For more than 20 years, Alan Kraus has passionately supported early stage and startup entrepreneurs reaching their growth objectives.
Alan is best known for his 18 years serving as the Investment Director for Information Technology at the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania, an economic development organization tasked with creating growth in the technology sector within the state. He funded more than 200 investments in 130 companies in the region, usually as the first institutional investment, including regional success stories like Coldlight Solutions, Boomi, Monetate, Health Market Science, Ticketleap, OneTwoSee, Sidecar, Core Solutions, Sidecar and many more. His portfolio consistently performed exceedingly well, with funded companies, in aggregate, having raised $300+MM in follow-on capital and acquired for $650+MM, with both numbers expected to rise significantly given current prospects of companies yet to exit.
In his role, Alan worked with entrepreneurs, often even before they applied for funding, to help them strengthen their business model and/or identify key milestones that would make them more attractive for investment upon completion. Once a company applied for funding, Alan managed a highly regarded rigorous Due Diligence process, which beyond an extensive written analysis of the applicant’s business progress, also included companies making presentations in front of his review committees consisting of technical, business and funding experts within the region. Even for those not funded by Ben Franklin, Alan viewed his role as one meant to support the development of quality entrepreneurs and companies, and thus made sure to offer substantial feedback and guidance to applicants throughout the process.
After funding, to help companies grow and succeed, he and his small team of consultants provided coaching and direct assistance with general strategy, business execution, fundraising, financial statement analysis, marketing materials, Board management, staffing challenges, etc. and provided access to an extensive network of investors, service providers, Board member candidates, advisors and potential customers. Alan served as a Board Observer, whether directly or indirectly, for most of these companies which offered an opportunity to add significant value to the entrepreneur while simultaneously giving him tremendous insight into the best practices for successfully building and running a company from its earliest stages through its various growth phases. To further assist these entrepreneurs and their companies, he formed and co-facilitated several monthly CEO Roundtables, closed groups of 8-14 technology CEOs, with each one operating continuously for many years.
Prior to joining Ben Franklin in 1998, Alan was the Manager of Resource Development and a Business Consultant at the Temple University Small Business Development Center. Additionally, he had worked several years as an advertising sales manager, a manufacturer’s sales representative of women’s accessories and as a recruiter, co-founding Optimum Executive Search, a Silicon Valley firm specializing in the placement of software professionals.
Alan currently serves on the Mid-Atlantic Diamond Ventures Advisory Board and the Angel Venture Fair Selection Committee.
Alan received his MBA at Temple University and his BBA from the University of Michigan. Hobbies include tennis, strategy games, Scrabble and bridge.
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