$ 253 million in funding raised by i2n; will help create thousands of jobs in Chester County


EXTON – Leveraging the Chester County Economic Development Council’s Ideas x Innovation (i2n) network, which serves life science and advanced technology companies in Southeastern Pennsylvania, corporate clients of i2n have now exceeded the $ 250 million in funding raised.

“This translates to over a thousand jobs created, hundreds of patents filed and a huge downstream economic impact for the region,” said Patrick Hayakawa, vice president of innovation and marketing at Chester County. Economic Development Council (CCEDC). “Through its services, i2n provides its clients with the tools and connections necessary to raise capital and deploy that capital to advance their growth. This step includes both the grants and investor dollars that the i2n companies have raised, and their success is a testament to this style of economic development. “

i2n was formed in 2012 from the merger of the Keystone Innovation Zones of Chester and Delaware County, and today serves more than 100 entrepreneurial and tech companies annually in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Many of these companies featured on i2n’s acclaimed board of directors, regularly participate in the i2n Entrepreneur Roundtable, and have used pitch feedback through i2n’s open coaching program to leverage funding of all types. during their innovation journey, from pre-training to product launch and profitability. Sectors served include software, biotechnology, medical devices, digital health and cleantech.

“Individual i2n client companies not only benefit from up to $ 100,000 per year in Keystone Innovation Zone (KIZ) state tax credits, but they also benefit from an abundance of necessary services available. with i2n stakeholders, investors, educational institutions, experienced entrepreneurs and strategic advisors, ”said Guy Fardone, chairman of the i2n board and former CEO and founding partner of Evolve IP.

Notable i2n client companies past and present include YPrime, VenatoRx, Evolve IP, Navrogen, Curotec, EigenX, Unilog Content Solutions and Melior Discovery.

Some of the most recent successful venture capitalists include Sweft, a Philadelphia-based company that automates the process of launching new products online for large e-commerce retailers.

Following their presentation to the i2n board of directors and the i2n pitch coaching, Sweft won the ‘Best in Show’ award at PACT’s Phorum 2021 in April and is in the process of closing his last round table at 750 $ 000. Since June, Sweft has hired a CTO and a Director of Revenue. Sweft is currently interviewing for three software development positions.

According to Julie Bula, first founder and CFO of Sweft, former director of retail at Free People, “Surprisingly, some of the largest retailers in the country are still handling the workflow to fill out product detail pages online via their own outdated Excel spreadsheets. It’s incredibly inefficient and costs them sales and margins. We automate this process.

Bula credits i2n with providing the next level pitching support Sweft needed. “I2n has really helped us understand the best ways to pitch, in an environment where you can get feedback from other potential investors and entrepreneurs. They have helped us generate more buzz about our business in the local community, as well as doing our best in the wider market, ”said Bula.

Another recent achievement is i2n’s client company, SOLUtion Medical LLC. SOLUtion is developing a device that helps patients safely and effectively inject life-saving drugs that might otherwise require up to 14 steps of use for premixing. The first founder, president and chief strategy officer, Julia Anthony, was inspired by her own state of health, as well as that of her brother. Both require a backup auto-injector to treat congenital adrenal hyperplasia.

SOLUtion just successfully closed its round of funding at $ 860,000 (including $ 50,000 undiluted from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia), raised on a convertible note that has been oversubscribed. SOLUtion Medical is currently focusing on additional testing prior to submissions for FDA approval. The company has expanded its team with a new CEO, vice president of CMC and supply chain, and director of innovation and human factors.

According to Anthony, “i2n was a great resource for fundraising, brainstorming, as well as partnering and meeting other entrepreneurs in our space. Our presentation to the i2n board of directors resulted in a relationship with a crucial contact in large pharma. “

i2n is a public-private partnership that provides access to funding, workspace, mentorship and key business relationships. Financial support includes access to KIZ tax credits (up to $ 100,000 per year is salable); pitching, coaching and business development strategy; state and federal R&D tax credits; advice for SBIR and STTR applications; seed and transition funding for a regional network of individual and collective angel investors; $ 4 million from the ChesCo Venture Fund for Chester County Startups in partnership with Ben Franklin Technology Partners; and small business loans through state and federal programs at low fixed rates through Seedcopa.

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