Programs & Resources

It’s not just about the money. BFTP/CNP offers a wide variety of training and business support programs for tech startups and small manufacturers.

Business Mentoring & Commercialization Support Programs

Transformation Business Services Network

Transformation Business Services Network

TBSN offers hands-on assistance on topics like strategic planning, market validation, financial management, accounting and office set-up, human resource planning, and advertising strategies. Best of all, it’s all available at no charge!

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SGICC

Shale Gas Innovation & Commercialization Center

Since its inception, SGICC’s focus has been primarily on identifying and commercializing technologies that enhance responsible stewardship of the environment, while supporting the shale gas energy asset in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

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Business Plan Contests

BIG IDEA Contest

BIG IDEA Contest

Ben Franklin’s BIG IDEA contests allow budding entrepreneurs and small business owners, the opportunity to take the first step in turning their ideas into a business reality – practically risk free. The 2015 prize package was valued at $200,000!

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Entrepreneurial Support & Training Programs

TechCelerator State College

TechCelerator @ State College

The TechCelerator @ State College offers designated, shared space and an array of pre-launch business and market research services. The program is designed to assist inventors, faculty, and very early-stage entrepreneurs in converting their business ideas and concepts into operating ventures.

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TechCelerator @ Carlisle

TechCelerator @ Carlisle

The TechCelerator @ Carlisle is a full-service incubator offering Central Pennsylvania businesses a place where they can not only rent the space in which to grow their companies, but also participate in the program(s) that will help them grow.

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Venture Investment Forum

Venture Investment Forum

The training arm of the Ben Franklin program, Venture Investment Forum helps our later stage, growth companies explore follow-on funding opportunities by offering “pitch” training and introductions to Angels and Venture Capital groups.

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eMarketing Learning Center

eMarketing Learning Center

The Erie-based eMarketing Learning Center offers Central and Northern Pennsylvania businesses access to best practices and how-to training in digital marketing, media and ecommerce, allowing them to improve their skills and compete online.

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Additional Funding Resources

Innovation Partnership

SBIR/STTR Grants: Innovation Partnership

Funded in part by BFTP, IPART helps technology companies access federal research grants. IPART helps prepare high-quality grant applications, gets reimbursement for travel costs and training expenses, and provides assistance with commercialization.

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Penn Venture Partners

Penn Venture Partners

PVP provides equity investments in growth-oriented companies in Pennsylvania. Unlike many venture groups, PVP does not have a specific industry focus and their initial investment is typically in the range of $500,000 to $1,000,000.

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Erie Innovation Fund

Erie Innovation Fund

Ben Franklin partners with the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority to make additional investment capital available to local entrepreneurs in Erie as well as established companies/manufacturers looking for new market opportunities. Funding is available for business owners and entrepreneurs.

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