7 Greater Philadelphia Angel Investors and Venture Firms You Should Know
By Steve Surdez
March 7, 2023
In 2021, Philadelphia area life sciences companies corralled approximately $1.1B in venture funding, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal. This represented a 250% jump from 2020, as per Big4Bio Philadelphia.
And from 2018 to 2022, according to a recent Investment Monitor story, a whopping $4.2B in venture capital funding was poured into the Philadelphia cell and gene therapy sector.
To say that the Philadelphia life sciences sector has been on a great venture capital run is putting it mildly.
The entities driving these eye-popping numbers are varied, as Greater Philadelphia life sciences companies draw interest and capital investments from national and global organizations as well as a strong, established and ecosystem-loyal cadre of regional angel investors and venture capital firms.
We took a look at some of these local and regional life sciences investors that are helping to build a thriving Philadelphia bioscience cluster. Here are BioBuzz’s 7 Greater Philadelphia area angel and venture firms to watch in 2023 and beyond.
Robin Hood Ventures
Established in 1999, Robin Hood Ventures is a leading Mid-Atlantic angel investment group with headquarters in Philadelphia. The organization focuses its funding efforts on early-stage, high-growth potential startups within a few hours drive of Philadelphia. Robin Hood is a syndicate of venture capitalists and angel and institutional investors. Typical funding generally ranges between $500K to $1M. The organization also offers its portfolio companies deal structuring, legal, accounting and executive search services.
Robin Hood’s life sciences portfolio currently includes 16 companies.
Delaware Crossing Investment Group
Delaware Crossing Investor Group (DCIG) is a network of former and current executives and entrepreneurs who provide counsel and capital to early-stage companies. Over the past 13 years, DCIG members have backed entrepreneurs and their companies with investment capital and key domain expertise across a wide array of industries. Most of DCIG’s investments are in the Mid-Atlantic Region and often in conjunction with other angel groups and early stage venture capitalists.
Founded in 2005, DCIG has 26 members and currently has 60 portfolio companies. DCIG invests primarily in high growth potential tech and life sciences companies in the Mid-Atlantic region. Typical funding ranges between $250K to $1.5M with most investments per round at about $250K and will partner with other investment groups as part of larger funding tranches.
Ben Franklin Technology Partners
Founded in 1983, Ben Franklin Technology Partners (BFTP) is an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. The BFTP has a highly successful and long track record of supporting early stage technology companies with funding opportunities, business and technical expertise as well as access to a large network of industry partners and experts.
The BFTP has four regional headquarters and ten satellite offices, including a location in Philadelphia. According to the organization’s website, the “BFTP is proud of the 3.6-to-1 return on investment that the organization has yielded for every state dollar invested.
Dreamit Ventures has locations in Philadelphia and New York; the VC firm funds companies in the Healthtech and Securetech (cyber security, risk, compliance) spaces. Its Healthtech arm focuses on digital health, medical device, and diagnostics startups. Dreamit company founders have myriad opportunities to meet, pilot, and partner with leading health systems, payers, pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers, and self-insured employers.
Dreamit funds startups that have started to generate revenue or that have pilots ready to scale. In addition to funding, Dreamit works with its portfolio companies to pressure test all aspects of a company including go-to-market strategy, pricing, sales and growth strategies, and more to establish clear goals for accelerating your customer pipeline and raising capital. The Dreamit Healthtech team provides critical feedback and insights during weekly meetings.
BioAdvance is a $80-million early-stage life sciences fund with a focus in the mid-Atlantic region, investing in companies that have the potential to improve human health. Since making its first investments in 2003, BioAdvance has committed more than $55 million in funding to approximately 100 organizations developing more than 160 products in the diagnostics, therapeutic, medtech, research tools and digital health sectors. BioAdvance portfolio companies have leveraged $3.8 billion in subsequent capital, including proceeds from acquisitions. Eleven products have received FDA approval.
BioAdvance invests at two stages of a company’s lifecycle. With its renewed “pilot” strategy, up to $200,000 is invested in companies that seek to accomplish one or more critical milestones that enable a subsequent, larger institutional fundraising round. Standard BioAdvance venture investments in Seed and Series A rounds are substantially larger at up to $1.5 million initially and up to $5 million in the lifetime of companies and often made as part of a syndicate of investors.
In 2022, BioAdvance invested nearly $5M in eight early stage life sciences companies, the most it has invested in a decade.
Chestnut Street Ventures
Chestnut Street Ventures is a venture capital fund for alumni of the University of Pennsylvania that invests in companies with a connection to the university. The fund is composed of UPenn alumni, including investors, executives, entrepreneurs, and innovation enthusiasts, that believe in investing in entrepreneurial alums who are building the future.
Chestnut Street Ventures raises a new fund each year and invests in a wide swath of sectors, including healthtech and the life sciences. According to the organization, it is the 3rd most active VC fund in the world.
Rittenhouse Ventures is an emerging growth venture fund focused on innovative software solutions that power enterprises in healthcare, life sciences, financial services, human resources, and general business services. With a unique combination of right-sized investments, deep expertise, and a proven track record, the company optimizes capital and growth strategies for entrepreneurs. Investing across the Mid-Atlantic region, Rittenhouse Ventures builds long-term partnerships with entrepreneurs, leveraging its extensive local network to our portfolio’s advantage.
Rittenhouse Ventures initial investment target is approximately $1M.
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Steve brings nearly twenty years of experience in marketing and content creation to the WorkForce Genetics team. He loves writing engaging content and working with partners, companies, and individuals to share their unique stories and showcase their work. Steve holds a BA in English from Providence College and an MA in American Literature from Montclair State University. He lives in Frederick, Maryland with his wife, two sons, and the family dog.