PACT and Ben Franklin Launch Mentor Connect

Collaboration brings unprecedented, qualified mentorship to CEOs and leaders within PACT and Ben Franklin companies

Philadelphia, Aug 29, 2017 – The Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies (PACT) and Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania (Ben Franklin) publically announce Mentor Connect, a program providing founders and leaders of emerging companies with coaching, connections, and tools to successfully grow their businesses.

Mentor Connect brings the experience of a curated team of leaders and experts to the entrepreneurs most ready to grow, assisting in the development of their business skills. As guided by the principles and standards of MIT Venture Mentoring Service, mentors deliver impartial and unbiased advice by a code of ethics to which all must adhere. Entrepreneurs from the PACT and Ben Franklin networks receive practical hands-on advice from teams of three to five mentors, tailored to each venture’s needs. The mentors volunteer their wealth of entrepreneurial insights from a broad range of industry and market-tested experience.

Thanks to positive response received from both entrepreneurs and mentors alike since the July 2016 soft launch of the program, PACT and Ben Franklin have already doubled Mentor Connect’s capacity to connect entrepreneurs and mentors, with close to 40 mentors, 27 mentees, and about 60 mentoring sessions already facilitated by the program. “I think the program is incredible,” says Mentor Connect participant, Kim Coffey of Talex Medical, “It is an amazing opportunity to learn from seasoned professionals at zero cost. I am lucky to have three mentors from different backgrounds and varied expertise that contribute greatly to guiding me in my maiden voyage.”

“When an entrepreneur with a good idea is matched with a team of mentors with proven skills and experience, their venture is more likely to succeed,” explained Dean Miller, PACT President and CEO. “We are enormously proud of year one’s success and what we were able to accomplish in such a short time. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for Mentor Connect.”

“Ben Franklin’s focus is on the entrepreneur,” said RoseAnn B. Rosenthal CEO of Ben Franklin Technology Partners. “We want to help the CEO to achieve his or her vision while building a growing enterprise that creates value for our region. Mentor Connect offers focused support to the CEOs of our portfolio companies. It also re-engages, as mentors, some of our most successful entrepreneurs, men and women who are now on their second or third businesses and who are ready to give back by sharing their real experiences with new, first time entrepreneurs,” she added.

For more information, please visit mentorconnectphl.com and contact Jennifer Cohen.

 

About Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania
Ben Franklin is the most active early stage capital provider for the region’s technology sectors. Ben Franklin combines best practices of venture capital with a public-spirited purpose: leading the region’s technology community to new heights, creating jobs and changing lives for the better. Ben Franklin is an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and is funded by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority. www.sep.benfranklin.org

About PACT

Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies (PACT)’s vision is to be the go-to resource for fast growing companies, and a driver of entrepreneurship and innovation in the Philadelphia region. PACT provides its members with valuable content and connections to capital, coaching, and customers that will accelerate their growth and success, and to collaborate with other organizations to drive innovation and entrepreneurship in the region. Visit www.philadelphiapact.com for more information.

 

Media Contacts

Amanda E. Nardi,

Public Relations and Marketing

PACT

(215) 790-3608

 

Amanda V. Wagner

Public Relations and Community Development Associate

Ben Franklin Technology Partners

(215) 972-6700

 

###

 

PACT—TiE Pitch Event

Monday, September 25, 2017 6:00 PM – 8:30 AM EST
Comcast Center
1701 JFK Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Join PACT and TiE for this collaborative series of competitive pitch events.

6:00 PM – Registration and Networking
6:30 PM – Program

PACT, the go-to resource for fast growing companies and a driver of entrepreneurship and innovation in the Philadelphia region, is partnering with TiE, a not-for-profit organization focused on fostering entrepreneurship across every generation all over the world, to present a series of competitive pitch events.

This series will bring together leading entrepreneurs and investors from the region, building upon the success of the PACT Capital Conference by continuing to provide a space for investors and entrepreneurs to connect.

Presenting companies will be pre-selected from among PACT and TiE members. We hope you can join us to network with fellow entrepreneurs and investors, and to support the selected companies as they pitch to our panel of angel investors.

This series is free to Entrepreneurs, Investors, and TiE Members. 

Register now!

PACT Supports the International Entrepreneur Rule

Alongside the National Venture Capital Association, PACT will be signing a letter in support of the International Entrepreneur Rule. We stand ready to help implement this rule that will ultimately allow the creation of new companies in the United States of America. Unfortunately, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) has delayed the effective date of the International Entrepreneur Rule and plans to propose to rescind the rule. This decision contrasts with President Trump’s goal of spreading economic prosperity across the United States and ensuring the U.S. remains the global leader in innovation. We strongly encourage DHS to keep the rule in place and use the effective date delay to prepare for accepting applications from entrepreneurs beginning in March 2018.

Here are the benefits of keeping the International Entrepreneur Rule in place.

  • The International Entrepreneur Rule will allow the world’s best entrepreneurs to create jobs in our country, rather than overseas where they will then compete with American workers.
  • Keeping in place the International Entrepreneur Rule would further President Trump’s goal of spreading economic prosperity to areas of the country in desperate need of new jobs.
  • Unfortunately, American entrepreneurship is at a crossroads. Immigrant entrepreneurs can provide a key shot of entrepreneurial energy into the U.S. economy.
  • Retaining the International Entrepreneur Rule will also further President’s Trump’s goal of making the U.S. more competitive on a global basis.
  • The United States must keep in place the International Entrepreneur Rule to attract the best entrepreneurs rather than push them away.

The administration can embrace the economic benefits by not seeking to rescind the rule and instead by preparing to accept applications from talented entrepreneurs who will bring with them new jobs for Americans who need them.

Read the final letter.

Philly tech execs went to Harrisburg to lobby against Pa.’s proposed ‘Tech Tax’

Written by Roberto Torres, Tecnical.ly Philly

PACT organized the field trip of sorts in partnership with the Pittsburgh Technology Council.

Alongside the Pittsburgh Technology Council, PACT rallied eight tech execs from the Philly area and headed to Harrisburg last Tuesday. The goal? Speaking out against the proposed rehashing of a six-percent sales tax on computer services and software found in the commonwealth’s latest budget proposal.

Here’s the list of Philly folks that headed to the capitol (including more than a couple familiar names):

  • Chris Cera, Arcweb Technologies
  • Rich Napoli, ObjectFrontier
  • Chris Schalleur, Christo IT Consulting
  • Alex Urevick-Ackelsberg, ZivTech
  • Lauren Schwartz, TechWise Group
  • Greg Sterndale, PromptWorks
  • Dawn McDougall, Operations Manager, PromptWorks
  • Matthew Donegan, Senior Technical Architect, Strava Technology Group

Click here to read the full article.

These Innovators Won Big at the 2017 PACT Enterprise Awards

Nearly 900 people filled the Pennsylvania Convention Center Thursday night to honor leaders in Philadelphia’s booming tech and health care space.

Written by Haley Weiss, Philadelphia Magazine (BizPhilly)

On Thursday night, the Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies (PACT), held their 24th Annual Enterprise Awards. The event, sponsored by Fairmount Partners, honored eleven local businesses and individuals that have made exceptional contributions to technology, healthcare and related fields. With a record number of over 400 submissions, this year’s Enterprise Awards were the most competitive yet, with a list of winners spanning every branch of Philly’s hotbed of innovation.

In addition to honorees in nine competitive categories, PACT also selected honorees for two special awards. Gabriel Investments managing partner Richard Vague received the PACT Legend Award in recognition of his career supporting technology and sciences in the region. Independence Blue Cross was honored with the Digital Innovation Award for the launch of their community health and wellness center, Independence LIVE.

Click here to read the full article.

Marketing wizard Richard Vague, others, honored by entrepreneurship alliance

Written by Joseph N. DiStefano, Philadelphia Inquirer

At last night’s 24th annual Enterprise Awards, the Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies (PACT) gave affinity-marketing guru Richard Vague its lifetime-achievement award. Vague is in a second act of his career: In the 1990s, he ran credit card giant First USA Bank down in Wilmington (now part of JPMorgan Chase & Co.), and other credit card operations, before moving north, founding EnergyPlus in University City, and selling it to NRG for $190 million in 2011.

Philadelphians know Vague in his current varied career — as a tech angel (Gabriel Investments), philanthropist (hands-on at Penn Medicine, and through his own Governor’s Woods Foundation), blogger, and public-affairs patron (DelanceyPlace.com, and his economic and foreign-policy writings, research and events sponsorship), and political kingmaker (most recently, he headed the finance committee for Rebecca Rhynhart’s successful campaign for the Democratic City Controller nomination.)

Click here to read the full article.

Here’s who took home Enterprise Awards last night

ROAR For Good took home the coveted Technology Startup Award.

Written by Roberto Torres, Technical.ly Philly

What if everyone took the time to share one Philly success story?

During last night’s Enterprise Awards, that was the main prompt from Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies (PACT) CEO Dean Miller, who emceed the 24th edition of the ceremony last night at the Pennsylvania Convention Center before a crowd of 900. Miller listed, in his opening speech, Philly tech successes like that of Sidecar (which just raised $11 million) and the up and coming LIA Diagnostics as signs of growth in the ecosystem.

Though this year the ceremony skewed a bit towards large, B2B tech companies in the suburbs, smaller companies from the Center City/University City corridor like ROAR for Good and Blackfynn also landed trophies.

Click here to read the full article.

Technology Customer Connect

DOWNLOAD CUSTOMER CONNECT APPLICATION – CLOSING SOON!

If your company has what it takes to be an innovative technology supplier to regional enterprises apply now to participate in PACT’s Technology Customer Connect initiative, which offers a structure for enterprise CIOs and technology buyers to meet innovators from start-up, growth-stage and established companies to pursue strategic relationships and business development. Enterprise technology buyers participating include AMETEK, Pfizer, Vanguard, and AmerisourceBergen.

Technology Targets
Please apply if your company offers innovative technology in the following fields:

• Internet of Things
• Machine Learning
• Predictive Analytics

How to Participate

To be considered for a presentation slot, please submit a slide deck and the application below.  Please email your completed application to Kim Tuski at ktuski@philadelphiapact.com by September 25, 2017.   If approved, you’ll have 5 minutes to present your technology, service or product and another 5 minutes for Q&A.

Event Details:

THURSDAY, October 12, 2017
10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Vertex
2301 Renaissance Boulevard
King of Prussia, PA 19406

DOWNLOAD CUSTOMER CONNECT APPLICATION

Please fill out the PACT Customer Connect Application and submit to Kim Tuski. If you have any questions, contact Kim Tuski or Dianne Strunk.

Cyber Threats Hit New Jersey Hospitals – Hard

By Patty Brogdon of NIKSUN

An alarming trend is happening all over the nation with hackers breaking into hospital networks and stealing valuable patient data. This multi-billion dollar problem is hitting New Jersey particularly hard. In fact, according to NJ.com, approximately one million patients at New Jersey medical facilities have been compromised thus far and that number is expected to grow. While human theft and misplacement of servers and other equipment do account for a portion of that amount, the greatest threats to patient privacy occur over the network.

Why Do Hackers Target Hospitals?

While attacks on banks and financial institutions have an obvious motivation (that’s where the money is!), attacks on hospitals just seem cruel. Hospitals are places where people go when they are in need of medical attention, served by the medical staff that is trying to save lives. Even in war zones both sides usually stay away from medical targets and mash units. So why target such safe havens of humanity? It’s actually pretty simple.

The Hacker Marketplace

There exists a black market for which the stealing of credit card and personal information is in great demand. A hacker who gets a hold of an individual’s credit card number earns $1 for that financial record. But a hacker who steals an Electronic Health Record (EHR) earns $50 per record. The reason? Credit card companies and banks can quickly shut down a compromised credit card, while an EHR has a much longer shelf-life. Not only that, it contains much more sensitive information than just financial data, spiking its value within the hacker marketplace.

Ransomware on the Rise

Ransomware is the act of hackers infiltrating a hospital’s network, encrypting the data so that it is unusable to the medical staff, and then contacting the hospital with their demands. This desire most often manifests as hundreds of million dollars in exchange for the decryption key to decrypt the data back to its normal state. This is happening in hospitals all over the nation at alarming rates, and in most cases, hospitals pay the ransom to get their data back (or risk losing many more millions waiting for the crime to be solved) and then contact authorities after the fact.

How Do Hackers Break into Networks?

The most common way that hackers break in is with phishing attempts (fake emails impersonating a real company or individual). Once inside the network, these nefarious actors deposit “malware” which goes to work gathering the sensitive information in stealth mode – undetectable by traditional, reactive, methods of network security. Just as prevention habits are important in the health care industry, preventing malware and other attacks is perhaps the most critical step to secure a hospital’s network perimeter.

How Can Hospitals Protect Themselves?

There are four ways that hospitals can protect themselves from ransomware and malware attacks.

  • Continuous Backup. If a hospital runs a backup of their data continuously and a hacker breaks in and encrypts its main database, the hospital can simply restore the encrypted database with a backup (provided the backup has not also been hacked and encrypted.)
  • Encrypt their own data. This is beating ransomware attackers at their own game. Rather than be a sitting duck, hospitals can proactively encrypt their own data, making it useless to attackers on the black market. However, if the hackers get access to a PC or user account that has access to the contents of the database, such as an administrator or a doctor, then the hackers could still get to the records.
  • Educate employees. Many hackers get in through phishing emails – a legitimate looking email that contains a link that installs the malware. An uneducated employee would innocently click on the link without knowing it is a phishing scam. Instead, instruct all employees to hover over the link with their mouse, to see where it’s really going before clicking on it.
  • Install security appliances that are able to diligently monitor all network traffic, capture it in real-time, perform analysis, and alert security and network professionals when or if a breach is detected. The biggest benefit will be from security appliances that can also provide such in-depth visibility that you can actually stop the hackers from getting into the network in the first place.

Securing the Network is Key

As you can see, there is no fool proof way of circumventing this problem. What we have to do is to stop the hackers from getting into the network in the first place. Of the four methods above, number 4 is perhaps equally important and often ignored in practice because of a lack of understanding of all the ways that hackers get to the medical records. While backing up and encrypting data are useful proactive steps, a good hacker will still find their way around. Just as a virus evolves to render a medicine useless, cyber threats are constantly changing in order to find new ways around these known barriers.

Similarly, educating workers against phishing scams is a sure-fire way to reduce your susceptibility to these threats, but research has shown that this does not necessarily work in practice. Even after education, studies have shown that over 66% of people who just left the course on exactly this topic went back to their computers and clicked on test phishing links sent by the educators!

There needs to be a way to monitor the entire perimeter of the network with 100% visibility into what is going on within it. If you think about securing the famous Mona Lisa painting, for example, you wouldn’t have one or two cameras in place, you would have detection beams from all angles, alarms on every door, window or other access point, and a real-time monitoring system that not only sees all and knows all, but records the information for later playback and alerts you when something is amiss. This lets you and your system act in real-time to stop threats before they cost you tremendously.

New Jersey based company NIKSUN, Inc., does the same for your network. Protecting network data since 1997, the company recognizes the unique challenges of healthcare facilities, helping them to monitor, detect, and thwart malicious attacks that can cost hospitals millions – not only in dollars but in reputation. NIKSUN’s latest line of products have been rated five-out-of-five stars in cyber-forensics tests and are currently deployed to protect the US Department of Defense’s most critical systems, in addition to thousands of other networks.

“Not only are ransomware and data breaches serious threats, but compliance mandates such as HIPAA and protecting patient privacy are equally critical,” said Dr. Parag Pruthi, Founder and CEO of NIKSUN. “It is not only a mandate by federal and state regulations that is important for hospitals but also a moral obligation to protect individuals from greater harm while visiting a place of healing and sanctuary.”

NIKSUN offers healthcare facilities a complimentary and fully confidential evaluation of their “cyber threat network security assessment.” The evaluation is provided by a NIKSUN team of experts that checks access points and flow of network data, providing reports on any weaknesses and vulnerabilities found. Even if a healthcare facility chooses not to deploy NIKSUN for cyber threat security, the report is theirs to keep. For a free evaluation, contact NIKSUN.