There are many challenges facing future founders across Pennsylvania, including a lack of knowledge about entrepreneurship, limited availability of capital, a lack of access to specialized resources, networks and support systems, and limited opportunities for engagement from experienced advisors and businesspeople.

For people of color and women entrepreneurs, these barriers are often higher, with a disproportionate lack of capital and more limited networks, connections, and access to resources in the startup and funding communities. Research continues to reinforce that these barriers hold back founders.

In the summer of 2022, Ben Franklin Northeast launched the Future Founders Initiative (formerly known as the New Generation Tech Internship Program).

  • Mission: to enhance the diversity of our region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by creating technology career pathways for underrepresented groups
  • Strategy:
    • Outreach: Develop and strengthen collaborations with organizations and institutions to promote entrepreneurship and technology careers for people of color and women throughout our region
    • Internships: Facilitate a full-time, 12-week paid internship program that connects college students from underrepresented groups with our Ben Franklin Northeast tech startups. The startup receives $5,000 to fund the internship.
  • Vision: foster a more inclusive and equitable startup workforce and inspire a new wave of women founders and founders of color by supporting them with the experience and resources that they need to succeed

To sponsor the Future Founders Initiative, please contact: Angelo Valletta, President and CEO at 610.758.5211