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Pennsylvania reinvesting venture capital profits

A Bethlehem venture capital firm is among four firms sharing $5.5 million in funding being released by the New PA Venture Capital Investment Program.

The money is coming from the returns from previous backed investments made by the state-backed program, which invests in early-stage businesses.

Activate Ventures, which is located on Research Drive in Bethlehem received $2.5 million.

Glenn Bressner, managing partner of Activate Ventures said the fund focuses on early-stage business ideas.

“We’re trying to identify extremely talented individuals with great ideas and help them make miracles,” Bressner said.

He said most of the investments the state makes into business startups is through venture capital firms, like his, or through agencies like the Ben Franklin Technology Partners.

He said Activate Ventures does more than just provide venture capital, though.

“It includes work with the companies to add value to them through strategic planning and sometimes through further investment,” he said.

Bressner said the state has provided money for Activate Ventures before and it’s helped the fund invest in more than 100 entrepreneurial efforts.

Also receiving funding is 1855 Capital of State College, Mountain State Capital General Partners LLC of Pittsburgh and NSH III GP LP (NewSpring Health) of Radnor. Those firms will receive $1 million each.

“Supporting small businesses means investing wisely in early-stage companies that just need a little bit of funding to take off,” said Gov. Tom Wolf in a press release. “Venture capital is a great way to do that.”

He said that the investments and assets of New PA Venture Capital are currently valued at 1.38 times the amount invested since the program began in 2006.

Writer Stacy Wescoe has her finger on the pulse of the business community in the Greater Lehigh Valley and keeps you up-to-date with technology and trends, plus what coworkers and competitors are talking about around the water cooler — and on social media. She can be reached at [email protected] or 610-807-9619, ext. 4104. Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook.

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