Ben Franklin News

SBA Awards Grant to Statewide Ben Franklin to Help Underserved Communities Succeed

The award will provide specialized training, mentoring and technical assistance for Pennsylvania businesses



WASHINGTON 8/11/2021– The U.S. Small Business Administration issued a grant award up to $125,000 to Ben Franklin Technology Partners in Pennsylvania for specialized training, mentoring, and technical assistance for research and development (R&D)-focused small businesses under the Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program.

“Programs like FAST are more critical than ever,” said SBA Eastern Pennsylvania District Director Steve Dixel. “The SBA is committed to being customer-centric and tech forward on helping small businesses recover and grow the economy.”

“Spurring innovation has always been the cornerstone of American small business growth,” added SBA Western Pa. District Director Dr. Kelly Hunt. “This grant will continue helping our visionaries turn ideas into prototypes; eventually creating dynamic, growing companies creating jobs and providing consumers with fresh, new products.”

 “As President Biden often says, great ideas come from anywhere and everywhere. Supporting all our nation’s innovative startups and increasing equitable access to federal research funding is a priority for the SBA, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it will build a stronger future for all of us,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Guzman.

FAST seeks to improve outcomes in the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs for underserved communities by increasing participation from women-owned, rural-based, and socially or economically disadvantaged small businesses.

Pennsylvania’s recipient this year is Ben Franklin Technology Partners Corp, on behalf of the Innovation Partnership and its statewide network.  Ben Franklin Technology Partners is an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and one of the nation’s longest running technology-based economic development programs.

 “The SBA’s investment in Pennsylvania, through the FAST program, has been vital to Ben Franklin Technology Partners (BFTP) in reaching underserved communities,” said Ryan Glenn, Director of Statewide Initiatives, Ben Franklin Technology Partners.  “We deliver business and technical expertise and provide access to a network of innovative, expert resources that foster innovation, growth and success for both startup companies and established businesses.”



About FAST

In FY 2021, $4 million total was appropriated as grants for entities to carry out targeted activities from September 30, 2021 through September 29, 2022.  Entities from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands are eligible to receive funding to provide outreach, technical, and financial assistance in support of the SBIR/STTR programs. Additional information can be found at


SBA coordinates the SBIR/STTR programs, also known as America’s Seed Fund. In FY 2021, eleven participating federal agencies will provide more than $4 billion in early-stage seed capital through over 7,000 awards to small businesses. Federal agencies announce funding opportunities as either grants or contracts to address their research and development needs. Companies supported by the SBIR/STTR programs often generate some of the most important breakthroughs each year in the U.S.  Additional information about the programs, as well as past and current topics can be found at

About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow, or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit