Posted January 14, 2015

New technology partnership sparks innovation and entrepreneurship

Jason Heritage/Ben Franklin Technology Partners
A tactile-imaging sensor created by Chang-Hee Won, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Temple, is a potential candidate for a startup company through the new Temple Ventures program.

Temple University and Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania are creating a new joint initiative to spark technological innovation and entrepreneurship in Greater Philadelphia. Temple Ventures—Powered by Ben Franklin is a $1 million startup accelerator designed to assist startup companies advancing Temple-created technologies.

A collaborative approach to advocacy for and funding of early-stage companies is essential for their growth, as well as the growth of the regional economy and technology sectors, according to the recent CEO Council for Growth report “Technology Transfer and Commercialization in Greater Philadelphia.” By forming this new partnership, Temple and Ben Franklin have taken a bold step in answering this charge, with each contributing $500,000 to the $1 million joint pool of funds to be invested in ventures developed from Temple’s discoveries in advanced technologies. Ben Franklin will manage the fund and provide mentoring and access to its networks to assist those early-stage ventures.

Temple Ventures features three main components: (1) a joint Temple/Ben Franklin Seed Fund for prototype and startup funding; (2) new-business-launch resources to support the formation of new Temple-created technology ventures; and (3) incubation services including workspace, professional resources, and management and commercialization guidance.

“Both Temple University and Ben Franklin were started by a vision that sought to fulfill the brilliant potential of the minds in this region. We’re delighted to work together in giving those minds the entrepreneurial resources to succeed,” said RoseAnn Rosenthal, CLA ’78, president and CEO of Ben Franklin.

Temple Provost Hai-Lung Dai commented, "For an inventor in a university, it’s critical to find the right partnership to bring his or her ideas into successful businesses. Ben Franklin is an effective venture partner that provides not only investment expertise but mentorship and strategic advice that can enable technologies developed at Temple to benefit society at large."

Over the past five years, Temple has created 13 startup companies to assist in developing university-created technologies for the marketplace. The university is expecting to significantly increase that number with the help of Temple Ventures.

“With our contributions in shared initiatives like the Nanotechnology Institute, Energy Commercialization Institute, and Water & Environmental Technology Center, Ben Franklin and Temple have built a shared reputation for taking charge in leading technological innovation that succeeds,” said Michele Masucci, vice provost for research at Temple. “Through Temple Ventures, we are excited to partner in building the startups that will share that reputation throughout the world.”

The $1 million commitment is for the initial pilot, with intent to commit an additional $1 million annually for up to five years following the initiative’s launch. Temple’s funding contribution to the initiative will be from royalty revenues obtained from the previous licensing of Temple-created technologies.

More on the initiative can be found at