Ben Franklin Business Incubator Network grows again

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The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/NEP) has expanded its incubator network once again. Already among the largest in the U.S., the addition of StartupLewisburg makes the network 15 members strong.

StartupLewisburg is Bucknell University‘s home for innovators and entrepreneurs in downtown Lewisburg. Member early-stage companies have access to the in-house consulting services of the Bucknell Small Business Development Center (SBDC), and opportunities to collaborate with partners throughout both the local community and BFTP/NEP. StartupLewisburg is managed by Dennis Hummer, a consultant with the Bucknell SBDC, who holds a Business Incubator Manager Certificate through the International Business Innovation Association (InBIA).

Member firm Play Impossible recently won BFTP/NEP’s annual Venture Idol. The company also announced a $1 million investment round and was showcased at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show by Indiegogo’s new equity crowdfunding program as one of only four firms nationwide.

The incubator network is an important element in BFTP/NEP’s strategy for developing the technology infrastructure in its 21-county northeastern Pennsylvania region. Ben Franklin staff meet with incubator network managers annually to exchange ideas and information, work collaboratively, and provide guidelines and training in accordance with InBIA standards.

Business incubation provides vital support to entrepreneurs and early-stage firms at their most vulnerable times and is often pivotal to their survival and prosperity. With 33 years owning and managing its own incubator, BFTP/NEP was one of the pioneers of business incubation in the nation. The organization’s Ben Franklin TechVentures has won the InBIA Incubator of the Year Award on two occasions.

The reduced operating costs of starting a company in a business incubator are typically what draw early-stage companies, but the business development assistance and sharing of best practices among tenants are often even more important. BFTP/NEP owns and manages both Ben Franklin TechVentures and the Bloomsburg Regional Technology Center.

Members of the Ben Franklin Business Incubator Network also include AEDC Bridgeworks Enterprise Center (Allentown), Carbondale Technology Transfer Center (Carbondale), East Stroudsburg University Innovation Center (East Stroudsburg), The Enterprise Center (Sayre), The Greater Hazleton CAN BE (West Hazleton), The Innovation Center @ Wilkes-Barre (Wilkes-Barre), Jump Start Incubator (Reading), Allan P. Kirby Enterprise Center at Wilkes University (Wilkes-Barre), Pottsville/Schuylkill Technology Incubator (Pottsville), The Scranton Enterprise Center (Scranton), StartupLewisburg (Lewisburg), The Stourbridge Incubator (Honesdale) and The TekRidge Center (Jessup).

About the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania

The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/NEP), an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and funded by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority, creates and retains highly paid, sustainable jobs by linking companies with experts, universities, funding, and other resources to help them prosper through innovation. BFTP/NEP’s strategy encompasses three key areas: developing early-stage technology-oriented companies; helping established manufacturers creatively apply new technology and business practices to achieve industry leadership; and promoting an innovative community-wide infrastructure that fosters a favorable business environment for high-growth companies.

Since beginning operation, BFTP/NEP has helped to create 16,986 new jobs for Pennsylvania workers and to retain 23,761 existing jobs, to start 482 new companies, and to develop 1,433 new products and processes. BFTP/NEP clients have generated $1.4243 billion in follow-on funding. The Pennsylvania Ben Franklin Technology Partners network has returned $3.60 to the state treasury for every $1 invested in the program.

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