PA Announces $4.5 Million in New Funding for Diverse Philadelphia Start-Up Tech Companies

Media Outlet



Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Acting Secretary Neil Weaver and the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority (BFTDA) announced today that $5 million through the Diverse Leaders Venture Program has been approved for two Philadelphia-based venture capital firms that will use the funding to provide loans to underrepresented entrepreneurs.


This is the first series of funding approved from the Diverse Leaders Venture Program, a component of the Pennsylvania State Small Business Credit Initiative (PA-SSBCI), which received funding through the American Rescue Plan Act, and provides loans to venture capital general partners of diverse status to invest in Pennsylvania small businesses. The loan will be matched by private funding.

Innovate Capital Growth Fund LP was awarded $2.25 million to target investments of up to $3 million in up to 25 companies each year. The fund will provide loans to growth-stage companies that are already generating revenues with a focus on underrepresented entrepreneurs in Philadelphia. The fund is being established by Della Clark, president and CEO of The Enterprise Center (TEC), Blessy Thomas, Project Director at TEC, and Bob Palmer, Founder and former Managing Director of CMS Mezzanine Debt Fund.