Chester County gets $4-million fund to boost startup activity

Written by Roberto Torres, Philly

Venture Chesco is a team effort from the Chester County Retirement Board and Ben Franklin Technology Partners.

Access to capital is among the hardest boxes to check for local entrepreneurs following the venture-backed playbook.

And for Chester County’s tech ecosystem — despite being a key node of Philly’s tech growth in the 1980s and housing VC firms like Safeguard Scientifics and a bevy of large pharma firms — access to sufficient venture capital has proven to be a challenge.

Per Chester County Economic Development Council COO Michael Grigalonis, some 100 startups have received grants through the i2n-Ideas x Innovation Network initiative, but more fuel is needed.

Enter Ventures Chesco, a $4-million partnership between the Chester County Retirement Board and Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania seeking to provide early-stage funding to companies housed in — or willing to relocate to — the county.

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