County’s ‘Venture Chesco’ Launches Fund to Encourage Development of Start-Ups

(l to r) RoseAnn B. Rosenthal, President and CEO of Ben Franklin; Guy Fardone, Chief Executive Officer, Evolve IP; Scott Nissenbaum, Chief Investment Officer, Ben Franklin; Chester County Commissioners Michelle Kichline, Terence Farrell and Kathi Cozzone; and Tony Green, Vice President, Technology Commercialization Group, Ben Franklin.

The Chester County Retirement Board partnered with Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania on April 17 to launch a Venture Chesco fund to encourage the development of start-ups.

The initiative will invest up to $4 million in emerging and growing companies in Chester County. The funds consist of $2 million in County funds matched by $2 million in Ben Franklin funds.

The funds will be used to invest in both new technology companies and those looking to apply new technologies to their existing business operations.  The partnership was announced at Evolve IP headquarters in Wayne.

“Chester County has a long history of growing strong technology companies,” said Michelle Kichline, Chester County Commissioners’ Chair. “We have seen small start-ups apply innovation and new technologies and grow to employ thousands of county residents.”

The initiative is a direct result of the goals set by Vista 2025, Chester County’s ten-year economic development strategy.

“Venture Chesco fills a critical early stage funding gap in the growth cycle of Chester County’s young companies and companies looking to apply technology to improve business performance,” said Chester County Commissioner Kathi Cozzone.

Check out previous VISTA Today coverage of Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania here.