Governor Corbett Visits Award-Winning Ben Franklin Innovation Works; Touts Innovate in PA as a High-Wage Job Accelerator

Sep 26, 2013, 14:15 ET from Pennsylvania Office of the Governor

PITTSBURGH, Sept. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Tom Corbett today toured Innovation Works' AlphaLab, a leading business startup facility, where he joined members of the legislature to launch Innovate in PA, a new program created to accelerate high-wage job growth through supporting entrepreneurs and startup businesses.

"With 98 percent of new jobs in Pennsylvania coming from startups and small emerging growth companies, Innovate in PA is a common-sense approach to economic growth," Corbett said. "Innovate in PA's investments will help forward-thinking companies inspired with vision to become household names, turning Pennsylvania into the next Silicon Valley."

Innovate in PA will offer $100 million in deferred tax credits to insurance companies in the state to raise funds over multiple years. The funds raised will be directed to the highly successful Ben Franklin Technology Development Partners, three Life Sciences Greenhouses and the Venture Capital investment program.

Innovate in PA is projected to create a minimum of 1,850 technology jobs, nearly 3,500 indirect jobs and more than double the return-on-investment back to the state. For every dollar invested via Innovate in PA in early-stage businesses, it is projected that $2.37 will be returned to the state in additional tax revenues.

"With Innovate in PA we offer new ways to support creative thinking and business know-how with vital investment," Corbett said. "Every great business begins with a bold idea and we are here to give you that initial boost to propel your startups from a plan on paper to a thriving company that embodies the American dream."

Founded in 2008 by Innovation Works, AlphaLab has been recognized as one of the nation's best incubators. Innovation Works is one of four Ben Franklin Technology Partners situated across the state. The Ben Franklin Technology Partnership is one of the nation's longest-running, technology-based economic development programs.

AlphaLab's program runs twice a year for 20 weeks. During this time, AlphaLab provides $25,000 in investment capital, office space, mentorship, connections and educational sessions to help the startup businesses accelerate the launch and growth of their company. At the end of five months, the startups will present their company at AlphaLab Demo Day to investors and press from around the nation.

Today, Corbett met with CEOs and employees from some of the startups that have received Innovation Works funding including Hability, Aethon, The Resumator, 4Moms, ALung, ActivAided Orthotics, Cognition Therapeutics, Digital DreamLabs, Shoefitr and Precision Therapeutics.

In 2012, Innovation Works invested an estimated $4.8 million into 91 companies, helping them commercialize new technologies and create and/or retain 583 high-skill jobs in robotics, life sciences, software and other high-growth industries. Innovation Works also assisted 183 companies and placed 57 interns at regional technology companies. 

The governor was joined for the announcement by members of the legislature, representatives of Innovation Works, the Pittsburgh Technology Council, the Pittsburgh Life Science Greenhouse and Draper Triangle Ventures.

Media contact:
Kelli Roberts, Governor's Office; 717-783-1116
Steve Kratz, DCED; 717-783-1132

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor