In the early 1980s, Pennsylvania’s economy was dealing with high unemployment as major industries like steel were in severe decline. The Commonwealth needed a bridge between its struggling manufacturing economy and the technology-based economy that would carry the state forward. The state government put Pennsylvania on the trajectory to become a tech hub, and, in 1983 created Ben Franklin Technology Partners. Launched in collaboration with the state’s universities, it has become one of the nation’s longest-running tech-based economic development programs.
Ben Franklin Technology Partners was founded to accelerate the development of technology-based industries by investing in start-ups and funding innovation in established industries. The organization serves all 67 counties in Pennsylvania through four regionally based centers.
“Over the past 35-plus years, Ben Franklin has been the most widely known and emulated technology-based economic development program in the nation, and is still considered the gold standard for driving and cultivating an innovation-led economic ecosystem,” says Ryan Glenn, Ben Franklin Technology Partners director of statewide initiatives. Via Livability