Innovation Funding

Innovation Funding at Temple University

Temple University has established a continuum of funding available for Temple’s commercialization and startup opportunities.  These include in-house technology development funds to programs that invest in companies spun out of the university.  Spinout companies have access to early stage funding offered by Temple Ventures—Powered by Ben Franklin and venture capital offered by the SmarTemple Innovation Fund.  The following illustrates how the funding programs contribute to the technology development pathway:

Temple Ventures—Powered by Ben Franklin

Temple University and Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania have developed a joint initiative: Temple Ventures—Powered by Ben Franklin. The initiative is a $1 million startup accelerator designed to help create independent startup ventures in the greater Philadelphia area from Temple-based technologies. Temple and Ben Franklin are investing both capital and consulting resources to develop great ideas into promising businesses.

Temple Ventures features three main components:

  • A joint Temple/Ben Franklin Seed Fund for prototype and startup funding
  • New business launch resources to support the formation of the new Temple-created technology ventures
  • Incubation services to provide workspace, professional resources, and management and commercialization guidance

Application Process

Temple will identify potential technologies well-suited for seed capital and strategic development from its various departments and labs. Ben Franklin will utilize its capital, counsel, and connections to help develop commercialization strategies from those technologies, and provide critical access to the region’s broader technology investment community. Together, Temple and Ben Franklin will invest in those companies from the combined seed fund. $1 million has been committed for the program’s pilot, with intent for an additional $1 million per year for the next five years.  Applications can be submitted here.

SmarTemple Innovation Fund

Temple University and SmartVentures established a $10M fund that will offer the next stage of investment (i.e. first round of venture capital) and participate with Temple’s existing early stage investment programs, including Temple Ventures—Powered by Ben Franklin and other partner technology accelerators such as the Science Center and AmpTech.  Temple and SmartInvest, the capital arm of SmartVentures, have each contributed $5M to the fund.  SmartInvest’s mission is to grow the most successful and prolific early stage venture fund focused on providing “graduation capital” to high growth startup opportunities.  These startups will be able to leverage SmartInvest’s global network of businesses, entrepreneurs and investors, including the firm’s established operations in Ireland and Israel, and benefit from the following programs:

  • Life’s a Pitch, an event designed to provide inventors and entrepreneurs the opportunity to “pitch” their technologies live to a panel of investors, commercialization and business experts.
  • SmartBase focuses on nurturing entrepreneurial talent.
  • SmartStart grows business through mentorship, executive development and angel investment.

Application to the Program

Application to the program includes a presentation at Life’s of Pitch.  This is an all-day event that accomplishes the following:

  • A live pitch of technologies by inventors or entrepreneurs
  • Discusses business concept and technology in groups with investors, commercialization and business experts
  • Re-present an updated pitch of technologies by inventors or entrepreneurs

At the end of day, our office together with the team from SmartInvest will select those projects that are best positioned to benefit from their SmartBase program.  Learn more about the SmartInvest process here.

To sign up for Life’s a Pitch day, please fill out this form.


For more information contact Todd Abrams, Ph.D, Sr. Director of New Ventures and Business Development to learn more about Temple Ventures and/or SmarTemple programs.