The Pennsylvania Economic Development Association has selected Ben Franklin TechVentures2® as the winner of its 2010 Project of the Year. The competition recognizes projects that demonstrate job creation and retention, innovation and creativity, leveraging of resources, public/private partnerships, regional impact, excellence in site and building design, and sensitivity to the environment. Ben Franklin TechVentures2 was recognized at an awards ceremony in State College on October 4th.
Ben Franklin TechVentures is owned and operated by the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania. This model incubator was the winner of the 2001 Incubator of the Year Award and just recently received first-place national honors in the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 2011 ENERGY STAR Challenge Facebook Favorite Contest.
Ben Franklin TechVentures2, located on the campus of Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA, will be a 47,000 square-foot expansion to the original Ben Franklin TechVentures business technology incubator/post-incubator facility. It will include wet labs, office/meeting space, and parking.
The new facility will allow Ben Franklin to accommodate start-up companies that create as many as 200 sustainable, highly paid technology jobs and retain 100 more jobs in the first three years. Twenty-nine early-stage firms, employing 158 people, are currently located in Ben Franklin TechVentures. Since 1983, the Ben Franklin Business Incubator and TechVentures have graduated 48 successful companies, together grossing more than $408 million in annual revenue and creating more than 4,500 jobs.
The addition is registered with the US Green Building Council’s Leadership Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) green building certification program. Spillman Farmer Architects is the building’s designer and architect of record. Ben Franklin TechVentures2 demonstrates the benefits of green building and energy efficiency through a variety of measures, such as a rooftop solar photovoltaic system and energy-efficient lighting fixtures. Also included are daylight-harvesting lighting controls and an automated window shading system by Coopersburg-based Lutron Electronics.