting and empowering these entrepreneurs through investment, guidance, and outreach initiatives such as our Big Idea Contest, Incubator program, and TechCelerator Boot Camp.

Ben Franklin CNP recognizes the importance of collaboration and relies on our strong community partners to help identify and support budding entrepreneurs who may have otherwise remained unnoticed. Through these partnerships, we gain a deeper understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities in our region, enabling us to tailor initiatives effectively. Noteworthy examples of successful local partnerships include the Bright Bradford Fund, Mercer County Innovation Fund, and Hartman Erie Fund, which have collectively enhanced funding opportunities for companies in the region.

Ben Franklin CNP has been honored to be selected as the investor of choice for the new federal State Small Business Credit Initiative investment program. This recognition signifies our organization’s credibility and expertise in supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs. We have developed a comprehensive plan to effectively allocate the capital, helping to catalyze economic growth,
empower local entrepreneurs, and elevate rural Pennsylvania’s position as a hub for innovation.

In addition to state funding, our ecosystem runs on recycled capital, fueling the next generation of founders as our portfolio companies exit and repay funds. Recent exits, such as Innovatel, and BioMagnetic Solutions have contributed to this cycle of reinvestment, ensuring sustained growth and innovation in our region.

On behalf of the entire team at Ben Franklin CNP, we look forward to continuing to build a vibrant ecosystem that nurtures and supports entrepreneurs, drives economic growth, and helps shape the future of innovation in rural Pennsylvania.

Stephen Brawley
President and Chief Executive Officer
Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Central and Northern PA