In 2019, 7,273 northeastern Pennsylvania jobs were created or retained as a result of the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s (BFTP/NEP) work. BFTP/NEP generated cumulative impacts of 63,137 job creations or retentions since the program’s inception in 1983.
“These strong northeastern Pennsylvania job impacts support the findings of an independent study conducted by the Pennsylvania Economy League,” said Laura Eppler, chief marketing officer of BFTP/NEP. “Pennsylvania’s investment in Ben Franklin statewide represents a $3.90 payback to the state treasury for every dollar invested. And the jobs created in Ben Franklin clients are in industries that pay 52% more than the average state wage.”
Client companies raised an additional $41.79 million in follow-on funding from angel investors, venture capitalists, and other investors in 2019, for a total of $1.601 billion in follow-on investment received since 2007. These results were accomplished in BFTP/NEP’s 21-county service area, including Berks, Bradford, Carbon, Columbia, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Lycoming, Monroe, Montour, Northampton, Northumberland, Pike, Schuylkill, Snyder, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Union, Wayne, and Wyoming counties.
BFTP client companies submit new and retained jobs, new product and process developments, and follow-on funding to BFTP/NEP each year. Ben Franklin reports its annual impacts to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, which funds the statewide Ben Franklin program.
In his 2020-21 General Fund budget, Gov. Tom Wolf proposed a $5 million increase for the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority (BFTDA), which funds the statewide Ben Franklin Technology Partners initiative. The budget currently is being debated. A final spending plan must be enacted by June 30.
The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania links clients with universities, funding, and other resources to help them prosper through innovation. BFTP/NEP’s strategy encompasses three key areas:
- developing and growing early-stage technology-oriented companies;
- supporting established manufacturers as they creatively apply new technology to help them succeed globally by producing better, faster, and at a lower cost;
- promoting an innovative community-wide infrastructure that supports Pennsylvania’s business technology ecosystem.
The northeastern center is part of a four-center, state-funded economic development initiative. BFTP/NEP is headquartered in, owns, and manages Ben Franklin TechVentures®, an award-winning technology business incubator/post-incubator facility on Lehigh University’s Mountaintop Campus in Bethlehem. BFTP/NEP also owns and manages the Bloomsburg Regional Technology Center. Both incubators are members of the BFTP/NEP-led, 13-member Ben Franklin Business Incubator Network. This network is among the largest in the United States.
The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania reported the following 2019 results:
- Created 721 New Jobs
- Retained 6,552 Existing Jobs
- Started 5 New Companies
- Developed 178 New Products and Processes
BFTP/NEP was established in 1983 and has achieved the following cumulative results:
- Created 19,257 New Jobs
- Retained 43,880 Existing Jobs
- Started 525 New Companies
- Developed 2,113 New Products and Processes
In 2019, BFTP/NEP assisted 375 companies. Since 2007, the organization has supported 3,786 client firms.