Internationally acclaimed high-tech workspace and community for early-stage companies

BFTP/NEP launched the Ben Franklin Business Incubator at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA, in 1983. The location on a major university research campus allows resident companies easy access to the equipment, faculty, and students at Lehigh, which complement Ben Franklin’s in-house expertise and network of experts and other resources well.

In 2007, we relocated the incubator program across the street on Lehigh’s campus to Ben Franklin TechVentures®, a former Bethlehem Steel laboratory, tripling our available space. But just 18 months after its grand opening, TechVentures was filled to near capacity. Ben Franklin TechVentures2, which opened in October 2011, was a major expansion to the original facility that increased the total space to 109,000 square feet. Thirty-eight firms, employing more than 170 people, are currently located in Ben Franklin TechVentures. Since 1983, Ben Franklin’s incubator has graduated 69 successful companies, together grossing more than $1.2 billion in recurring annual revenue and creating more than 6,900 jobs.

Ben Franklin TechVentures’ current rentable space is now nearly full once again, and we anticipate even more needs in the future. To address this escalating demand, we are expanding TechVentures with the construction of the new 20,000-square-foot Ben Franklin TechVentures West Wing that opens in  fall 2017. The West Wing will provide additional, much-needed office and meeting spaces. The necessary expansion was funded in part by generous grant support from the U.S. Economic Development Administration,  Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, and the BB&T Economic Growth Fund.

TechVentures West Wing will support the creation of dozens of new technology-based jobs. The West Wing addition will allow BFTP to build on its history as a “job creation factory” by accommodating accelerating needs for incubator space that fuels economic growth.
LocationMountaintop Campus, Lehigh University
116 Research Drive
Bethlehem, PA 18017
Year StartedBen Franklin Business Incubator (1983)
Moved to larger building, Ben Franklin TechVentures (2007)
Ben Franklin TechVentures2 expansion opened (2011)
Examples of Successful GraduatesCICLON/Texas Instruments
Computer Aid, Inc.
OraSure Technologies
Saladax Biomedical
ContactWayne Barz, Manager
116 Research Drive
Bethlehem, PA 18015
Tax Benefit StatusPA Keystone Innovation Zone
Size60,000+ square feet of rentable space
Rentable Sizes 250 to 1,230 square feet
Wet Lab Space11,000+ square feet
Number of Floors Five
Ceiling Height 9.5 feet (offices), 12 feet (labs)
Nature of Space High-tech office and wet lab space
Loading Dock Yes, plus three passenger elevators and one large freight elevator with four-ton capacity
Parking 255 spaces
Handicappped Accessible Yes
Security24-hour keyless access entry system with video surveillance
Energy Conservation LEED Gold certified building with photovoltaic solar panels on roof and state-of-the-art Lutron energy management and light harvesting technologies
University Resources Access to the facilities, equipment, staff and students of Lehigh University
Conference Rooms15, with electronic scheduling; access to the Innovation Institute with 10,000+ square feet of conference, technology, and food service space for up to 300 guests
A/V Equipment Projectors, screens, plasma displays throughout building, video teleconferencing
Internet100 MPS with voicemail
Phone System VOIP system
High-Speed Copier, Fax Yes
Cable TV Yes, in conference spaces
Showers Yes (men’s and women’s)
Breakroom Two, with kitchenette and on-site deli restaurant