This article was originally published by Technical.ly Philly.
Safeguard Scientifics, Ben Franklin Technology Partners and Independence Blue Cross are backing the fund, with the hope of turning the region into a health IT powerhouse.
Early-stage health IT startups in Philly are getting one more door to knock on for seed capital: a new $6 million investment fund focused exclusively on local startups, backed by public-private venture firm Ben Franklin Technology Partners, Independence Health Group (the parent company of Independence Blue Cross) and venture firm Safeguard Scientifics.
The official announcement will happen this afternoon during Philly Startup Leaders’ Founder Factory conference. But, for now, you should know each company will kick in $2 million to the fund, which plans to dole out its funds over the coming four years. (That is, provided it can find companies to fund. Remember what happened with the StartUp PHL seed fund’s first year?) Investments will be between $50,000 and $1 million, which is, yes, a big range. Along with the cash, young companies will receive mentorship as they grow, according to a press release.
The fund is close to finalizing its first investment, according to Safeguard’s David Luk, who’s leading the effort on the firm’s side. It’s a local company run by familiar faces, he said. (Hit us with your predictions!)
In the release, Ben Franklin President and CEO RoseAnn Rosenthal emphasized the importance of the partnership with IHG and Safeguard.
“Joining with these leaders who bring domain knowledge and expertise strengthens Greater Philadelphia’s position to support one of its most thriving technology sectors,” she said. “Such a collaboration enhances and multiplies the quality of assessment, feedback and opportunity available to the region’s digital health entrepreneurial talent, promoting development of solutions to benefit our community.”
It’s a big deal that Safeguard, the region’s veteran investment firm, is on board. Recall that the venture firm did not sign on, the way Rittenhouse Ve