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Ben Franklin Technology Partners Announces $250,000 in Support of Economic Development

By Colin McEvoy on December 28, 2020

Ben Franklin Technology Partners operates the Ben Franklin TechVentures business incubator in Bethlehem

Ben Franklin Technology Partners operates the Ben Franklin TechVentures business incubator in Bethlehem

The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/NEP) has announced the investment of $250,000 in support of economic development, including funding for an early-stage company based in the city of Bethlehem.

Structural Services, Inc., a Bethlehem-based highway construction subcontractor, received a $25,000 investment from Ben Franklin, which seeks to develop and grow early-stage technology-oriented companies in its 21-county service area.

BFTP/NEP provides 1:1 matching funding for work with a college or university partner on technology-based innovation in established manufacturers. In this case, the partner is Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center.

Structural Services supplies value-added services for bridge construction and rehabilitation, specializing in jobs that require curved girders, innovative rigging, and heavy jacking, according to the company.

The $25,000 funding will allow the company to document and analyze the existing cost/data collection process, identify and develop more efficient options, and conduct data and financial impact analyses on new processes.

BFTP/NEP creates and retains highly-paid, sustainable jobs by investing in and linking companies with experts, universities, follow-on funding, and other resources to help them prosper through innovation.

The organization’s strategy encompasses three key areas: developing and growing early-stage technology-oriented companies, supporting established manufacturers as they creatively apply new technology, and promoting an innovative community-wide infrastructure that supports Pennsylvania’s business technology ecosystem.

Since beginning operations in 1983, BFTP/NEP has helped to create 19,257 new jobs for Pennsylvania workers and to retain 43,880 existing jobs, to start 525 new companies, and to develop 2,113 new products and processes, according to the organization.

Since 2007, BFTP/NEP clients have generated more than $1.6 billion in follow-on funding. The Pennsylvania Ben Franklin Technology Partners network has returned $3.90 to the state treasury for every $1.00 invested in the program. 

BFTP/NEP owns, manages, and is headquartered in Ben Franklin TechVentures, a business incubator and post-incubator facility on Lehigh University’s Mountaintop campus in Bethlehem. The he 129,000-square-foot facility addresses the growing need for incubator space and affordable wet laboratory facilities in the region.

BFTP/NEP’s Board of Directors approved the investment of $250,000 in support of economic development this month. In addition to Structural Services, Inc., the funding will support early-stage companies in Berks, Luzerne, and Lycoming counties.

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