Minority Angel Investor Network Celebrates One-Year Anniversary

November Marks the Formation of the Technology-Based Initiative

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 18, 2005 (PRIMEZONE) -- Throughout the nation there is a growing awareness and a great appreciation of the role that minority angel investors play in the technology economy.

The Minority Angel Investor Network (MAIN) -- which was created in November 2004 by Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/SEP) and its Minority Technology Advisory Board to invest in and provide support to high-growth, minority-owned companies in the greater Philadelphia region -- has quickly become the standard for other minority-focused angel networks.

"We are very excited about what MAIN has accomplished," said Terrence Hicks, Vice-President of Investment at BFTP/SEP and a MAIN co-founder. "We have been able to surpass most of our goals for this year and are off to a great start in making MAIN a robust organization."

In April 2005, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation awarded MAIN a $75,000 grant to develop a national model for establishing and growing similar minority-focused angel investing initiatives. To deepen its impact as a leader in minority-focused angel networks, MAIN accomplished the following during its first year:

 -- Hosted in Philadelphia the "The Power of Angel Investing," an
    exclusive workshop administered by the Kauffman Foundation that
    serves as a tutorial for emerging angels as well as a refresher
    course for more seasoned angels.  Kauffman praised the program as
    its "best to date" seminar;

 -- Grew membership to 19 private investors;

 -- Hosted a successful workshop with the Philadelphia Business
    Journal on the effective use of the news media;

 -- Participated on numerous panels, including the DealMakers Summit
    in Washington, D.C.;

 -- Qualified as a full member of the Angel Capital Association,
    North America's professional alliance of angel groups;

 -- Joined the Pennsylvania Angel Network;

 -- Joined a select group of angel networks offering its members the
    BFTP/SEP Ben Franklin Investment Partners' investment guarantee;

 -- Launched a new Web site -- www.main-usa.com to provide more
    information on the organization, and its recent events and news.

In honor of its one-year anniversary and accomplishments, the organization is planning a members-only celebration at the Pyramid Club in Philadelphia on December 9.

Since its inception, MAIN has held membership meetings every month, with at least one company presenting at each meeting. The meetings focus on investor education, deal sourcing, and resource sharing. Currently, MAIN has closed two deals -- one in nanotechnology, and the other in telecommunications. The closing on a third deal is imminent.

To maintain its momentum into the New Year, MAIN plans to actively pursue deals, increase its membership, and continue to provide education and professional development for minority entrepreneurs and investors, Hicks said.

"One major goal for 2006 is the creation of a model for the replication of MAIN in other cities. Interest has already been expressed by investors in New York and Washington, D.C. Such expansions will help ensure diversity in the technology marketplace."

About Minority Angel Investor Network

The Minority Angel Investor Network (MAIN) is a diversity-focused initiative of Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania and its Minority Technology Advisory Board. MAIN -- launched last year to increase the number of minority-owned technology companies in Ben Franklin's investment portfolio -- has distinguished itself as the first and only organized network of angel investors in the United States focused on investing in high-growth, minority-owned companies.

About Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania

Since 1982, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania has helped grow the region through science, technology and entrepreneurship. From its formation, BFTP/SEP has provided more than $110 million to over 1,400 regional enterprises through various funding means. Part of a statewide network in Pennsylvania, BFTP/SEP provides entrepreneurs and established businesses the capital, talent, and expertise they need to compete in the global marketplace. BFTP/SEP is a founding partner of the Nanotechnology Institute(tm) (NTI) and the Mid-Atlantic Nanotechnology Alliance (MANA(r)) and is funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's Department of Community and Economic Development.


Contact Data