Allentown Business Incubator Receives Award from Global Organization
By Colin McEvoy on March 29, 2018
An Allentown business incubator has received a special recognition from a global non-profit organization that supports entrepreneurial organizations around the world.
The Bridgeworks Enterprise Center, the business incubation program operated by the Allentown Economic Development Corporation (AEDC), has received the IMPACT Award for February 2018 from the International Business Innovation Association (InBIA).
The award distinguishes entrepreneurship centers that are creating economic impact in their communities through a robust variety of programs, spaces, and services that serve the entrepreneurs and early-growth companies that are the engines of job creation.
“We have worked steadily to elevate both the facility and the programming at the Bridgeworks Enterprise Center over the past few years,” said Anthony Durante, AEDC Program Manager.
“When Kirstie Chadwick, President and CEO of InBIA, visited us last fall I think she was surprised and impressed by what we were doing,” Durante said. “We’re excited that InBIA has recognized our dedicated efforts.”
InBIA serves a diverse group of entrepreneurship centers, program managers, directors, and policymakers. The organization helps guide, mentor, and develop sustainable entrepreneur support programs in every industry and demographic around the globe.
Bridgeworks was recognized in the IMPACT Awards’ specialty category, which is for programs that have a unique focus, in this case manufacturing. Only five other incubator programs from around the world received an award this month in other categories.
“Manufacturing remains a very significant part of both Allentown’s economy and the economy of the Lehigh Valley,” said Scott Unger, Executive Director of AEDC. “We are extremely proud to have our incubator program selected from and by our global peers.”
By receiving the monthly IMPACT Award, Bridgeworks is now eligible for one InBIA’s annual awards, which include one of two Dinah Adkins Incubator of the Year Awards (one for technology and one for non-technology entrepreneurship programs) and the Randall M. Whaley Incubator of the Year Award.
Founded in 1989 in the refurbished former Mack Trucks Plant 4A, the 64,000 square-foot Bridgeworks Enterprise Center is the only business incubator in the Lehigh Valley dedicated primarily to manufacturing startups.
It was announced earlier this year that startup companies located in Bridgeworks had earned more than $4.63 million in revenue in 2017, a 4.6 percent increase over the previous year.
The Bridgeworks client companies include Amorphic Tech Ltd., ColdEdge Technologies, The Colony Meadery, County Seat Spirits, HiJinx Brewing Company, JH Plastics, LightLab International Allentown, MTS Ventures, Polymer Contours, and Zzyzx Polymers.
The 10 client companies collectively employ 28 full-time employees and another 46 people as either part-time or contract employees. Total salaries, wages, and contractor fees paid to these employees increased by 2.6 percent from 2016 to 2017, for a total of $1.31 million.
“We work to create an environment that supports manufacturing, but it is entrepreneurs who take the true risk, create jobs, and grow the local economy,” Unger previously said. “Our combined continued success is good for Allentown.”
InBIA, which is based out of Orlando, seeks to enrich the entire entrepreneurial ecosystem by providing industry resources, education, events and global programming to help our members better serve the needs of their unique communities and regions.
“Our mission is to help communities enable their entrepreneurs transform their dreams into innovative businesses that make global prosperity a reality,” the organization states in its mission statement.
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