MENLO PARK, CA – The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) today presented RoseAnn Rosenthal, President and CEO of Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania, with the 2018 American Spirit Award at the 2018 NVCA Leadership Gala.  Held at the Rosewood Sand Hill in Menlo Park, CA, the NVCA Leadership Gala celebrates the venture industry and honors those who have made significant contributions to foster innovation, advance technology and drive new company formation. 

“Governors, state lawmakers and economic development officers all want to know how to grow and strengthen their entrepreneurial ecosystems, and RoseAnn has the playbook to follow,” said Bobby Franklin, President and CEO of NVCA.  “The driving force behind the success of Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania since 1996, RoseAnn has significantly enhanced Ben Franklin’s capabilities to support the southeastern Pennsylvania ecosystem.  We salute RoseAnn for all she has done to support entrepreneurship in Pennsylvania and beyond and encourage others to look towards her work as a model of replication all across the country.” 

RoseAnn Rosenthal has over forty years of experience in business investment, regional planning, and economic development. Praised by regional leaders as an invaluable resource for the tri-state area, she has earned a strong international reputation with her development of innovative partnerships and extraordinary initiatives.

Rosenthal has significantly enhanced Ben Franklin’s investment, technology commercialization, and business service initiatives, creating initiatives that have brought the organization national and international recognition.  With a current portfolio of over 130 technology companies, BFTP continues to build upon its proven track record of seeding hundreds of southeastern Pennsylvania’s technology leaders across all areas of technology.  Since 1983, BFTP has worked with over 1750 regional technology enterprises, many of which have become leaders in the region’s growing technology sector. It provided over $165 million in seed capital to companies that went on to raise billions of follow on capital.

Today, BFTP manages the investment of both public and private funds in emerging and growing technology enterprises.  In addition, Rosenthal worked with BFTP partners across the Commonwealth and the Greater Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technology (PACT) to secure passage, in 2013, of Innovate in PA, a new state initiative that will provide $85Million for early stage investment.

Rosenthal has led and supported initiatives to stimulate angel investment in early stage technology companies including efforts focused on women- and minority-owned technology enterprises, and she championed BFTP’s engagement and investment in innovative regional accelerators and incubators, among them Dreamit Ventures, the PA Biotechnology Center of Bucks County and Project Liberty.  She led BFTP’s effort to create the Emerald Stage2 Venture Fund and continues to focus on new capital formation strategies.

About the American Spirit Award

The American Spirit Award was created to recognize NVCA members who have shown philanthropic leadership by applying business skills, knowledge, expertise and resources to make an outstanding contribution to society.

Previous recipients: Ray Leach, Jeff Fagnan, Robin Richards Donohoe, William Sahlman, Peter Bancroft, Chuck Newhall, Joe Aragona, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, John Doerr, Alan Patricof, William Bowes, Peter Wendell, Floyd Kvamme, William Draper III, Martin Koldyke and Gib Myers.