These 16 Early-Stage Companies Were Backed by Ben Franklin Last Quarter

The list tells us a lot about where the region is headed in tech innovation.


Ben Franklin Tech Partners is the Pennsylvania’s biggest tech investor, which last quarter invested a total of $2.3 million in 16 early-stage companies. For fiscal year 2016 it approved $10 million for 51 companies across southeastern Pennsylvania, up from $8.9 million in 2015.

Last quarter, Ben Franklin made seven of its deals with companies in the information technology sector, totaling $1 million, or 44 percent of its total investment. About 62 percent of the investment went to new companies, with most investments in companies based in Philadelphia and Delaware counties.

The investments give us a guide for what’s up next in the region, and looking at this list, it’s clear that companies in the health space are still a driving force.

Here are the 16 companies Ben Franklin invested in (one of them made our Startups to Watch list):

  • Jenrin Discovery
    • The Delaware County company is developing drugs for chronic conditions like diabetes, liver disease, and obesity.
  • SonoSolve
    • This device uses sound waves to clear obstructions in catheters during medical procedures.
  • MBF Therapeutics
    • The veterinary oncology company is developing vaccines to treat cancer and infectious diseases in dogs and cats.
  • Kynectiv, Inc.
    • Kynectiv has developed simulation-based technology that can be used to build training programs and learning models — think surgery simulation for doctors.
    • Binto subscribers get a monthly delivery of reproductive health products hand-picked by medical experts.
  • Shock Analytics
    • The Philadelphia-based company has developed a noninvasive device to detect acute and chronic illnesses like congestive heart failure and sepsis.
  • VitalTrax
    • The tech company offers a cloud-based patient engagement platform for clinical trials.
  • Choosito!
    • With this edtech platform, educators can spend less time searching for instructional resources for students with varied reading levels, skills, and interests.
  • The One Health Company
    • The founders behind this company have created a new model for contract research by testing new pharmaceuticals in clinical trials on sick pets.
  • Photosonix Medical
    • This Montco company is using a combination of light and ultrasound to treat chronic bacterial infections known as biofilms. Its tech can address patients with moderate to severe acne, for example.
  • FlockU
    • This next-generation online hub is a space where college students can read posts written by other students across the country and watch videos about current events, entertainment, sports, and more.
  • Verge Aero
    • This team of engineers builds and deploys drones for use in the entertainment industry. Their idea is to make drones the entertainment for audiences.
  • Sustrana
    • The Chester County company’s online software helps companies create and execute sustainability plans.
  • Keriton
    • This company is working with Penn Medicine to develop an efficient system for breast milk management in neonatal ICUs.
  • COSY
    • Also known as Cognitive Operations Systems, this software platform helps retailers manage inventory in their stores with robots.
  • Advent Therapeutics
    • This team of experts in the neonatal and pediatric drug market is developing therapies that address the needs of underserved patient populations.

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