A few years ago, the Youngstown, Ohio ABC-television news crew came to Bethlehem to do a story about how successful we are at launching tech companies. Our community was able to recover from the implosion of the American steel industry, and Youngstown, Ohio was not. The Ben Franklin Technology Partners program was a central reason for that, and the news team highlighted our incubator program. Five years later, our early stage tech company investing and support program is on the PA legislative chopping block…and according to this article, Youngstown is the new Bethlehem. The private investment sector has pretty much abandoned pre-revenue technology company investing. Efforts like the Ben Franklin program have led the country in support of companies at this early, vulnerable, innovative stage.
I’m good with smaller government. I voted for it. But let’s please be targeted in Pennsylvania. We can’t all drive frack-water trucks to Ohio for a living.