Uncovering the Art of the Pitch and Other Resources for Area Startups

AVF’s Executive Director – Private Investors Forum, Marc Kramer leads the “Making the Pitch” panel

On Tuesday, December 11, more than 75 people gathered at West Chester University’s Graduate Center to learn how to successfully pitch to investors and prepare to attend the annual Angel Venture Fair (AVF) in May 2019.

The AVF is the largest gathering of angel investors and entrepreneurs in the mid-Atlantic region, having showcased more than 500 companies over the last 20 years.

Patrick Hayakawa, Vice President, Innovation & Emerging Technologies for CCEDC’s Ideas x Innovation Network (at right), participates in the “Meet Ben and i2n” session with Colleen Bevenour of Keiretsu Forum Mid-Atlantic and Mark Trabbold of Ben Franklin Technology Partners Southeastern PA.

The event was jointly presented by West Chester University’s Dr. Edwin Cottrell Entrepreneurial Leadership Center and the Ideas x Innovation Network (i2n) – and initiative of the Chester County Economic Development Council.  The event was sponsored by Wilmington Trust and was moderated by AVF’s Marc Kramer.

AVF workshops have been a 20-year institution in Philadelphia, drawing crowds between 100-200 annually.  Tuesday’s event was the second annual offering in Chester County and targeted local emerging tech companies, professional resource providers, and educators.

“Chester County continues to be fertile ground for entrepreneurs—partly because of the region’s natural strengths and also due to recent concerted efforts by CCEDC and the County through VISTA 2025. This program is another example of pulling together the many excellent resources the region offers to give startups the best possible chance of succeeding,” said Patrick Hayakawa, Vice President, Innovation & Emerging Technologies and Project Director for i2n at CCEDC.

The workshop featured two panels with recognized experts in the region providing critical legal, financial and business strategies to consider when pitching their companies to investors.  “Raising capital is challenging for most emerging growth companies.  The Angel Venture Fair Workshop provided a valuable opportunity for emerging growth companies to learn about raising capital, addressing legal issues, and other important matters that emerging growth companies face,” said Dr. Monica Zimmerman, Executive Director of the Cottrell Center and WCU Professor.

Two startup founders seeking investment funding provided presentations and received feedback from the experts. Their presentations also helped all entrepreneurs learn what investors are looking for when deciding to invest.

The event featured a bonus session, Meet Ben and i2n, where attendees learned more about Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern PA, the Ideas x Innovation Network (i2n), and the ecosystem of resources available to the start-up community, including the Venture Chesco fund a recent collaboration between Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern PA and the County of Chester for emerging technology companies in Chester County.

For more information, please contact:

Patricia Diggin, MBA
Director, The Dr. Edwin Cottrell Entrepreneurial Leadership Center
West Chester University

Patrick Hayakawa
Vice President, Innovation & Emerging Technologies
Ideas x Innovation Network (i2n)
Chester County Economic Development Council


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