Ben Franklin News

John Sider Named Managing Director of Statewide Initiatives for Ben Franklin Technology Partners

HARRISBURG, PA. The Ben Franklin Technology Partners (BFTP) has announced the appointment of John Sider as its Managing Director of Statewide Initiatives. Sider, former Deputy Secretary for Technology Investment for the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), will begin on November 1, 2010, succeeding Terry Singer who is retiring after nine years of service.

John Sider

The award-winning Ben Franklin Technology Partners program supports and executes Pennsylvania’s technology agenda, builds on regional strengths, and addresses the specific needs of diverse communities. BFTP is a statewide network that catalyzes entrepreneurship and technological innovation as drivers of economic growth. Operating regionally with four Partners strategically located in the Lehigh Valley, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and State College, Ben Franklin provides Pennsylvania companies with funding, business and technology expertise, and networks of proven resources. Ben Franklin’s comprehensive support helps early-stage technology companies to succeed, enables established companies to innovate and grow, and develops a vibrant entrepreneurial infrastructure that is critical to sustainable economic growth.

Since it was established in 1983, BFTP has become the gold standard in technology-based economic development, and has been modeled nationally and internationally. An independent study determined that the Ben Franklin Technology Partners returns $3.50 to the state treasury for every dollar invested in the program.

Sider will be responsible for managing statewide Ben Franklin activities and communications among external audiences and the centers to fully leverage accomplishments throughout Pennsylvania. Among its many collaborative projects, the statewide Ben Franklin network is involved with the continued implementation of Pennsylvania’s new Alternative Energy Development Program, the development of concepts to serve as the basis for federal innovation and entrepreneurship policies, and the continued leadership of the Innovation Partnership program, which assists start-up companies in securing federal, state, and other grants.

While DCED’s Deputy Secretary for Technology Investment, Sider played a key role in the delivery of Governor Rendell’s $335 million Alternative Energy Investment Fund to technology businesses and projects throughout the state. In an era of declining appropriations, Sider streamlined key programs, reduced duplication, and redeployed nearly $20 million of savings and investment income toward Pennsylvania innovation. Deputy Secretary Sider also supported the Commonwealth’s successful efforts to win more than $138 million of federal grant funding in the areas of broadband deployment, technology commercialization, and energy efficiency.

Prior to serving as Deputy Secretary, Sider was DCED’s Director of Venture Investment. He managed a $350 million venture capital portfolio of investments and incentives dedicated to increasing the amount of risk capital available to Pennsylvania entrepreneurs. Before his work with DCED, Sider was Lending Group Leader for Community First Fund, a Lancaster-based Community Development Financial Institution. In this role, he chaired the Fund’s loan committee, arranged financing for more than 200 start-up and established companies, and conducted more than a dozen nationally certified entrepreneurial training classes.

John Sider is a graduate of Wheaton College and earned his MBA from the Fox School of Business at Temple University.