Impact-focused startups: Get at this $15M investment pool - Philly


Jul. 21, 2017 11:48 am

Impact-focused startups: Get at this $15M investment pool

Ben Franklin Technology Partners is playing lead in a collaborative funding effort under the ImpactPHL banner.

Ben Franklin's Margaret Bradley making the announcement.

(Courtesy photo)

In the impact investment space, $15 million is a decent number.

Led by Ben Franklin Technology Partners, that’s the figure a group of orgs have drummed up under the ImpactPHL banner as part of a significant effort to fund technology-heavy, early stage Philly companies working on social, environmental and health issues.

The initial roster of funders joining the initiative include Spring Point Partners, Investors’ Circle, Drexel University, Temple University, Safeguard Scientifics, Independence Health Group and the Bucks County Retirement Board. (By dropping the term initial in there, the implication is that more partners may join the effort over time.)

“But don’t call it a fund: The funded companies don’t all need to have the same demographic or programmatic interests beyond focusing on social, environmental and health problems in some way,” Generocity editor Julie Zeglen writes.

Funders will have final say and can opt-in or out on each investment opportunity. The amount contributed by each partner was not disclosed, but the average investment is expected to be roughly $300,000.

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As the initiative rolls out it will be interesting to see if, similar to the strategy behind that Ben Franklin/Village Capital fintech accelerator, the concept of social impact will be taken at its broader definition in order to maximize the effort’s reach.

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