University City KIZ

Sellable Tax credits for early-stage companies



The University City KIZ offers tax credits to early-stage tech and life sciences companies from a statewide pool of up to $15 million annually. Thanks to the KIZ program, young companies are reinvesting in the people and ideas that are putting Philadelphia on the map as an innovation leader.  Almost $13 million in KIZ Tax Credits have been awarded to 79 University City KIZ companies since 2006.

“Because of our recent KIZ tax Credit award, our company will be able to retain two software developers. We’ll also use the tax credits to obtain matching National Science Foundation SBIR Phase IB funding, which enhances our chances of obtaining much larger NSF SBIR funding.”

John Nosek, Founder and Vice President for Research and Product Innovation at Guiding Technologies.

Established in 2004, the University City Keystone Innovation Zone (UC KIZ) is among the oldest KIZs in the Commonwealth.  The UC KIZ is a partnership between some of the most respected research and academic institutions in Pennsylvania:  Drexel University, Thomas Jefferson University, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of the Sciences, The Wistar Institute, BioAdvance and the University City Science Center (the fiscal agent).

Tax Credits


Tapping into a pool of up to $15 million in tax credits statewide, the KIZ program helps young companies grow and scale. Eligible companies can access up to $100,000 annually in sellable tax credits.


Eligible companies must be:


  • Less than eight years old
  • Developing novel products or processes in the life sciences or IT sectors
  • Located within the boundaries of the University City Keystone Innovation Zone


How it works:


A KIZ company may claim a tax credit equal to 50% of the increase in its gross revenue in the immediately preceding taxable year, over the company’s gross revenue in the second preceding taxable year. The maximum KIZ Tax Credit per company is $100,000 annually.


For example, if XYZ Co. was founded or moved into the KIZ in 2017, the company would be eligible to apply for Tax Credits in 2019. The formula: XYZ Co. would subtract 2017 gross revenue from 2018 gross revenue and receive a tax credit for 50% of the difference, up to $100,000.



The Science Center relies on the generous support of its donors to deliver innovative programs like the UC KIZ. Your tax-deductible gift helps us move ideas forward. 

No matter what the year, these are the dates to know:


January & July 10th

KIZ Semi-annual report due      

September 15th

KIZ Tax Credit Application deadline


December 15th

KIZ Tax Credit Award letters mailed