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CAN DO, Inc., and its economic development counterparts in Wilkes-Barre and Scranton are aggressively promoting entrepreneurship throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania through the formation of the NEPA Venture Partnership.

NEPA Venture PartnershipThe NEPA Venture Partnership is a regional economic development model that brings together all of the various support mechanisms and resources fostering an entrepreneurial culture in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

“In a down economy, a lot of smart people tend to be looking for work. Sometimes these folks invent things, own patents, and want to start their own companies, and unemployment provides the motivation to take that next step in starting a business. NEPA Venture Partnership represents a regional initiative to expand our existing business incubators by adding venture capital and technical assistance to budding entrepreneurs,” said Christina Hitchcock, business development administrator at The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce.

To promote entrepreneurship in Northeastern Pennsylvania, there will be two major events on Nov. 4 and 5.

First, on Wednesday, Nov. 4, the Mid-Atlantic Angel Group (MAG), an early stage investment fund in which all three local economic development organizations invest in, will host its monthly meeting at the Hilton Scranton and Conference Center, 100 Adams Ave., in downtown Scranton. The three local economic development organizations have each invested in MAG as a way to promote entrepreneurship and encourage applications for funding in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Companies that have submitted proposals to MAG for investment and have passed the screening test will present to the MAG investors for the chance to receive early stage investment equity capital.

NEPA Venture Partnership is encouraging accredited investors throughout the region to attend to gain an understanding of how the fund operates, how early stage investment helps entrepreneurs move from concept to commercialization, and how the potential return on investment for investors is calculated. Seating is limited, so interested investors should contact the NEPA Venture Partnership at
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to reserve a seat.

The second event will be held on Thursday, Nov. 5, when Ben Franklin Technology Partners will host “Ben Franklin Venture Idol” at the Hilton Scranton and Conference Center, 100 Adams Ave., in downtown Scranton.

Venture Idol is a daylong event illustrating significant ways in which early stage entrepreneurs seek and obtain seed capital from venture capitalists. It will include a venture capital version of speed dating, followed by a luncheon with a keynote address given by Jack Tighe, CEO and founder of TMG Health, a successful business outsourcing firm based in Scranton. The day will conclude with a Venture Idol competition with insights from the region’s most successful entrepreneurs.

The winners of Venture Idol will receive cash prizes. For more information, visit

Bernie DeBias, CAN DO’s director of economic development, said the timing of the events couldn’t be better.

“A study completed by Global Insight in 2007 showed that venture capital-backed companies created more than 10.4 million jobs in 2006, and associated companies had revenue of $2.3 trillion. Investment capital is as important to entrepreneurs in the early stage and growth stages as real estate has been to manufacturing economies.”

For more information about the November events and the NEPA Venture Partnership, visit