News & Events

$1M Bright Bradford Fund Created to Fuel Local Community

The Bradford Area Alliance announced Thursday the creation of a new $1,000,000 Bright Bradford Fund aimed at helping new startups and existing businesses grow in the area.

To serve the growth of different industry sectors in the Bradford community, the Bright Bradford Fund consists of two distinct investment opportunities — the Bright Bradford Innovation Fund (BBIF) and the Bright Bradford Development Fund (BBDF).

The BBIF, totaling $800,000, was formed in a new partnership between the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Central and Northern Pennsylvania and the Bradford Area Alliance with a $400,000 contribution from each of the partners, and with significant support from Halloran Philanthropies.

Brian Fernandes-Halloran commented, “I couldn’t think of a better time to launch the Bright Bradford Fund than American Refining Group’s (ARG) 25th anniversary. It was as true at the founding of ARG as it is today that Bradford is a town worthy of investment. I am sure my father, Harry Halloran Jr., would be rooting for every Bradfordian entrepreneur with a bright idea.”

The BBIF will offer financing to innovative technology-based startups and manufacturers in the City of Bradford, Borough of Lewis Run, Bradford Township, Corydon Township, Foster Township, and Lafayette Township.

Photo courtesy of Bradford Area Alliance

Ben Franklin Technology Partners, which has been investing in tech startups and small manufacturers in Pennsylvania for nearly 40 years, will provide due diligence as well as administer the BBIF with representation in the investment selection process from the Alliance leadership. The Fund is designed to be “evergreen” in that any returns provided from its investments will be used to fund additional, new opportunities. The Fund managers will partner with other area financing sources including economic development funds, banks, and local individuals seeking to make supporting Angel investments, to maximize its impact.

John Sider, vice president for Business Development at Ben Franklin commented, “This area in Northwest PA which is home to many manufacturers, including Zippo Manufacturing and American Refining Group, has both an important history and bright future related to innovation and startup companies. The team at Ben Franklin is pleased we have the opportunity to partner with the Alliance and help grow more businesses and jobs in McKean County.”

Whereas the BBIF targets specific industry sectors (technology and manufacturing for example), the BBDF, totaling $200,000, provides investment funds into local businesses that are strategically important to the Bradford and surrounding area, i.e., businesses that help attract and retain workers, applicants in the Harvey L. Golubock Business Competition, etc.

The Bradford Area Alliance, an executive board of community leaders, is dedicated to making Bradford and the surrounding area stronger through a focus on creating a more vibrant economy.

“Ben Franklin is a national leader in tech-based economic development. We look forward to working collaboratively with Ben Franklin and our local/regional partners to continue to strengthen our entrepreneur ecosystem through the creation and execution of this exciting new investment opportunity”, said Executive Director Carolyn Boser Newhouse.

Applications are now being accepted for equity investments up to $100,000. Those who are interested in learning more about the Fund and/or want consideration for investment can contact Newhouse at (814) 598-1519 or via email at

Ben Franklin Technology Partners/CNP, an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and funded by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority, provides investment capital and operational assistance to emerging tech-based companies and small, existing manufacturers for the purpose of creating and retaining jobs in Pennsylvania.

For more information about Ben Franklin Technology Partners, visit