State loans $3M to venture capital firm for investments in central, northern PA

The following article was published in the March 29, 2012 edition of Keystone Edge.

Williamsport, Erie, Harrisburg, Lancaster-York, State College

New and expanding businesses in the central and northern parts of the state now have more of a shot at getting the money they need to reach their goals.

The Commonwealth Financing Authority recently approved a $3 million loan to Penn Venture Partners, a Harrisburg venture capital firm that invests in companies in the Northern Tier, along with the central and south-central parts of the state. Steven Fishman, venture capital investment advisor with the state, says this loan made sense because the portions of the state outside of the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia areas – affectionately known as the T – often don’t get as much attention from traditional investors. “There’s a unique need for venture capital in the T,” Fishman says.

The $3 million is expected to fund investments in between three and six companies. Plans call for each investment to be between $500,000 and $1 million.

The companies that receive venture capital contributions will be chosen in part on their expectations to create jobs, Fishman says. The money is targeted at new and expanding businesses in sectors including education, software, energy and manufacturing.

The funders are expected to start examining investment opportunities in the coming months and could make their decisions in the next year or so, Fishman says.

Source: Steven Fishman, Department of Community and Economic Development
Writer: Rebecca VanderMeulen

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