News Flash

Chester County Government News

Posted on: December 21, 2017

Chester County establishes “Venture Chesco” Fund to Encourage Development of Start-up Companies

Retirement Board agreement Ben Franklin

Chester County Retirement Board and Ben Franklin Technology Partners of SE Pennsylvania partner in $4 million fund

The Chester County Retirement Board voted at this week’s Retirement Board Meeting to enter into a partnership with Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP), to invest $4 million in emerging and growing companies located in, or willing to locate to Chester County. The partnership, Venture Chesco, will see $2 million in County funds matched by $2 million in BFTP funds that will be used to invest in new technology companies and existing companies looking to apply new technologies to their business operations.  

Chester County Commissioners’ Chair Michelle Kichline, one of the five members of the Chester County Retirement Board commented: “Chester County has a long and positive history of supporting young companies that become major employers and significant contributors to the tax base of our County. But the competition to attract these young companies has become intense, so we must find innovative ways to support the companies that are here, and those who are looking to be here.

“We are pleased and excited that we have reached an agreement with BFTP which will double the impact of our County funds and allow us to invest even more in growing Chester County companies.”

The Chester County Retirement Board’s decision to enter into this partnership with Ben Franklin is led by the goals of the County’s 10-year economic development strategy, VISTA 2025, specifically to “Improve access to capital for start-ups and early stage business ventures.” The funds allocated by Chester County represent a small percentage of the overall pension fund, valued at $420 million in October 2017 – an investment deemed worthwhile to all members of the Retirement Board.  

“An entrepreneurial ecosystem is typically considered to have three elements:  a physical place for young companies to locate; access to mentorship and technical assistance; and access to capital,” said Chester County Commissioner and Retirement Board member Kathi Cozzone. “Chester County has a number of locations within incubator/accelerator settings and we have many options for technical assistance, but access to capital for young, start-up companies continues to be a real challenge. Venture Chesco will help respond to this challenge.”

Terence Farrell, Chester County Commissioner and Retirement Board Member, noted: “The use of a small percentage of the County’s pension fund for investment in Chester County companies that have a chance for significant growth gives us an ‘alternative investment’ asset class for our pension fund. Venture Chesco combines potential return on investment with helping to grow the next generation of strong local companies.”

Under the terms of the partnership agreement, Ben Franklin will use its proven experience to help identify companies and technologies suitable and appropriate for funding, and will manage the process of assessing the companies and the technologies for possible investment from the Venture Chesco fund.  

Speaking on behalf of Ben Franklin, President and CEO RoseAnn Rosenthal stated: “Ben Franklin is all about building partnerships and we are very pleased to join with Chester County on this new fund.  Venture Chesco will fill a critical early stage funding gap in the growth cycle of Chester County’s young companies and companies looking to apply technology to improve business performance – which will help add to the growing innovation culture in the county.”

PHOTO CAPTION: Seated left to right: Chester County Commissioner Terence Farrell; Chester County Commissioners’ Chair Michelle Kichline; Chester County Treasurer Ann Duke.  Standing, left to right: Chester County Controller Norman MacQueen and Chester County Commissioner Kathi Cozzone.


Chester County is the first county in Pennsylvania to initiate a strategic planning process and has a Aaa rating on its bonds from Moody’s Investors Service as well as AAA ratings from Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings.  Established by William Penn as one of Pennsylvania’s three original counties, Chester County has been named by and as one of America’s best places to raise a family and is ranked the healthiest county in Pennsylvania by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

About Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania
Ben Franklin combines best practices of venture capital with a public-spirited purpose: leading the region’s technology community to new heights, creating jobs and changing lives for the better. Ben Franklin is an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and is funded by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority.

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Chester County Government News


Information on Coronavirus

Posted on: March 2, 2020

Commissioners Establish Transition Team

Posted on: February 13, 2020
Chester Valley Trail in West Whiteland

Commissioners Highlight County Trails

Posted on: October 16, 2019

Overdose Awareness Day Ceremony

Posted on: August 26, 2019

Sheriff’s Office Scores Perfect 10

Posted on: January 25, 2019

Chester County preserves 500th farm

Posted on: January 2, 2019

VISTA 2025 Update

Posted on: November 17, 2018
Chester Valley Trail in West Whiteland

Chester Valley Trail West Meeting

Posted on: October 31, 2018
License your dog

Dog Licenses are Past Due for 2018

Posted on: April 24, 2018
new alex

Geography miscue continues magical odyssey

Posted on: November 21, 2017

Chester County Walks One BILLION Steps!

Posted on: October 10, 2017

Chester County Hosts Veterans’ Breakfast

Posted on: February 13, 2017
Love your Library Graphic.jpg

Take the "Love your Library" Survey

Posted on: February 10, 2017

Chester County introduces Smart911

Posted on: January 31, 2017
phome scam.png

Sheriff warns of phone scams

Posted on: January 5, 2017