Honoring Brenda Gavin and Empowering Women Entrepreneurs

In March, the venture community lost a friend, colleague and leader.  Brenda Gavin’s sudden death was tragic and reminds us all to not take a single day for granted.

If you didn’t know Brenda, she was a true pioneer in the venture community and respected leader across the entrepreneurial ecosystem.  Dedicated to life sciences investing, Brenda’s roots in venture date back to her time in the corporate venture world as President of S.R. One, GlaxoSmithKline’s venture capital unit, and then later as General Partner of EuclidSR Partners, an independent venture capital fund focused on healthcare and information technology.

After her time in the corporate venture world, Brenda struck out on her own to found Quaker Partners in Philadelphia.  Around the same time, Brenda was asked to serve on NVCA’s Board of Directors. Because of her long career in corporate venture, she was instrumental in getting NVCA to better embrace corporate venture and helped spearhead the creation of the NVCA Corporate Venture Group

To honor Brenda, Ben Franklin Technology Partners, the Alliance of Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) and the Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies (PACT) have joined forces in tribute to Brenda’s legacy by raising contributions to AWE Ventures-Powered by Ben Franklin in her name to support women-led enterprises specifically in the healthcare sector.  Best of all, the fund’s profits will be reinvested in an evergreen fashion so that Brenda’s legacy lives on.

If you don’t know AWE, you should.  Bridging a critical entry gap for any new enterprise, AWE Ventures raises crowdfunded, donation-driven capital exclusively for women-led startups and emerging enterprises.  Ben Franklin will invest in these companies via its well respected process, while engaging donors to the world of investments in early stage women-led enterprises.

To date, AWE Ventures has raised over $50,000 in Brenda’s honor and we are proud to help do our part by contributing in Brenda’s name.  If you are interested in contributing, you can do so here.  In addition, knowing that Brenda had a special place in her heart for the Philadelphia Zoo, we have also made a contribution to the zoo in her name as well.

We will miss Brenda but know her legacy will live on through the lives she’s touched and the contributions she made to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

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