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Ben Franklin Tech Partners set to tap Indian startups

Pennsylvania to deepen partnership with Indian entrepreneurs across core sectors

Raghuvir Badrinath  |  Bengaluru 

The State of Pennsylvania, which is among the top states in doing business in the United States is looking to deepen its relationship with India through the much applauded Ben Franklin Technology Partners (BFTP) initiative.

This three-decade old programme's core focus is to provide with the financial and support resources they need to fuel innovation and growth in order to create high-value, sustainable jobs in Pennsylvania.

Wilfred H Muskens, Deputy Secretary for International Business Development, Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development, in an exclusive interview with Business Standard said that with scores of innovative startups in India, especially in Bengaluru, the BFTP initiative is a key resource through which entrepreneurs can work across the India-US connect.

“There are many start-ups who are targeting the US market and Pennsylvania is an ideal base for them. With BFTP, they can work forward on expansion in the US market and create a good spring-board in the highly lucrative US market,” Muskens told Business Standard.

BFTP, since its inception in 1983 has made more than 3,500 financial investments in Pennsylvania-based

“Many in BFTP portfolio were at the earliest stages of development when they first sought assistance, a time when funding is most critical and most difficult to obtain.

BFTP has been the first institutional investor for companies, providing seed capital for the initial product development and commercialisation efforts," Muskens added.

According to information available, various initiatives BFTP has boosted the economy of PA by more than $23.5 billion, generated 51,000 jobs in client firms, added 89,000 additional jobs beyond those in client firms, yielding a total of 140,000 new jobs attributable to BFTP's support.

Muskens added that in addition to this initiative, they are working closely with the bio-technology companies and mining & safety equipment market, the areas in which Pennsylvania is strong in.

“We house more than 2,000 companies who are involved in life sciences research, engineering medical devices and developing pharmaceuticals. The life sciences industry is thriving and PA is ranked third in the US for biotechnology employment and industry strength in drugs and pharmaceuticals," Muskens added.

He further noted that Life Sciences Greenhouses advance biotech and medical device start-ups by providing access to funding, investors and technical expertise.

“Since the inception of the Greenhouses, there has been a total investment of close to $68 million in more than 194 projects and has leveraged more than $3 billion in private funds, besides bringing 175 life-saving patient care products to the market," Muskens noted.

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First Published: Sun, December 07 2014. 20:48 IST