Investment programmes are another important in-house capability which the innovation intermediary should maintain to bridge critical steps in the commercialization process and incentivize the development of technology-based opportunities. Commercialization requires effective chains of capital that address all funding gaps in the conception and growth of technology-based companies. Direct investment programmes are a basic mechanism for stimulating activity in companies which fall into one of the gaps or which are unlikely to receive traditional venture funding. The most traditional forms of funding are research matching grants and pre-seed and seed stage investments. Depending on the funding source and the organizational funding scheme, it can be mutually beneﬁcial for the ﬁrm and the intermediary if the ﬁnancing takes the form of a loan, convertible debentures, straight equity or other combination of debt and equity.
Referring back to the case of Greater Philadelphia, BFTP of Southeast Pennsylvania has made direct investments since its inception. Innovation Philadelphia created the Economic Stimulus Fund, but could co-invest with BFTP when feasible. BioAdvance and the Science Center also have dedicated investment funds as a part of this network.