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 Erie, PA – Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Central & Northern PA is pleased to partner with Gannon University’s Dahlkemper School of Business, the Erie Technology Incubator (ETI) and the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to help further develop an entrepreneurial pipeline in the region through the Technology Business Accelerator (TBA). The Ben Franklin Program, which has been investing in tech-startups and small manufacturers for more than thirty years, will work closely with the project partners and their clients to support emerging businesses and help them grow.  Click on

The TBA is an eight-week course that will assist entrepreneurs in validating their business ideas using customized curriculum developed by a team led by Gannon University and including Penn State Behrend and Ben Franklin personnel. In addition, Gannon’s business school students and professors will work with SBDC consultants to create a comprehensive market analysis for each entrepreneur, who will then pitch their business concepts to a panel of judges. The winning entrepreneur will receive a $10,000 grant to help with business startup expenses and six months of residence at ETI. Applications for the September/October Accelerator are being accepted now. For more information click on or call 814.459.6110.

Stephen Brawley, Ben Franklin’s CEO, commented, “We are excited about this new partnership with Gannon University, as entrepreneurship is at the core of our mission. Our ability to invest in the companies that are likely to result from the Accelerator makes this program an ideal win-win for all the parties involved.”

“Ben Franklin’s ongoing support for technology-based entrepreneurs across Northwest Pennsylvania is well-documented,” stated Jeff Parnell, Executive Director of the Erie Technology Incubator at Gannon University and facilitator of the Accelerator program.  “We are extremely pleased to have their organization onboard, and we look forward to bringing an exciting new program to our region’s entrepreneurs.”

About Ben Franklin:

Ben Franklin Technology Partners/CNP, an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and funded by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority, provides funding, operational assistance, and entrepreneurial support to emerging tech-based companies and small, existing manufacturers for the purpose of creating and retaining jobs in Pennsylvania.  Contact the Erie office in Knowledge Park at (814) 898-6650 or see our website at

About Gannon University:

Gannon University is a Catholic, Diocesan university in Erie, PA, offering nearly 100 academic programs, including doctoral degree programs in physical therapy and organizational learning and leadership. Gannon enrolls more than 4,000 academically talented and diverse students. Inspired by the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, the University offers a comprehensive, values-centered learning experience that emphasizes faith, leadership, inclusiveness and social responsibility. More information is available at