1776 Announces Leadership Team Expansion

Jennifer Maher named CEO, Anthony Maher named Chief Growth Officer and Head of Incubation, Ron Braunfeld will become President

Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia, Pa. (May 7, 2018)—Today, 1776’s Board of Directors announced it has named Benjamin’s Desk Co-founder and current 1776 Co-CEO Jennifer Maher as 1776’s sole Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Co-founder Anthony Maher will take on a new role within the company as Chief Growth Officer (CGO) and Head of Incubation. In addition, 1776 Entrepreneur-in-Residence Ron Braunfeld has been named President of 1776.


“The recent merger with Benjamin’s Desk has quickly expanded 1776’s reach by becoming the largest network of incubators in the United States,” said 1776 Board Member David Hall. “The board believed that the combined assets required a new focus and an expanded leadership team to ensure  operational excellence. We believe Jenn Maher and her team will lead 1776 successfully forward in this next phase of growth.”

Jennifer Maher, Chief Executive Officer

Jenn Maher co-founded Benjamin’s Desk in 2012 with her husband, Mike Maher, and her brother-in-law, Anthony Maher. Together, they saw an opportunity to combine flexible coworking space with growth-oriented programming and services for entrepreneurs in the Northeast Corridor. Over its first five years, Benjamin’s Desk expanded from its original location near Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square to seven campuses throughout the region, including a partnership with the University of Pennsylvania.


After the October 2017 merger of Benjamin’s Desk with 1776, the company now serves more than 2700 individual members at 10 campuses across four states and the District of Columbia, with over 200,000 square feet under management. 1776’s real estate management model offers solutions for property owners, educators, and community leaders eager to attract the kinds of early-stage businesses that lead to disruptive technology, job growth, and economic development.


As a licensed commercial real estate broker and former corporate litigator and franchise attorney, Jenn Maher will oversee 1776’s future expansion and operations as the company’s CEO. “I’m excited to lead our team as we execute on our mission to build a dynamic company that serves our communities and provides the exceptional resources required for our members to thrive,” said Jenn Maher.   “There is a dramatic shift taking place in where and how we work, and in what it takes to build a business that lasts. 1776 is uniquely positioned to succeed because of our management model and relentless focus on the programming needs for growth-minded entrepreneurs.”

Ron Braunfeld, President

“Many of our members know Ron Braunfeld from the time he’s spent in our spaces as both a fellow member and as our Entrepreneur-in-Residence,” said Jenn Maher. “He’s brought so many great ideas to our network over the past few years, and it seemed a perfect fit to recruit him for a role that’s going to help empower even more entrepreneurs to grow their companies.”


Ron has spent over 20 years leading business development teams, both inside established enterprise companies (MapQuest, PayPal) and at startups (WHERE, Pingup, SnipSnap). In each of these roles, he has successfully introduced new products and business models to the market. Leveraging these experiences, he has actively mentored entrepreneurs as an investor/advisor, as a Limited Partner in the WHERE Angel Fund, and—most recently—as 1776’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence.


As President, Ron will focus on leading the team’s delivery of services and partnerships with corporations and asset owners. “The digital transformation of our economy has started a new revolution which requires a different set of skills and space,” said Braunfeld, “It’s exciting to be part of a dynamic team that looks to provide solutions.”

Anthony Maher, Chief Growth Officer & Head of Incubation

During his tenure at Benjamin’s Desk and 1776, Anthony Maher has focused on adding value for members through incubation services and programming. A former professional soccer player, Anthony has led multiple companies through fundraising rounds and acquisitions, and has leveraged his experience to add value for members of 1776’s growing network.


As creator of the 1776 Capital Stack program and many of the 1776 roundtables and workshops, Anthony curates groups of early stage entrepreneurs for mentoring and education sessions with venture capital partners, angel investors, and influential community leaders. Through his role directing a partnership between Benjamin’s Desk and the Ben Franklin Technology Partners FabNet program, Anthony connects company founders to software development experts who can quickly build MVP prototypes for market analysis.


In his new role as Chief Growth Officer and Head of Incubation, Anthony will focus on introducing more early stage entrepreneurs to the 1776 network, while ensuring that all members benefit from enhanced incubation services, professional development programming, and opportunities for more of the personal connections that can spark long-term success for company founders and their teams.


“We’re building a world class experience for early stage entrepreneurs who want to build exceptional companies outside of Silicon Valley” said Anthony Maher. “As someone who’s spent my entire career building and leading teams, I know that the drive and the talent of our 1776 team will be the differentiator that helps our members transform their businesses and their communities.”

About 1776

1776 transforms markets by curating communities of entrepreneurs and enterprises in flexible work environments.  Our members gain access to a dynamic network and focused programming to provide the knowledge and resources necessary to spur innovation and solve complex challenges.  With 10 campuses, from Washington, DC to New York City, we are the largest network of incubators in America. For more information, please visit www.1776.vc and follow @1776 on Twitter and @1776vc on Instagram.


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About 1776

1776 is the largest network of incubators that cultivates and empowers startup ecosystems in the Northeast Corridor. We exist to strengthen the cities and economies by building a thriving community of entrepreneurs.