Ben Franklin Shale Gas Center Wins a Prize Itself – $750K

For the third year running, the Ben Franklin Technology Partners Shale Gas Innovation & Commercialization Center (SGICC) holds a contest for newly-launched small businesses with innovative products or services for the Marcellus Shale drilling industry (see 2014 Ben Franklin Shale Gas Contest – $100K in Cash Prizes!). The deadline to apply for this year was Feb. 1, and after an extensive review process, four winners of $25,000 prizes will be announced on May 15 in Pittsburgh. You might say four awards totaling $100K isn’t much, but thanks to a grant from the State of Pennsylvania, the SGICC is about to help far more than four companies at a time.

Yesterday the Secretary of the PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) visited State College, PA to confer a $750,000 grant on the SGICC. There are many worthy upstart companies each year that can use a small economic boost to bring their new idea/technology to market. The SGICC will use the new grant money to do just that by in turn making small grants themselves–with an important string attached. The recipient company must match the grant with their own 1-to-1 matching investment. If the SGICC awards a grant of $20,000, the company receiving it must match it with their own $20,000. SGICC has already made their first grant, in Punxsutawney…

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