Villanova University received its second Keystone Innovation Grant (KIG) to help turn ideas from faculty and students into successful businesses.
The grant, totaling $150,000 was awarded on September 5th at the Collaboration 2008 Conference in Harrisburg, PA, sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), which is the agency responsible for the grants.
Villanova University received the grant through its participation in the Delaware County Keystone Innovation Zone (Delco KIZ). This is one of 29 KIZ's. The program began five years ago to help jumpstart Pennsylvania's growth of small technology based businesses. Since then, the KIZ program has become a national model for economic development. The Delaware County KIZ started in 2006 and also includes Widener University, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Crozer Keystone Health System, the Delaware County Commerce Center, the Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center, the Chester Economic Development Authority, and University Technology Park. The main idea is to create an environment in which universities, small businesses, and developers partner to create high growth companies and jobs. The KIG's help universities carry out activities that contribute to those efforts.
One activity supported by the previous KIG Villanova received was the very successful "Beyond Ideas – the Art of Entrepreneurship" conference, which will take place this year on November 1. The KIG was one of 23 that were awarded to institutions around the state. In awarding the grant, Dennis Yablonsky, Secretary of DCED stated, "The Keystone Innovation Grants we're awarding today will be used to provide seed capital for faculty and students to aid in creating new technologies and business opportunities."