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Ben Franklin Technology Partners, the Philadelphia-based, state-backed early stage tech company investment group headed by Roseann Rosenthal, says it pumped a total of $2.6 million into 13 Philadelphia-area companies in the last three months of 2017, and names 12 of the 13 recipients here. And the Broad Street Angels Investing Company, a group of Union League club members who invest together under the guidance of the same Roseann Rosenthal, last month announced five additional companies it backed with $1.01 million in 2017.
The Ben Franklin investments, averaging $200,000:
Nuvanna (Chadds Ford, Delaware County) — Alvaro Vaselli’s online mattress sales firm.
RightAir (Philadelphia) — Helps chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients “breath easy again.” Founded at Penn’s Wharton business school by Jacob Brenner, CEO is Marek Swoboda.
AgileSwitch LLC (Philadelphia) — Developing silicon-carbide (SiC) and insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) switches for electric cars, alternative energy hookups, batteries, “and other high-reliability markets.” Run by founders Rob Weber and Albert Charpentier.
LeagueSide (Philadelphia) — “The largest youth-sports marketing platform in the country with access to over $35 million worth of available jersey placement inventory.” Helps Uberg, Cigna, and other national brands market through your kids’ sports teams. Run by cofounders Evan Brandoff and Zubin Teherani.
Grassroots Unwired (Bristol, Bucks County) — Helps the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and “progressive” groups target voters and donors through their mobile phones. Founder and CEO is Russ Oster.
Cognitive Operational Systems (Philadelphia) — Uses Google Street View-type location technology plus driverless-car robotics to automate retail stores, replacing human labor. Run by founder Jonas Cleveland and Penn professor Kostas Daniilidis, who formerly ran the GRASP robotics lab at the University of Pennsylvania engineering school, and helped found online-mapping company kapou.gr.
InvisAlert Solutions (Warminster, Bucks County) — “Has developed a patent-pending technology that delivers patient monitoring compliance and risk management for inpatient [behavioral] health care” through ObservSmart, which observes patients “around-the-clock … at 15-minute intervals.” Led by Peter Nagy, CEO.
Social Ladder (Philadelphia) — “Building the world’s first on-demand network of sales agents and brand ambassadors” via its SocialLadder mobile app. Users “engage in a game that rewards them for promoting events and brands.” Says it applies “artificial-intelligence techniques” to match users with “relevant products to promote.” Direct sales by users totaled $5 million in 2016. Cofounders Raavi Iqbal and Alana Bly.
VitalTrax (Philadelphia) — Builds “patient-centric solutions” including cloud-based “PatientWing, a clinical-trial network that connects patients with clinical trials” for drug companies. Founder is Zikria Syed.
Isoma Diagnostic (Philadelphia) — A “highly accurate diagnostic test” to identify the four forms of glioblastoma multiforme, a deadly brain cancer. Founder and CEO is Steven Davis.
Quantitative Radiology Solutions (Philadelphia) — Automated analysis of medical images. Helps guide cancer radiation treatments, to reduce side effects. Technology developed at the University of Pennsylvania. Joe Camaratta is CEO.
Innovative Supply Solutions (Southampton, Bucks County) — “Accurate, cost-effective systems” for drug clinical trials and drug-supply chain. CEO is Adam Warren.
The five Broad Street Angels targets, collected around $200,000 each, with some based outside the Philly area:
FischerBlock (West Chester, Chester County) — Power-system data-collection automation, using internet-of-things gadgets. CEO is Greg Wolfe.
Huntress (Baltimore, Md.) — Hacker detection. CEO is Kyle Hanslovan.
Indigo Biosciences (State College, Pa.) — Freezes cells for shipping and storage, for medical-industry applications. CEO is Fred Marroni, founders are Dr. Jack Vanden Heuvel and Dr. Blake Peterson.
NeuroFlow (Philadelphia) — Digital mental-health treatment platform. Founder and CEO is Christopher Molero.
ZSX (Philadelphia) — Surgical-incision closing system. Founder and CEO is Dan Mazzucco.