Bethlehem venture capital firm gets $2.5M to invest in start-ups

A Bethlehem-based company is one of two Pennsylvania venture capital firms that will make investments in early-stage technology companies, with help from $2.5 million from the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority via the state Department of Community and Economic Development.

Activate Ventures III LP is a fund that will target investments of $1 million to $5 million in approximately 30 early-stage technology companies, with an emphasis on health care-related software businesses led by tenured entrepreneurs.

The group of investors leading Activate will include Managing Partners Glenn Bressner and Todd Pietri, formerly of Milestone Venture Partners. Joining them will be Pietri’s former Milestone Partner, Edwin A. Goodman, and fellow Bethlehem venture capitalist Jeff Davidson.

The mission of the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority is to encourage and coordinate programs and investments, which advance the competitiveness of Pennsylvania’s companies and universities in the world economy. It is one of the oldest and most emulated state technology development programs in the nation, a release said.

Rick Siger, acting secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development, added: “This funding will create opportunities for early-stage technology companies to grow right here in Pennsylvania, and ensure the commonwealth remains an economic leader driving innovation on a global scale. DCED is proud to work with the BFTDA to provide funding to companies at the cutting edge of industries that drive our economy forward. Investments like these are key to the future of Pennsylvania.”

Lehigh Valley B-Corp offering green investment opportunity

Lehigh Valley and Denver-based National Energy Improvement Fund LLC (NEIF), which is a Certified B-Corp energy efficiency and resilience improvement lender, has launched the sixth round of an investment program targeted at smaller investors.  

Go Greener Preferred Investment Certificates are a Regulation Crowdfunding offering on the RaiseGreen impact investment platform. 

The investment program is geared towards those who wish to earn a fixed return while supporting NEIF’s mission of financing the transition to efficient and resilient homes and businesses.  

The five previous rounds all exceeded their funding targets. 

Formerly called Climate Action Investment Certificates, Go Greener Preferred Investment Certificates are offered under Regulation CF through RaiseGreen, Inc, an SEC and FINRA licensed Funding Portal.  

The certificates have a minimum investment level of $1,000 and pay a 7% annual return with 28 scheduled quarterly payments.  

“We are excited to be able to continue to broaden the audience for investment in clean energy and building resilience,” said Peter Krajsa, NEIF co-chair and founder.

Pa. long-term care facilities receive nearly $12 million investment from DOH

To help long-term care facilities build resilience to sustain quality care as the population ages, the Department of Health (DOH) announced plans to distribute approximately $11.7 million in federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) funding. 

Acting Secretary of Health and Pennsylvania Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson said in a statement the investments will contribute to the long-range success of facilities that care for Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable residents. 

“These funds will be invested in key areas including workforce development, staff retention, and infrastructure developments that support infection prevention control and emergency preparedness.” 

The “Long-Term Care Quality Investment Pilot Request for Applications (RFA)” is open to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), personal care homes (PCHs), assisted living facilities (ALFs), and intermediate care facilities (ICFs). Facilities must be enrolled by Dec. 9 in the state’s LCT RISE program’s quality improvement work initiative to be eligible to receive funding. 

Philadelphia facilities are not eligible for this funding, as the Philadelphia Department of Public Health received its own funding. The application deadline is 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2022. Funds are anticipated to be awarded in the second quarter of 2023.