Biggest year to date for Philly KIZ: 36 companies grab $2.4 million in tax credits

Companies like Sidecar, Biomeme and VeryApt received credits.

University City.

(GIF via Cory Popp's "Philadelphia in Motion" video)

2016 was the biggest year on record for the University City Keystone Innovation Zone (KIZ): the tax credit program that was almost axed yielded $2.4 million in tax credits for 36 Philly companies.

The numbers signal a boost from the program’s popularity in 2015, when 21 companies from the area, including PeopleLinx, ApprenNet and Curalate, were awarded $1.8 million in sellable tax credits. The University City Science Center’s Kristen Fitch attributes the jump to greater awareness of the program. (It’s not, due to the KIZ expanding to include N3rd Street, as we previously thought: 2017 is the first year that startups from N3rd Street can apply for the credits.)

It now looks like this:

keystone innovation zone

The current Keystone Innovation Zone area. (Courtesy image)

Since 2006 a total of $10.3 million in KIZ tax credits have been awarded to 63 companies in University City, Center City and N3rd Street.

“Zivtech’s most recent KIZ Tax Credit will allow us to take more risks around innovative new products and service offerings” said in a press release Alex Urevick-Ackelsberg, cofounder and CEO of Zivtech, which was awarded $82,585 in credits as part of the program. “We’ll be putting these funds towards the ongoing development of our Continuous Integration product” (One more reason for Urevick-Acklesberg to be bullish on Philly as a startup town.)

Companies that got tax credits from the University City KIZ include:

  • Promptworks
  • Sidecar
  • Velano Vascular
  • Setvi
  • Vistar Media
  • Biomeme
  • PerPay
  • SnipSnap
  • VeryApt
  • CloudMine

See a full list here.


According to numbers from the Department of Community and Economic Development, three companies also took advantage of Philadelphia’s other, smaller innovation zone, The Navy Yard. Luxtech, Rhoads Marine Industry and Industrial Metals Manufacturing were each awarded $82,585 in tax credits. Companies like Clutch, 1SEO and GLOBO also received credits in the KIZ that includes Bucks and Montgomery Counties.

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