Ben Franklin News

Ben Franklin Venture Idol: High-Stakes Deal Making

November 8th Event Also Features a Deal Negotiation Simulation

The television show Shark Tank® has brought the art of venture capital investing into everyone’s living room. But what happens between the entrepreneur and investor to bring a deal to life? Only 27% of the “deals” that are shown on-air actually happen at the agreed-upon terms, and nearly half never happen at all.* It turns out that the real drama takes place after the show is over.

At this year’s Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania Venture Idol, the keynote presentation will actually be a simulation. Investment banker and Lehigh University professor, Dale Falcinelli, will facilitate a “deal negotiation” between venture capitalist, Doug Petillo, General Partner, Leading Edge Ventures, and founder, Michael Stocker, CEO, Snowvation, Inc.

Put yourself in the shoes of each and learn a little about what happens after the cameras stop filming. Audience members will experience the high stakes game of a start-up – particularly during a capital raise and term sheet negotiation, when both sides must somehow find middle ground to agree.

Ben Franklin Venture Idol is a cross between Shark Tank and American Idol® that illustrates a significant way in which entrepreneurs obtain seed capital for their early-stage firms. Ben Franklin Technology Partners will host its annual Ben Franklin Venture Idol on Thursday evening, November 8.

About thirty-five accredited investor judges will select three start-up technology entrepreneurs from the contestants during an afternoon session prior to the evening event. After the High-Stakes Deal Making session, the three finalists will present their companies.

Following short critiques from a new panel of accredited investors, the audience members will “fund” the companies. With $100 of “Ben Bucks,” each guest will distribute his or her “investment dollars” in whole or part among the three finalists, crowd-funding style. Ben Franklin will award $15,000 in real dollars to the companies based on the audience vote.

The event begins at 5:30 PM with executive networking. The program starts at 7:00 PM, and additional networking will take place afterwards. Ben Franklin Venture Idol will take place at Ben Franklin TechVentures®, Lehigh University’s Mountaintop Campus, 116 Research Drive, Bethlehem. Registration is available at — $40 in advance and $50 on the day of the event.

* Forbes: