York-based venture capital firm invests $1.5m in start-ups in Harrisburg, Lancaster and York

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YORK, PA (WHTM) – Yes: York, PA. This is not the typical date for a venture capital story.

But a company called White Rose Ventures invested its first $1.5 million in four Midstate companies — two in Harrisburg, one in Lancaster and one in York.

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As its name suggests, White Rose Ventures is based in York and has its roots there: Alexa Born, the company’s managing director, went to high school there (in York Suburban) with Martin Fedorko’s wife, the managing partner. The three went to the University of Pittsburgh and returned to York.

Why doesn’t Midstate Pa. – the fastest growing area in the state – come to most people’s mind alongside places like Silicon Valley, Seattle or Austin when discussing the entrepreneurship and start-ups? Fedorko says the problem isn’t a lack of ideas here.

“We want to bring capital and talent to entrepreneurs who we know exist here in the region and who need this type of accommodation to grow and scale their businesses,” he said.

The first four corporate beneficiaries of White Rose are:

  • Naqi Logix, which got its start at the University of Harrisburg. Fedorko described it as “an ‘Internet of Things’ company and platform that helps users interact with the unseen environment around them.”
  • Harrisburg-based Pledge It, which provides online fundraising tools for nonprofits.
  • Lancaster-based Reflexion, which Fedorko described as “a cognitive health-based company that seeks to help individuals improve their mental awareness with respect to the activities in which they engage.”
  • York-based cybersecurity firm cyberconIQ, which focuses on using psychology to prevent phishing attacks – that is when an email appears to be something it is not , in order to fraudulently collect personal information – within companies.

Fedorko said these first four companies are among the 20-25 local companies that White Rose’s first fund will eventually invest in. And he said the pan-Midstate nature of the investments is no accident.

“If you count our three metropolitan statistical areas together, we’re a contender. We are, you know, 2.5 million people and growing,” he said. “We are the fastest growing region in the state. If we see ourselves as a unit and if we become more organized, we have all the elements. »

Through its non-profit Braided River Collective, run by Born, White Rose supports the Keystone Merge program, which, among other things, organizes monthly training and networking meetings for entrepreneurs. Meetings rotate between the three cities.

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