Ben Franklin


Partners & Resources

Thanks to its more than 25 years in operation, Ben Franklin Technology Partners can leverage a wide array of resources and partner with organizations and programs across the Commonwealth. We work with federal, state, and regional agencies as well as universities and private business leaders to create an environment where technology-based economic development can flourish.  We are a network of networks.  A few examples of partners and resources with which we are linked appear below.

Innovation Partnership

BFTP is a founding partner of the Innovation Partnership, a statewide consortium of economic development organizations. The partnership helps companies that are seeking federal SBIR/STTR funding by critiquing prospective applications and providing the financial, business and technical assistance needed to successfully complete the application process.

“As we continue to see bad news in many sectors of the economy, BFTP shows a bright light and a promise for the future. I applaud the work they have done to promote innovations in technology and spur job creation in our Commonwealth.” —Rick Geist, Pennsylvania State Representative (R-79) and one of the original sponsors of the legislation that formed the Ben Franklin Technology Partners

Centers of Excellence

Many of the greatest innovations of our times have been born inside the labs of the Commonwealth’s many colleges and universities. BFTP supports more than a dozen “Centers of Excellence” that are based Pennsylvania colleges and universities. Each focuses on a specific technology area to inspire and nourish ideas that have commercial benefits for entire industries within the state.

BFTP plays an active role helping support Centers of Excellence like the Center for Optical Technologies at Lehigh University and the Center for Food Innovation at Penn State. 

Angel Investment Networks

BFTP is an integral part of the funding network—alongside angels and federal grants—that bridges the gap from self-investment to the point where a venture capitalist invests in a company. In fact, one of our key metrics is follow-on financing, the amount of capital raised after a BFTP investment.

BFTP enables growing companies to identify and access the right capital at the right time through extensive, positive relationships with angel investors, venture capitalists and other financial, government and economic development partners. We help client companies develop funding strategies, identify potential investors and secure follow-on funding.  We also support angel investors and investor groups through our investemnt and support of the Pennsylvania Angel Network.

Multi-Institutional Partnerships

BFTP plays a catalyzing role in creating and supporting innovative partnership programs that break down barriers between institutions and the public and private sectors, including multi-institutional collaborative efforts like the Nanotechnology Institute in the Greater Philadelphia area and the Innovation Transfer Network in the greater-Harrisburg region.

Keystone Innovation Zones (KIZ)

BFTP played a key catalyst role in helping bring several of the KIZ’s around the state to fruition and continues to support the KIZs with financial and technical assistance.  BFTP also works directly with many of the companies that choose to locate within a KIZ.

iBridge Network

The iBridgeSM Network provides a web-based platform that enables and facilitates collaborative research and technology commercialization activites which span the boundaries of research institutions, entreprenurs and corporations. Though continually growing, at present over 100 research universites have listed over 10,000 innovations on the site which recieves on avergage 15,000 page views per month coming from 153 countries. BFTP is supporting the participation of 5 distiguished Pennsylvania research universites in the iBridge Network; the BFTP supported iBridge community can be found here. Once at the BFTP community you can navigate through the larger iBridge site. The iBridgeSM Network is a program of the Kauffman Innovation Network, Inc., an initiative of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation of Kansas City.

Innovation Transfer Network

The Innovation Transfer Network (ITN) connects entrepreneurial faculty from a select group of colleges and universities in Central Pennsylvania with business owners to drive commercialization. The organization acts as a bridge between education and business to accelerate technology transfer and leverage innovation in the marketplace.  The link to ITN can be found here.