Partner, SparkNET Technologies
Jonathon Beschen is among the leaders of the Main Line’s Silicon Valley. In 2007, just a year after he graduated from Drexel University, he launched SparkNET Technologies. That company creates customized software, mobile apps and other technological solutions for both multinational firms and start-ups.
But startups can’t always afford SparkNET—and that’s how Beschen segued into Shark Tank territory. “We came up with a business strategy of offering service for equity to interesting-looking start-ups,” says Beschen. “We have a good winning streak with what have turned into successful businesses. But others failed.”
Those failures fueled Beschen’s entrepreneurial imagination. He did a hefty amount of research into the challenges facing local tech entrepreneurs. “One of the problems is the disconnect between the type of business model that investors want and the type of investments that tech start-ups need,” he says. “The other issue is that, throughout the region, there are different bubbles of non-connected spheres of tech start-ups. Communication is the solution for that.”
Beschen created the Liberty Valley Initiative, a nonprofit business incubator for technology entrepreneurs. Launched in early 2015, LVI focuses specifically on the suburbs and hosts networking events.
“I don’t know if people outside the tech industry realize how much is happening on the Main Line,” says Beschen. “But they soon will.”