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Sustained Commitment Results in Significant Impact

August 08, 2019

State and regional innovation programs continue to encourage significant economic growth across the country. The most recent example of the impact programs are having comes from JumpStart, a Cleveland-based venture development organization, which recently released its 2018 economic impact report. It found that companies in Ohio and New York fostered by JumpStart generated more than $1 billion in economic impact. This increased the cumulative JumpStart total to $6.6 billion since 2010.

Want that kind of economic impact in your region? Attendees of the upcoming SSTI Annual Conference in Providence, Rhode Island, Sept. 9 – 11 will learn lessons learned from programs that are creating a better future through science, technology and innovation and leave the conference with actionable ideas to improve their states and regions.

"We are a data-driven organization with a mission to economically transform communities, so it’s very important to study how the companies we’re assisting are impacting the economy," said JumpStart CEO Ray Leach. "This study highlights a strong group of growing startups who are continuing to generate significant impact on our economy, even as successful startups such as CoverMyMeds and Wireless Environment get acquired and exit the study."

The JumpStart results are in line with the impact of other TBED initiatives. In Pennsylvania, the state-funded Ben Franklin Technology Partners (BFTP) helped boost economic development by $4.1 billion from 2012 to 2016, created 11,407 high-paying jobs and generated $385 million in tax revenue. However, the report cautioned that because of declining state revenue for the program, BFTP "has been unable to invest in some deserving companies and has seriously short-funded others."

Findings from other recent impact studies include:

  • $1.4 billion economic impact from the Institute of Commercialization of Florida Technology,
  • $900 million in economic activity in just 2018 from the Maryland Technology Development Corp. (TEDCO),
  • A 22:1 return on investment from projects with the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST), and
  • $2 billion impact from capital attracted, revenue generated and exits from the more than 100 startups Rev1 invested in from 2013 to 2018.

More needs to done at the federal level, according to Gregory Tassey, Economic Policy Research Center, University of Washington. In a recent report in NOW: The Essence of Knowledge, Tassey found that "regional TBED is becoming the main driver of economic growth in industrialized nations." While many other countries are expanding their TBED commitment and resources, "the U.S. economy lacks a comprehensive national strategy implemented through an institutionalized TBED policy infrastructure, which is placing too great a burden on individual state programs."

Ohio, Pennsylvaniaeconomic impact report