Columbus, OH – Celebrating the 10th anniversary of its Excellence in Technology Based Economic Development awards, SSTI today announced four winners driving prosperity in their states and regions through innovative approaches to growing their economies and creating high-paying jobs.
“As we reach this 10-year milestone of recognizing excellence in initiatives that are happening throughout the U.S., it is a good measure of the dedication and entrepreneurial spirit that exists in a dynamic economy,” said Dan Berglund, president and CEO of SSTI. “This year’s award winners are examples of strong initiatives that have been recognized by their peers as successful programs. They, in conjunction with past winners, serve as models for those working to encourage prosperity through science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship.”
Awards were presented today during a ceremony at SSTI’s Annual Conference in Columbus, OH, attended by more than 250 local, regional and national leaders in economic development from 43 states and three countries. The following initiatives were named 2016 recipients of SSTI’s Excellence in TBED award:
The University City Science Center, founded in 1963 as the nation’s first urban research park, provides business incubation, programming, lab and office facilities, and support services for entrepreneurs, startups, and growing and established companies. The Science Center’s Digital Health Accelerator (DHA) supports digital health companies ready to transition from research and development to sales. The program selects promising companies from around the world and provides them with funding, collaborative workspace, professional mentorship, and introductions to key healthcare stakeholders and investors in the Greater Philadelphia region. Since the program launched in 2015, 13 DHA companies have created close to 100 new jobs, generated $14 million in revenue and raised over $16 million in investments. Of the 13 companies that have participated in the DHA, five are minority-owned and four are female-owned.
The Georgia Research Alliance created the GRA Venture Fund, LLC (GRAVF) in 2009 to provide critical seed-stage capital to companies emerging from the GRA Ventures Program. The GRAVF provides local investor oversight to assure out-of-state co-investors that companies can grow and prosper in Georgia. Since its inception, the GRAVF has raised over $45 million, and has invested $17.5 million in 11 companies. GRAVF’s investments have leveraged an additional $441 million from 10 in-state and 31 out-of-state co-investors and strategic partners. In all, GRAVF’s portfolio companies have annual revenues of $21 million and have created 526 high-value jobs.
Knowledge Based Economic Development (KBED) is a unique partnership of civic, academic and private sector entities working together to support new and growing companies in Manhattan, Kansas. This integrated community economic development program seeks to attract companies to the community by leveraging the talent, innovation and training capabilities, and infrastructure available at Kansas State University. The KBED partnership is in its ninth year of operation. With over $32 million in economic impact to date and over 750 jobs created or secured, KBED is an asset for the Manhattan community.
Created in 2000, the Community Review program is the heart of the Idaho Rural Partnership (IRP). The program equips rural communities to build momentum by working with IRP economic development experts to identify assets and opportunities, prioritize economic and community development strategies, and attract available funding and resources. The program has completed 37 reviews in communities with populations ranging from 300 to 10,000 and, as a result, those communities have seen new business creation and subsequent job growth, opportunities for work-related education, attraction of grants or low-interest loans for infrastructure and other projects, and establishment of new planning initiatives or partnerships.
“This year’s award winners have achieved significant impacts through their respective programs,” Berglund said. “They showcase the positive impacts that can result when multiple parties can collaborate and build upon the assets of their existing strengths and resources. SSTI is happy to recognize their achievements.”