News & Events

SBA Recognizes Central Pa. Growth Accelerator Fund Competition Winner

SBA Leaders to Visit Ben Franklin TechCelerator in Carlisle Sept. 21! 

CARLISLE, Pa.– U.S. Small Business Administration Deputy District Director Michael Kane officially recognizes the Ben Franklin TechCelerator@Carlisle as a winner of SBA’s Growth Accelerator Fund Competition. Kane will present a $50,000 check at their offices at 453 Lincoln St., Carlisle, PA 17013 Sept. 21, 2016 at 3 p.m. Media are invited to attend.

SBA recently announced the 68 winners of the third-annual Growth Accelerator Fund Competition.  Two of the 68 winners are from Eastern Pennsylvania: the Ben Franklin TechCelerator in Carlisle, Pa. and Phase 1 Ventures at the University City Science Center in Philadelphia. Each will be awarded $50,000 as part of a total of $3.4 million in prizes to boost the economic impact of accelerators across the nation.

“Promoting entrepreneurship has been core to the President’s national innovation strategy,” said SBA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Natalia Olson-Urtecho. “We are excited to have so many Accelerators in the Region empowering and engaging organizations with the sole purpose of helping start-ups create economic growth, innovation, and inspire and empower diverse a community of great American companies.”

“The purpose of the competition was to draw attention and funding to parts of the country where there are gaps in the entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Olson-Urtecho. “The winning accelerators, like the Ben Franklin TechCelerator@Carlisle, serve entrepreneurs in a broad set of industries and sectors – from manufacturing and tech start-ups, to farming and biotech – with many focused on creating a diverse and inclusive small business community.”

“It’s wonderful to see innovative business accelerators in Pennsylvania are being recognized,” said Michael T. Kane, Director, U.S. SBA Eastern Pennsylvania District. “The Ben Franklin TechCelerator@Carlisle deservedly won this competition, but the real winners are those who will benefit from this SBA initiative – the small businesses these accelerators help.”

“We’re honored that the SBA Growth Accelerator Fund has recognized the Ben Franklin TechCelerator with this grant,” said Richard Heddleson, Executive Director of TechCelerator@Carlisle, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Central and Northern Pa. “Our vision for the TechCelerator in Southcentral Pennsylvania is to create an easily accessible ecosystem offering mentoring, training and facilities to entrepreneurs in one location. We are fortunate to have great partners in this effort like the Innovation Partnership, the Capital Region Economic Development Corporation and the Shippensburg Small Business Development Center making this vision a reality. This grant will further enhance the partnerships ability to allow early stage entrepreneurs to explore their business concepts with the best possible chance for success.”

The Ben Franklin TechCelerator@Carlisle is a partnership between Ben Franklin Technology Partners/CNP and the Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC. Its mission is to be a leading regional business incubator by developing strategic partnerships that enable this Southcentral Pennsylvania region to effectively nurture early stage and emerging startup businesses and entrepreneurs providing opportunities for success. Since its inception, the TechCelerator’s Business Startup Boot Camps have helped launch 32 companies who have created more than 47 new jobs.

“SBA continues to make advances in support of unique organizations helping the start-up community grow, become commercially viable, and have a real and sustained economic impact,” said Olson-Urtecho. “Through the wide-spread outreach of this competition, we are able to reach entrepreneurial ecosystems across the country. Our commitment is to make resources available to 21st century entrepreneurs where they are, and these accelerators, also known as incubators and innovation hubs, are the gathering place for today’s innovators.”

To request interviews or photos, contact Robert Goza, SBA’s Public Information Officer in the Eastern Pennsylvania District Office, at 610-382-3084 or

 The award-winning Ben Franklin Technology Partners is one of the nation’s longest-running technology-based economic development programs. For nearly 35 years, BFTP has provided both early-stage and established companies with funding, business and technical expertise and access to a network of innovative, expert resources. For more information about Ben Franklin Technology Partners, go to

 The U.S. Small Business Administration is an independent federal agency of the U.S. government whose mission is to help small businesses start, grow and succeed through loan guarantees, contracts, counseling sessions and other forms of assistance to small businesses. SBA also helps people recover from disasters and rebuild their lives by providing affordable, timely and accessible financial assistance to homeowners, renters and businesses.