The National Business Incubation Association (NBIA) has named Ben Franklin TechVentures® the 2012 Randall M. Whaley National Incubator of the Year.

The award was announced May 8 at NBIA’s International Conference on Business Incubation in Atlanta.

Ben Franklin TechVentures is the National Business Incubator of the YearTechVentures, which is owned and managed by the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/NEP), also won the Dinah Adkins Incubator of the Year, Technology Focus at the NBIA event.

“The judges for NBIA’s Incubation Awards program were unanimous in their selection of Ben Franklin TechVentures for their highest honor,” said Tim King, NBIA’s International Programs Operations Manager. “Our judges feel that Ben Franklin TechVentures best exemplifies the qualities of an outstanding business incubation program, and serves as a model that other incubators will follow when striving to best serve their client companies.”

Located on Lehigh University’s Mountaintop Campus, Ben Franklin TechVentures provides a high-energy and professional environment in which to facilitate connections between early-stage technology firms and the funding, people, technology, colleges and universities, and other resources they need to prosper. Since 1983, the program has been fueling economic growth throughout northeastern Pennsylvania and has graduated 55 successful companies.

“The judges for NBIA’s Incubation Awards program were unanimous in their selection of Ben Franklin TechVentures for their highest honor,” said Tim King, NBIA’s International Programs Operations Manager. “Our judges feel that Ben Franklin TechVentures best exemplifies the qualities of an outstanding business incubation program, and serves as a model that other incubators will follow when striving to best serve their client companies.”

Business incubation programs like Ben Franklin TechVentures catalyze the process of starting and growing companies by providing entrepreneurs with the expertise, networks and tools they need to make their ventures successful. NBIA estimates that in 2005 alone, North American incubators assisted more than 27,000 start-up companies that provided full-time employment for more than 100,000 workers and generated annual revenue of more than $17 billion. Approximately 7,000 business incubators operate worldwide.

The National Business Incubation Association is the world’s leading organization advancing business incubation and entrepreneurship. Each year, the NBIA Incubation Awards honor the business incubation programs, graduates and client companies that exemplify the best of the industry.

The awards aren’t the first for BFTP/NEP. TechVentures’ predecessor, the Ben Franklin Business Incubator, was named the National Incubator of the Year in 2001.

TechVentures photo (c) 2011 Halkin Photography LLC.