It was RoseAnn B. Rosenthal‘s night, but instead, during her award acceptance speech, the president of Benjamin Franklin Technology Partners gave nods to a dozen other local women entrepreneurs, many of whom her investment firm has backed.
At the Alliance of Women Entrepreneurs‘ annual gala, Rosenthal won the Iris Newman Award, named for the life sciences exec who in 1996 founded the Women’s Investment Network, a precursor to AWE. AWE is focused on high-growth women-owned businesses, which does not exclusively mean technology and life sciences, but often does: members include Robin Hood Ventures executive director Ellen Weber, University City Science Center VP of Marketing Jeanne Mell and former NuPathe CEO Jane Hollingsworth, who is also AWE’s president.
BFTP was an early sponsor of WIN, Rosenthal said during her acceptance speech. WIN’s first event was held at BFTP offices, then in Center City, and BFTP sponsored WIN’s first website and even housed the organization for a few years, said Rosenthal, who has been involved with WIN since its early days.
Today, AWE has more than 125 members, said its executive director Vicki Burkhart, composed of half entrepreneurs and half service providers.
At the annual celebration, AWE also announced its 2014 class of fellows, who will be mentored by more experienced AWE members:
- Rachel Zeldin, founder of funeral planning website I’m Sorry to Hear
- Margie Gardner, founder of women’s health company Avidas Pharmaceuticals
- Beth Stewart, CEO of biotech company United Catalyst
The next major AWE event will be the We Own It Summit in May, a national conference for women in high-growth businesses.
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