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Consultant to international organizations such as the United Nations, NATO, the European Commission and the UK Department of Trade and Industry, Rich Bendis has experienced great success as an entrepreneur, corporate executive, venture capitalist, investment banker and international speaker on Innovation and Economy Building.

Mr. Bendis is the founding President and CEO of Innovation America, a business focused on advocacy, consulting and information provision to accelerate the growth of the entrepreneurial innovation economy in the USA. His expertise has been requested by many top-flight initiatives, including the White House US Innovation Partnership, the National Governor's Association, the State Federal Technology Task Force and the American Academy for the Advancement of Science, amongst many others.

A nominee (national) and recipient (regional) of the Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur Supporter of the Year Award, Mr. Bendis has enjoyed a successful career in the private sector, working for Quaker Oats, Polaroid and Texas Instruments, amongst others. As president and CEO of Kansas Technology Enterprise Corporation he established the standard model for technology-based economic development. He also built Continental Health care Systems, Inc, an Inc 500 healthcare software company that he later took public and sold.

Bendis Investment Group LLC is Mr. Bendis' successful financial intermediary and consulting firm, and in addition he runs his own Angel investment portfolio; he is also the founding president of Innovation Philadelphia, a regional public/private partnership that aims to enhance the wealth and workforce of the Greater Philadelphia Region. He is currently Chairman of the board of directors of IP.

Full Profile

Mr. Bendis is a distinguished and successful entrepreneur, corporate executive, venture capitalist, investment banker, innovation and technology based economic development leader, international speaker and consultant in Innovation and Economy Building.

Mr. Bendis currently serves as the founding President and CEO of Innovation America (IA), a Global Innovation Intermediary focused on accelerating the growth of the entrepreneurial innovation economy in America. IA has a fivefold mission:

  • Global advocate for accelerating awareness of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Early Stage Capital in stimulating Innovation Based Economic Development (IBED);

  • International speaker on Building Innovation and Entrepreneurial Ecosystems (Voted a Top 5 Innovation Speaker by Speakers Platform)
  • International Consulting on IBED
  • Publishing innovationDAILY and WEEKLY, a daily e-newsletter reporting on Global trends on innovation with a circulation of approximately 125,000 readers in over 185 Countries(Voted The 4th Best Innovation Blogger in The World by Blogging Innovation)
  • Early Stage Capital Fund of Funds Consulting and Formation

Mr. Bendis has been appointed to several national innovation related organizations and committees include the White House U.S. Innovation Partnership (USIP) Advisory Task Force and Co-Chair of the Small Business Innovation Research Committee), the National Governor’s Association (NGA) Science and Technology Council of the State’s Executive Committee, the State Federal Technology Task Force, the National Academies (NAS) committee on “Competing in the 21st Century: Best Practices in State and Regional Innovation Initiatives”; National Academies National Research Review of “an Assessment of the SBIR Program; National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) National Advisory Board; U.S. Small Business Administration’s Angel Capital Electronic Network (ACENET) Board of Directors; American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Nominating Committee and the American Association Research Competitiveness Program Advisory Committee; Council on Competitiveness – Clusters of Innovation Committee.

Mr. Bendis is currently or has previously served as a board member and representative to the following organizations: National Association of State Venture Funds (NASVF) Founding Board member and Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee; State Science and Technology Institute (SSTI) Founding Board member: Eisenhower Fellowships Nominating Committee, the Ernst and Young Entrepreneurial Institute Member and as a past EOY winner as well as a national/regional Judge, Advisory Board member of the Technopolicy Network.

Mr. Bendis has provided global consulting services to over 18 countries and 24 states, several cities and regions, along with international organizations including the United Nations, NATO, UK Trade and Industry, European Commission, French Embassy, the German Marshall Fund, The Canadian Consulate, COTEC, TechnoPolicy, Science Works, METI, AKEA, the International Science Parks and Innovation Expert Group and other global entities. Mr. Bendis is an International speaker, focusing on Innovation , Entrepreneurship, and Developing and implementing Innovation Based Economic Development Strategies.

Mr. Bendis founded the Bendis Investment Group LLC, (BIG), a financial intermediary and consulting firm, along with managing his own angel investment portfolio. Mr. Bendis also founded and served as the founding President and CEO of Innovation Philadelphia (IP), a three state regional public/private partnership dedicated to growing the wealth and workforce of the Greater Philadelphia Region. IP managed a portfolio of programs in four distinct areas: Direct Equity Investment/Financing Assistance; Technology Commercialization; Global/Regional Economic and Workforce Development; and Market Research and Branding. Mr. Bendis currently serves as the Chairman of the innovation Philadelphia, Board of Directors.

Previously, Mr. Bendis successfully leveraged a career in the private sector (with Quaker Oats, Polaroid, Texas Instruments, Marion Laboratories and Kimberly Services) and the venture capital industry (RAB Ventures) to lead the Kansas Technology Enterprise Corporation (KTEC). As its president and CEO, he developed KTEC into a globally recognized model for technology-based economic development. Mr. Bendis also successfully built an Inc. 500 healthcare software company, Continental Healthcare Systems, Inc., which he took public on NASDAQ and later sold to an international conglomerate. He was a nominee for the 2005 Ernst and Young National Entrepreneur Supporter of the Year Award (EOY) and was the 1996 recipient of the Regional Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.


Rich Bendis Speaker Videos Back to top

Rich Bendis: Small Business Financing Forum


Rich Bendis offers his wide-ranging expertise to a small business financing forum. With his customary clarity and vision, he explains, “I want to talk a little bit about the valley of death… generally [innovation businesses] don't have balance sheets, they can't get through the front door of the bank and they also have difficulty getting equity capital at this time."

This is where companies like those run by Mr. Bendis come into play: “Angels are extremely important as; [what is needed] is a national Angels finance program, to stimulate accredited investors to make investments in high risk early-stage funds or high-risk early-stage companies."

He lays out what will be needed in order to make this vision reality: “We talked with Congress about a 25% tax credit to stimulate accredited investors nationally to invest in both of those categories. It might be time to revisit this because alternative source of funding Angels invest as much as venture capitalists and if we can get them more engaged in filling this valley of death I think it would be a great contribution to the country."

Keynote Speech



Speeches / Speaking Engagements Back to top


Rich Bendis speaks on innovation and entrepreneurship, bringing a wealth of experience to his presentations. Some of his specialist areas are the US Bioscience Industry and its function as a driver of the innovation economy; community equity capital; new developments in global innovation; and the prospects for global entrepreneurship and competitiveness.

    Suggested Speaking Topics:
    • Mapping 8 Million Jobs: How the U.S. Bioscience Industry is Driving the Innovation Economy
    • Community Equity Capital
    • The State of Global Innovation
    • Global Entrepreneurship and Competitiveness




* Please note that while this speaker’s specific speaking fee falls within the range posted above (for Continental U.S. based events), fees are subject to change. For current fee information or international event fees (which are generally 50-75% more than U.S based event fees), please contact us.

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    Suggested Speaking Topics:
    • Mapping 8 Million Jobs: How the U.S. Bioscience Industry is Driving the Innovation Economy
    • Community Equity Capital
    • The State of Global Innovation
    • Global Entrepreneurship and Competitiveness


Rich Bendis: Small Business Financing Forum


Rich Bendis offers his wide-ranging expertise to a small business financing forum. With his customary clarity and vision, he explains, “I want to talk a little bit about the valley of death… generally [innovation businesses] don't have balance sheets, they can't get through the front door of the bank and they also have difficulty getting equity capital at this time."

This is where companies like those run by Mr. Bendis come into play: “Angels are extremely important as; [what is needed] is a national Angels finance program, to stimulate accredited investors to make investments in high risk early-stage funds or high-risk early-stage companies."

He lays out what will be needed in order to make this vision reality: “We talked with Congress about a 25% tax credit to stimulate accredited investors nationally to invest in both of those categories. It might be time to revisit this because alternative source of funding Angels invest as much as venture capitalists and if we can get them more engaged in filling this valley of death I think it would be a great contribution to the country."

Keynote Speech