Governor Wolf Tours AlphaLab Gear on “Jobs that Pay” Tour

January 07, 2016

Pittsburgh, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf visited AlphaLab Gear on his “Jobs that Pay” tour. AlphaLab Gear, launched by Innovation Works, has received investment through the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority (BFTDA). The commonwealth, through DCED, provides capital to BFTDA to be used for purposes of advancing Pennsylvania’s technology companies through strategic programs such as the Ben Franklin Technology Partners, the three Pennsylvania Life Sciences Greenhouses, and the BFTDA’s Venture Investment Program.

“My administration is working to continue to move Pennsylvania forward by creating a business climate that supports Pennsylvania’s entrepreneurs,” said Governor Wolf. “The extremely talented staff and companies working at AlphaLab Gear is helping to drive innovation, making Pennsylvania a leader in technology start-ups and solutions to business manufacturing needs.”

AlphaLab Gear is a hardware accelerator that helps entrepreneurs make rapid progress through the early stages of product and customer development. AlphaLab Gear houses a variety of companies within their portfolio of entrepreneurial businesses, including companies that produce pedicabs, robotic trash cans that sort recyclables, and personalized wedding products, among others.

“Pittsburgh has transformed into a technology hub where startups and developing companies can grow successfully,” said Governor Wolf. “It’s important that we work to replicate the efforts made here all across the commonwealth.”

Innovation Works (IW) invests capital, business expertise and other resources into high-potential companies with the greatest likelihood for regional economic impact. IW is the single largest investor in seed-stage companies in this region and one of the most active in the country. Innovation Works launched AlphaLab Gear in 2013 as a novel accelerator for hardware, robotics, and other physical-products companies.

Innovation Works is part of the Ben Franklin Technology Partners network and is the Ben Franklin Technology Partner (BFTP) of the Southwestern PA. In 2015, the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority approved $3.5M for each of the four regional Ben Franklin Technology Partners to encourage investments that advance the competitiveness of commonwealth companies in the global economy.

In 2014, the four regional BFTP client companies created 1,103 jobs and retained 1,224 jobs. Fifty-nine new companies were launched, through the support of the BFTPs, with an additional 1,125 businesses being assisted, 311 new products and processes being launched, and 130 patents and software copyrights being awarded.

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