Published by The Business Journal:
OhanaLink was one of six companies approved to receive an investment in the final round of the organization’s 2021 funding and the third award from the investment organization, according to a company news release. Ben Franklin Technology Partners provides investment capital, business support services, Big Idea contests, and startup boot camps to emerging tech-entrepreneurs and small manufacturers located in central and northern Pennsylvania.
So far, the organization has awarded $332,500 to OhanaLink.
“The ongoing support that we have received from Ben Franklin Technology Partners over the past several years has been immeasurable,” said Kara Wasser, OhanaLink founder and CEO. “This round of funding will help as we continue to increase our footprint in the market and enhance our go-to-market and customer support activities for our proprietary technology communication and support platform and expanding suite of mobile apps.”
Wasser, a banking executive turned entrepreneur, founded the company after seeing the need for patients to have a better way to connect with families during health-care events after she missed the birth of her niece.
The company launched its premier mobile app, OhanaLink, in 2020, which is available for download on either the Apple Store or Google Play. Other offerings include OhanaLink Baby, OhanaLink Health and OhanaLink Health Kids “virtual waiting rooms.”
“It’s been a wonderful four years helping Kara grow not only her business but the hopes and opportunities of all entrepreneurs throughout Western PA,” said Brian Slaiwin, director and portfolio manager for Ben Franklin Technology Partners.
“OhanaLink Technologies has become an ambassador and dynamic example of how growing a technology company requires a bit of bravery, a whole lot of grit, a community focused on helping entrepreneurs and a powerful executive management team of professionals in technology, finance, capital raising, marketing and legal and compliance expertise,” he continued. “And, it all started with one person with an idea and the desire to figure out how.”
To date, OhanaLink has created 13 professional, high-paying jobs and five paid internships in partnership with local colleges and universities, Wasser said. She anticipates 15 additional jobs by the end of 2024, bringing nearly $8 million in payroll dollars into the region and maintaining a company with an estimated value of $80 million.
“Creating change and believing in our community is at the forefront of our mission, she said. “We are tackling challenges head-on – advocating for positive change related to funding opportunities and promoting the value of investing in technology companies versus the traditional real estate and manufacturing businesses considered the ‘norm.’ ”