Ben Franklin Business Incubator Network Grows Again


New Member: StartupLewisburg, the Bucknell University Entrepreneurs Incubator

The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/NEP) has expanded its incubator network once again. Already among the largest incubator networks in the U.S., the addition of StartupLewisburg, the Bucknell University Entrepreneurs Incubator, makes the network 15 members strong.

StartupLewisburg is Bucknell University’s home for innovators and entrepreneurs in downtown Lewisburg. Member early-stage companies have access to the in-house consulting services of the Bucknell Small Business Development Center (SBDC), and opportunities to collaborate with partners throughout both the Bucknell community and BFTP/NEP, as well as broadband internet service.

StartupLewisburg member firm Play Impossible recently won BFTP/NEP’s annual Venture Idol, announced a $1 million investment round, and was showcased at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show as one of only four firms nationwide in Indiegogo’s new equity crowdfunding program. StartupLewisburg is managed by Dennis Hummer, a consultant with the Bucknell SBDC, who holds a Business Incubator Manager Certificate through the International Business Innovation Association (InBIA).

The incubator network is an important element in BFTP/NEP’s strategy for developing the technology infrastructure in its 21-county northeastern Pennsylvania region. Ben Franklin staff meet with incubator network managers annually to exchange ideas and information, work collaboratively, and provide guidelines and training that are in accordance with InBIA standards.

Business incubation provides vital support to entrepreneurs and early-stage firms at their most vulnerable times and is often pivotal to their survival and prosperity. With 33 years owning and managing its own incubator, BFTP/NEP was one of the pioneers of business incubation in the nation. Ben Franklin’s experience in business incubation has been recognized with its Ben Franklin TechVentures® winning the InBIA Incubator of the Year Award on two occasions.

The reduced operating costs of starting a company in a business incubator are typically what initially draw early-stage companies to an incubator facility. But the business development assistance and sharing of best practices among tenants are often even more important. BFTP/NEP owns and manages both Ben Franklin TechVentures and the Bloomsburg Regional Technology Center. Members of the Ben Franklin Business Incubator Network are:

  1. AEDC Bridgeworks Enterprise Center
    Allentown —
  1. Ben Franklin TechVentures®

Bethlehem –

  1. The Bloomsburg Regional Technology Center

Bloomsburg –

  1. Carbondale Technology Transfer Center
    Carbondale –
  1. East Stroudsburg University Innovation Center
    East Stroudsburg –
  1. The Enterprise Center
    Sayre –
  1. The Greater Hazleton CAN BE
    West Hazleton –
  1. The Innovation Center @ Wilkes-Barre
    Wilkes-Barre –
  1. Jump Start Incubator

Reading –

  1. Allan P. Kirby Enterprise Center at Wilkes University

Wilkes-Barre –

  1. Pottsville/Schuylkill Technology Incubator
    Pottsville –
  1. The Scranton Enterprise Center
    Scranton –
  1. StartupLewisburg

Lewisburg –

  1. The Stourbridge Incubator

Honesdale –

  1. The TekRidge Center

Jessup –

About the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania

The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/NEP), an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and funded by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority, creates and retains highly paid, sustainable jobs by linking companies with experts, universities, funding, and other resources to help them prosper through innovation. BFTP/NEP’s strategy encompasses three key areas:

  1. developing early-stage technology-oriented companies,
  2. helping established manufacturers creatively apply new technology and business practices to achieve industry leadership, and
  3. promoting an innovative community-wide infrastructure that fosters a favorable business environment for high-growth companies.

Since beginning operation, BFTP/NEP has helped to create 16,986 new jobs for Pennsylvania workers and to retain 23,761 existing jobs, to start 482 new companies, and to develop 1,433 new products and processes. BFTP/NEP clients have generated $1.4243 billion in follow-on funding. The Pennsylvania Ben Franklin Technology Partners network has returned $3.60 to the state treasury for every $1.00 invested in the program.