Economics / Philadelphia / Startups

University City companies received $1.7M in KIZ tax credits last year

Over $6.2M has been awarded to University City- and Center City-based companies since the Keystone Innovation Zone incentive program was created in 2006.

The boundaries of the University City Keystone Innovation Zone (which includes parts of Center City). (Courtesy of University City Science Center)

In 2013, 11 companies city-wide received nearly $1M in Keystone Innovation Zone (KIZ) tax credits. In 2014, the bar was raised — well, for University City, at least.
According to a Science Center press release, twenty University City-based companies banked a total of $1.7M in KIZ credits in 2014.

Jobs, jobs, jobs!

While four other Philadelphia-based companies took advantage of the two other KIZs in the city (The Navy Yard and BioLaunch611), the vast majority of companies that received KIZ credits last year were headquartered in UC, according to the University City Science Center, which serves as an administrative and fiscal agent of the UC KIZ.
Most of the companies, such as Adminovate, Chatterblast, Curalate and RJMetrics received $100K, which is the maximum amount of credits made available to each company (Adminovate received a cool $700K total in grants and credits). Graphene manufacturer Graphene Frontiers received $73,768 and web development/SEO firm Eight Eleven received $12,693.
Where will the new funds go?
“Jobs, jobs, jobs!” said RJMetrics CEO and cofounder Robert Moore. “We will use the KIZ Tax Credit to help fund our aggressive team growth.”
According to Moore, RJMetrics took on 5o new hires in 2014. This year, the company will look to continue that trend.
For many of the University City companies, new hires take first priority. Graphene Frontiers’s Chief Science Officer Bruce Willner told the Science Center his company plans to use the new funds to hire a production engineer to “support the scale up of manufacturing for our chemical and biosensor products.”
Pennsylvania’s KIZ Tax Credit Program offers up to $25M in credits each year to startup companies in specific zones across the state. Over $6.2M in credits have been awarded to 39 companies in University City alone since the program was introduction in 2006. The program came close to being nixed by the House of Representatives this past summer, but was spared after a strong pushback from local startup leaders.

Companies: Adminovate / Curalate / Eight Eleven / Graphene Frontiers / RJMetrics / University City Science Center

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