Erie Innovation Fund

The Erie Innovation Fund is a partnership between the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority and Ben Franklin Technology Partners.

The purpose of the fund is to increase business growth in the Erie area by making additional investment capital available to local entrepreneurs as well as established companies/manufacturers looking for new market opportunities.

The Erie Innovation Fund will invest in two types of company projects:

  • Early-stage, tech-based companies (typically pre-revenue) that can provide a concrete plan for the development and commercialization of a technology that will likely result in job creation.
  • Established companies/manufacturers, with less than 500 employees, that have a concrete plan to develop a new product/new process that will likely result in increased competitiveness along with the creation/retention of jobs.

Screening of the applicants, and the subsequent business plan review process, is based on Ben Franklin’s existing procedure for evaluating applications to the program. In addition, the Erie Innovation Fund  has convened a panel of local business people and potential investors to further evaluate submitted proposals.

Companies that receive funding will also have the opportunity to get business mentoring and support from the Ben Franklin Transformation Business Services Network. By combining business and technical assistance with financing, companies engaged in tech-based product and market development become better equipped to meet the challenges associated with growth.

Business owners and entrepreneurs who are interested in applying for funding should contact Ben Franklin’s Erie Office at (814) 898-6650.

About the Erie County Gaming Authority

The Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority (ECGRA) is the administrator of the County of Erie’s Restricted Gaming Revenue Municipal Grant Program and the handling of uncommitted gaming funds. ECGRA is charged with the responsibility of administering Municipal Grants of 50% of gaming revenue received from the State Gaming Fund by Erie County. See http://ecgra.org for more information.