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Ben Franklin launches fund to assist life science startups


Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania (Ben Franklin Northeast) has announced the Life Science and Healthcare Technology Fund, designed to assist in the creation of life science startups in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

The fund provides up to $250,000 to match investments by regional health care providers and specialists, private corporations, and academic institutions that are creating spinoff companies or developing technologies of interest to their organization.

Participating organizations must commit at least $50,000 into the startup, targeting technologies that improve the lives of patients or the delivery of care. Recipients of the investment can be companies launched by individuals from within the organization or companies attracted to the region by a participating institution.

“Through this fund, Ben Franklin Northeast will not only support companies that are improving the human condition, but it will also create and refresh, retain, and reimagine highly paid, sustainable jobs in the state of Pennsylvania,” said Angelo Valletta, president and chief executive officer at Ben Franklin Northeast.

Investments from the fund can be made for a wide range of life science and health care improvements, such as: new biologics or pharmaceuticals; medical devices or diagnostics; in-hospital caregiving and patient management tools and software; new caregiving solutions; staff and patient safety solutions; and community health solutions.

The new startup must be located in, or relocate to Ben Franklin Northeast’s 21-county service territory that includes the following counties: Berks, Bradford, Carbon, Columbia, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Lycoming, Monroe, Montour, Northampton, Northumberland, Pike, Schuylkill, Snyder, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Union, Wayne, and Wyoming. The founder must also be full-time with the company.

Potential clients and partners are encouraged to contact Wayne Barz, chief investment officer at for more information.

This project was financed [in part] from Pennsylvania Small Business Credit Initiative funds from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Community and Economic Development.

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