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Venture Capital
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  • Here are the Investor speakers from our Sold-Out PA Venture Capital Breakfast, sponsored by Wolf Block. This event was in Philadelphia on Wed, Sept 24, 2003.

    Alan Kraus, Senior Dir. of Investments, Ben Franklin Technology Partners Alan Kraus, Senior Dir. of Investments, Ben Franklin Technology Partners

    Alan Kraus is the Senior Director of Investments and Entrepreneurial Services at the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania. He manages a department with an active $17.6 million investment portfolio in more than 120 seed and early stage regional companies across a wide range of technologies. Within this portfolio, he has direct responsibility for nearly 40 companies comprising the $6 million currently invested in the Information Technology sector. In addition to being closely involved with applicants prior to formal funding decisions, once a company receives a Ben Franklin investment, Alan, supported by a highly skilled group of independent portfolio manager consultants as well as his colleagues at Ben Franklin, assists in coaching the company in numerous areas including fundraising, financial statement analysis, business plan and marketing materials development, and on-going strategic and implementation planning.

    Prior to joining Ben Franklin in 1998, Alan was the Manager of Resource Development and a Business Consultant at the Temple University Small Business Development Center. He has also been a traveling sales representative for women’s accessories, and an entrepreneur, helping to found Optimum Executive Search, a Silicon Valley firm specializing in the placement of software professionals.

    Alan received his MBA at Temple University and his BBA from the University of Michigan.

    Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania is dedicated to growing the region through science, technology and entrepreneurship. Now commemorating 20 years of innovation excellence, Ben Franklin provides entrepreneurs and established businesses the capital, talent, and expertise they need to compete. Like its namesake, Ben Franklin invests in, builds upon and delivers solutions that grow communities and create new wealth by supporting today's technological ideas and tomorrow's scientific discovery.

    Photo of Glen Bressner, Partner, Mid Atlantic Venture Funds Glen Bressner
    Managing Partner
    Activate Venture Partners
    Read the full profile for Glen here!
    Activate Venture Partners
    He has been a venture capitalist for over 30 years, has participated in more than 100 equity financings and has served as a Director or Board Observer of over 30 companies.

    Mr. Bressner served as part of the co-founding team of the NEPA Venture Funds in 1985 and has been an active investor in the region from Pennsylvania through New Jersey into Metro NYC ever since. In 2008, he co-founded Originate Growth Fund I (OG1) and serves as its Managing Partner. In 2017, he co-founded Activate Ventures II as the successor to OG1 and represents his sixth fund. Mr. Bressner served on the Board of Directors of the Greater Philadelphia Venture Group (now called PACT) for several years and was selected to be its Chairman during 1996-1997. He has been a member of the Investment Advisory Committee for the Southeast Ben Franklin Technology Partnership for over 25 years and was awarded the Entrepreneurial Advocate of 2000 by the Northeast Tier Ben Franklin Technology Partnership. He is a past member of the Board of Governors for Philadelphia-based St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children.

    Presently, Mr. Bressner is Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Audit Committee of Innovative Solutions & Support, Inc. (NASDAQ: ISSC) and a board member and Chairman of the Nominating and Governance Committee of Tabula Rasa Healthcare, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRHC). He has been the original investor in a number of other successful companies that were founded in the funds’ targeted region including IQE plc (LSE: IQEP), CareGain (acquired by Fiserv), UltraCision (acquired by J&J), Ravisent (RVST), Access Health (acquired by McKesson), MicroE (acquired by General Scanning Group), Visual Networks (VNWK) and AnyTime Access (acquired by Digital Insight).

    He is co-founder of Leader Lehigh Valley, a 501(c)(3) organization which is providing The Leader in Me to approximately 50 elementary and middle schools in the Greater Lehigh Valley.

    Mr. Bressner holds a B.S.B.A., cum laude, from Boston University where he lettered in varsity basketball. He also received an M.B.A. from Babson College.

    Photo of Guy Winters, Principal & General Counsel, PA Early Stage Partners Guy Winters, Jr.
    General Counsel and Principal
    PA Early Stage
    Read the full profile for Guy here!
    PA Early Stage
    Mr. Winters joined PA Early Stage in April 2000. Mr. Winters is a licensed attorney in Pennsylvania and has practiced corporate law for over eight years. From 1994 to 1996, he worked as an associate in the Mergers and Acquisitions Department of Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy, New York. While at Milbank, Mr. Winters worked on a variety of large corporate transactions, including public offerings of debt and equity, mergers, acquisitions, tender offers and proxy fights. From 1996 to April 2000, he worked as an associate in the Business and Finance Department of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, Philadelphia. While at Morgan, Lewis, Mr. Winters gained substantial experience in public offerings, mergers and acquisitions and the representation of venture capital funds. He was the lead associate on several large merger transactions, including the merger of AANetcom with PMC-Sierra, the merger of Morecom with Liberate, the merger of Safeskin with Kimberly Clark and the merger of CMAC with Amerin. Mr. Winters also represented Rohm and Haas with respect to a 144A private placement of $2 billion in debt in June 1999, Cephalon, Inc. with respect to a private placement of $125 million of equity in August 1999, Esperion Therapeutics with respect to the filing of its initial public offering in February 2000, and VerticalNet with respect to Microsoft’s $100 million investment in April 2000. Mr. Winters is responsible for all legal-related functions at PA Early Stage, including document production and review, due diligence, deal structuring and exit strategies. He holds a BA degree from Rutgers College and a JD degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Young Scholars Charter School.

    Edward F. Sager, Jr., President, Mentor Capital Partners, Ltd. Edward F. Sager, Jr., President, Mentor Capital Partners, Ltd.

    Edward F. Sager, Jr. has been engaged in venture capital, merchant banking, leveraged buyouts, debt and equity financing, mergers, acquisitions, underwriting initial public offerings and providing strategic as well as operating assistance to a variety of companies in all stages of development for over 25 years. Among 10,000 professionals who comprise the institutional venture capital industry, less than one percent have such tenure. In 1994 he co-founded Mentor Capital Partners, Ltd.

    In 1983, Mr. Sager founded and was Managing General Partner of one of the first venture capital funds in the Mid-Atlantic Region. From 1976 to 1983, Mr. Sager was a Vice President of the Sprout Group, the private equity investing arm of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jennette. While at DLJ, Mr. Sager’s responsibilities included the formation and management of Sprout Capital Corporation, a Small Business Investment Company (SBIC). For four years prior to DLJ, Mr. Sager was an officer at CoreStates/First Pennsylvania Bank in the Special Finance Division, which specialized in loans with equity participations in venture-level companies.

    Prior to his concentration in venture capital financing, Mr. Sager held operating positions in nuclear power plant construction with Westinghouse Electric Corporation; served as sales engineer with Duriron Company, a manufacturer of pumps and valves; and was assistant product manager in personal care products with Colgate-Palmolive Company. Mr. Sager holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Lafayette College and a MBA in Finance and Marketing from New York University Graduate School of Business.

    Moderator: David Gitlin, Chair Corporate/Securities, Wolf Block

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