Business infrastructure is the underlying framework that supports companies in an area. Elements of infrastructure include the availability of investment funds, physical buildings, and access to expertise, research, and laboratory facilities.
Technology-based firms have many common needs, and the success of these firms is greatly influenced by the support infrastructure in their communities. Ben Franklin initiates and supports targeted activities that build the regional technology infrastructure.
Examples of these activities include:
- Establishing the Ben Franklin Business Incubator Network throughout our 21-county region, among the largest incubator networks in the U.S. Ben Franklin TechVentures®, located on Lehigh University’s Mountaintop Campus, was the 2001 and 2012 recipient of the National Business Incubation Association’s Incubator of the Year Award. Our staff applies this expertise in leading the Ben Franklin Business Incubator Network.
- The financial support of colleges and universities in establishing Centers of Excellence throughout our region. An example of this is the Plastics Innovation and Resource Center at the Pennsylvania College of Technology.
- The support of the Keystone Innovation Zone (KIZ) program, which aims to create “knowledge neighborhoods” close to colleges and universities to focus resources for emerging technology companies.
- The support of the Pennsylvania Angel Network (PAN), which is composed of 18 angel group members representing more than 500 individual angel investors.