Capital, innovation and entrepreneurship. They are, admittedly, the three elements that drive RoseAnn Rosenthal, president and CEO of Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania. Similarly, those qualities drive many of those involved in small business. That’s a big reason why Rosenthal was honored with a Champion of Small Business Award from the National Coalition for Capital at a ceremony late last month in Philadelphia.
BFTP-SEP, which has provided more than $130 million to 1,600 regional enterprises and stimulates economic development in the region’s technology sector, is even more valuable to the regional economy during the lingering recession. Rosenthal, however, is equally impressed by the companies in which she helps invest.
“They are stubborn, determined and they’re focused, that’s what I admire about them,” Rosenthal says. “They keep at it.”
Rosenthal says BFTP is focused on moving forward with the region’s energy strategy and building a partnership between universities and industry that will compete for federal dollars. That includes outlining the partnership for a new Energy Commercialization Institute (ECI) in Greater Philadelphia. It will be based on the eight year-old Nanotechnology Institute, a state-funded partnership between BFTP, Penn and Drexel that improves technology transfer and commercialization capability.
“Some of the needs and opportunities of the sector will impact the ECI model,” Rosenthal says. “As we begin to wade out into the water we’ll see where we need to change.”
Source: RoseAnn Rosenthal, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania
Writer: Joe Petrucci