Ben Franklin Tech receives $100,000 from BB&T Fund
The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/NEP) has received a $100,000 grant from the BB&T Economic Growth Fund, a donor-advised charitable fund of the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation.
The funding supports the fit-out costs of a new Lehigh University “Hatchery” business incubator within the new Ben Franklin TechVentures® (BFTV) West Wing on Lehigh’s Mountaintop Campus.
Said Chad Paul, President and CEO of the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania: “We appreciate the support of BB&T and the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation in helping us extend our reach into the university so that Ben Franklin TechVentures can be leveraged to further support Lehigh’s student entrepreneurs.”
The 20,000-square-foot West Wing expansion, which is under construction, will allocate approximately 4,000-square-feet to the Lehigh Hatchery for a student, faculty, and alumni collaboration area in partnership with Lehigh’s Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity, and Innovation.
Ben Franklin TechVentures West Wing will be a four-floor addition that will include business incubation, office, and meeting space for early-stage technology-based companies.
Forty-one early-stage firms, employing more than 170 people, are in BFTV in more than 109,000-square-feet. Since 1983, the incubator has graduated 68 successful companies that together have created more than 6,400 jobs and grossed more than $1.2 billion in recurring annual revenue.
The building expansion is an extension of the success that BFTP/NEP has enjoyed with TechVentures serving as a “job creation factory” that leverages investments to create and retain highly paid, sustainable jobs in northeastern Pennsylvania.