Startups

‘Is it the right time to do this?’

Omar Mencin, Ben Franklin Technology Partners’ managing director of tech, has some suggestions on whether now is the best moment to build a company — and how the investor can help.

Working with Ben Franklin Technology Partners.

(Courtesy photo)

As a founder or entrepreneur, when you concentrate hard on the headlines, you’re bound to get a headache.

Even amidst the seemingly strange news cycles of recent years — pandemic, politics, and more — there’s been a thread of constant growth in the Philadelphia region’s tech community.

This has developed amidst a global backdrop of the rise of remote work, life sciences innovation, talent shortages and opportunity — but also inequity in venture funding, challenging conduct within tech firms, and new technologies emerging each day that both promise ease of life while opening every pandora’s box of societal challenges.

And then, the headlines change. Supply chain creates problems. Funding seems not as plentiful. Bull markets become bears seemingly overnight.

It’s a lot to keep up with, but whatever the headlines suggest, they often lead the most conscientious current or potential founders to ask some very similar questions:

  • Will I actually be ready to do this?
  • Can I be successful?
  • Is it the right time?
  • Am I doing this for the right reasons?

Time and experience has shown us that rarely is the answer an accurate yes for any one of the four, let alone all. We at Ben Franklin Technology Partners say we’re about “more than capital” because much of our time is spent determining both how close your current plan for your venture is to a yes for any of those questions — and more importantly, whether you and your team will be capable of getting there.

Because guess what? No one is as ready as they think they are, nor is the timing ever perfect, nor are “the right reasons” the same for every venture, market need, founder or community. And experience has shown us that the market, the technology, the opportunity and conditions for readiness never stop changing.

Our investing group at Ben Franklin has always leveraged the Philadelphia region’s thriving base of universities, accelerators, incubators and ecosystem partners to support the growth of our vibrant community of emerging tech ventures. But we’ve kept changing, too.

Earlier this year, you may have heard about the expansion of our healthcare investing group. We’re now sharing that our tech investing group, too, has expanded, with additions of staff already happening, and still more to come. With both sectors supported by our additional investment capacity through our partnerships including the GO Philly Fund, we are better positioned and more adaptable than any time before to successfully partner with and support the region’s next generation of tech ventures, in any economic environment.

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Only history truly affords any of us the opportunity to say when innovation happens at a perfect time — but with skill, determination, and a generous amount of luck, your enterprise will have a longer lasting effect than any moment’s headlines. Our best advice? Don’t wait for that perfect moment. We’re here to help you manage the present and future, so reach out to us.

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