After raising roughly $10 million, a startup venture fund in York has disclosed an inaugural round of investments.
- White Rose Ventures has plowed $1.73 million into companies in Lancaster, Harrisburg and York
- The firm also unveiled a nonprofit, Braided River Collective, designed to support entrepreneurs around the region.
- They mark the firm’s biggest public moves since White Rose Ventures was founded in 2020 by Alexa Born and Martin Fedorko as a means of funneling much-needed capital to the region’s entrepreneurs.
Who was funded: Four companies that may be familiar to those who follow the region’s startup scene. They are (followed by White Rose’s investment):
- CyberconIQ($830,000). The York-based company provides cyber security training that blends tenets of psychology, sociology and organizational behavior.
- Naqi Logix ($200,000). Conceived at Harrisburg University of Science & Technology, the company has offices in the capital city and in Vancouver, British Columbia. It is developing earbud technology that would allow people to control computerized devices with small gestures.
- Pledge It ($200,000). The Harrisburg-based company operates an online fundraising platform tailored for athletes.
- Reflexion ($500,000). The Lancaster-based company has developed a neuro-training platform that helps athletes improve their performance and recover from injuries.
What’s next: Fedorko said he and Born are looking for more companies in which their fund can invest.
- Braided River Collective, meanwhile, has revived Keystone Merge, a monthly event for entrepreneurs that rotates between Harrisburg, Lancaster and York.
- After a pause during the Covid-19 pandemic, the first Keystone Merge meeting was held in York last night. The next is scheduled for March 3 in Harrisburg followed by an April event in Lancaster.
- The nonprofit also is collaborating with York College on a study of the entrepreneur experience in York.
- Born is the nonprofit’s executive director, while Fedorko is the treasurer.
- Board members include Anne Kirby of Lancaster-based The Candy Factory; Dommonick Chatman of York-based consulting firm The Chatman Group LLC; and consultant Elaine Bonneau, former director of Downtown Inc in York.
-by Joel Berg, editor of biznewsPA