Wolf Administration: $16.4 Million in Challenge Grant Funding Approved for Ben Franklin Technology Partner Projects


Additional $1.5 million approved for tech start-ups in health and safety sectors

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Acting Secretary Neil Weaver and the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority (BFTDA) today announced that $16.4 million in funding has been approved for Ben Franklin Technology Partners, the first funding increase for the BFTDA in 13 years.

“Pennsylvania’s history is filled with innovative individuals who have changed the world, and DCED is proud to help keep that spirit alive through our work with the BFTDA,” Sec said. Weaver. “The Commonwealth is home to many great start-ups. This increase in funding will ensure that Pennsylvania remains the best place to live, work and do business thanks to the investments made by BFTDA.

Each of Ben Franklin’s four partners will receive funding of $4,106,250. Partners provide access to capital, business expertise, technology commercialization services and a network of resources to advance the development of new technologies.

While partner activities vary widely based on customer needs and market opportunities in their regions, activities are categorized into four broad categories: business investments, business and technical assistance, technology/business infrastructure, and capital expenditures. ‘administration.

Activities permitted under the Challenge Grant Program may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • To serve as key Commonwealth regional partners in the identification, development, adaptation and implementation of cutting-edge technologies to enable the growth and competitiveness of existing and emerging businesses through the development, commercialization and implementation implementation of technology.
  • Act as regional facilitators and managers for interactions, programs and initiatives by and between authority, technology companies, economic development organizations, business community, academic/research institutions, government, trade unions and other interests working collaboratively to advance the development of a technology-based economy across the Commonwealth.
  • Directly provide and serve as a conduit to seed and start-up capital for existing and emerging companies involved in the development and commercialization of technologically advanced products and processes.
  • Develop, provide or support business incubation resources and spaces and facilitate the development of technology business campuses.
  • Build partnerships to support and enhance the scale, reach and impact of initiatives that support the purpose and mission of BFTDA and partners.

In addition to the funding granted to BFTDA partners, $1.5 million was granted on behalf of the Dreamit Fund. This investment will provide funding opportunities for technology start-ups in the health and safety sectors.

“Dreamit has consistently delivered results as one of BFTDA’s largest Pennsylvania companies and as a job creator in the venture capital portfolio,” said Steve D’Ettorre, DCED Assistant Secretary for the Office of Technology and Entrepreneurship. “We look forward to seeing the opportunities this funding creates for start-ups across the Commonwealth.”

The Dreamit Fund will primarily invest in companies being created within affiliated Dreamit Accelerators. The fund is created by Mike Levinson and Steve Welch, two of the three original founders of Dreamit LLC. They will be joined by Steve Barsh as partner, Darren Sandberg as managing partner, Steve Gray as investor relations and Sarah Milewski as director.

As one of the oldest and most imitated state technology development programs in the country, the BFTDA was created to promote an entrepreneurial business environment, advance technological innovation and create a workforce ready for technology.

The mission of the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority is to encourage and coordinate programs and investments that advance the competitiveness of Pennsylvania businesses and universities in the global economy.

For more information on the BFTDA or the Department of Community and Economic Development, visit the DCED website and be sure to stay up to date with all the news from our agency on Facebook., Twitterand LinkedIn.

Penny Ickes, DCED, [email protected]

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