With locations in Carlisle, State College and most recently Hershey, PA, the Ben Franklin TechCelerators provide the “Next Generation of Entrepreneurial Support & Business Incubation Services.”
By forming partnerships with other regional/local economic development initiatives, the TechCelerators are designed to offer entrepreneurs, students, faculty members, and small business owners designated space, loan and investment programs, business support and mentoring services, and entrepreneurial training all housed in a one-stop-shop.
The business mentoring and entrepreneurial training boot camps offered at each location allow potential business owners to gather the information they need in order to make an informed go/no-go decision on launching a company.
Since its inception, the TechCelerator@Carlisle has graduated 40 participants from its eight week boot camp sessions and created ten startups which are generating revenue. The program is a partnership with the Harrisburg Regional Chamber and the economic development arm of the Chamber (CREDC).
The success at Carlisle was repeated in State College by targeting university researchers with the desire to commercialize Penn State’s Intellectual Property. The TechCelerator@StateCollege, co-located with several of its economic development partners to create a seamless process for prospective clients at 200 Innovation Boulevard in State College. To date, 12 new companies have been formed that employ 26 people.
In 2013, this model was introduced to the College of Medicine/Milton S. Hershey Hospital to support tech-transfer/startup opportunities for medical-based products. Just this past May 15, 2013 marked the end of the program’s first eight week session for a group of five companies focused on learning how to turn a good idea into a successful business.