Ben Franklin TechVentures2, dedicated on October 20, 2011, is a 47,000 square-foot expansion to the original Ben Franklin TechVentures business technology incubator/post-incubator facility. The facility improves Ben Franklin’s ability to provide resources, workspace, and hands-on support to early-stage technology companies, and generate new jobs during the economic recovery. Ben Franklin TechVentures2 includes wet labs, office/meeting space, and a parking garage. The addition is registered to be a certified Leadership Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building. It has a photovoltaic solar array on its rooftop and the latest energy management and light-harvesting technologies manufactured by Coopersburg, PA-based Lutron Electronics integrated throughout. In June 2011, it won first-place national honors in the US Environmental Protection Agency’s 2011 ENERGY STAR Challenge with a projected reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of 51% and an ENERGY STAR score of 93 out of a possible 100.
This new facility will create as many as 200 sustainable, highly paid technology jobs and retain 100 more jobs at new, start-up companies in its first three years. It will also provide job and internship opportunities for up to 20 university students each year. Twenty-six early-stage firms, employing 146 people, are currently located in Ben Franklin TechVentures. Since 1983, the Ben Franklin Business Incubator and TechVentures have graduated 55 successful companies, grossing more than $620 million in annual revenue, and creating more than 5,400 jobs. TechVentures was selected as one of “10 Startup Incubators You Need to Watch” by Inc.com in August 2011, and was recognized in October 2011 by the Pennsylvania Economic Development Association as the Project of the Year for demonstrating outstanding accomplishment in economic development. The Ben Franklin Business Incubator was named National Business Incubator of the Year by the National Business Incubation Association in 2001.
The total construction cost of the project will exceed $17,000,000, and is being funded in part by a U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) grant of $6,000,000. (Visit http://www.recovery.gov)
I hereby certify for the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania that the described ARRA infrastructure investment has received the full review and vetting required by law. As the authorized representative of the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania, I acknowledge that the infrastructure investment for Ben Franklin TechVentures2 is an appropriate use of taxpayer dollars.
Kathy Ann B. Minnich, Chief Financial Officer
Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania