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Forty Philadelphia-Based Startups Benefit from KIZ Tax Credits

PHILADELPHIA -- (May 20, 2022) – Companies in the University City Keystone Innovation Zone (KIZ) received the highest number of KIZ Tax Credit awards made this year across 22 zones in the Commonwealth. Forty startup companies in University City, Center City and Old City were awarded over $3 million in tax credits by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development as part of the Keystone Innovation Zone Tax Credit Program.

Pennsylvania’s Keystone Innovation Zone Tax Credit is a fundamental component of the KIZ program. A total of up to $15 million in credits are available annually across the Commonwealth for eligible startups. Eligible companies without tax liabilities can sell their tax credits themselves or secure a third-party, independent broker to sell the credits on their behalf.

Since 2006, 125 companies in the University City KIZ have been awarded close to $21 million in KIZ Tax Credits. Many of these companies have received awards across multiple years.

CampusESP has benefited from the KIZ Tax Credit program for five years. “The initial credit enabled us to hire our first employee, who moved to Pennsylvania for the job. Since that time, CampusESP has grown to 33 full-time employees, including six who have relocated to Philadelphia,” says Dave Becker, Co-founder & CEO of CampusESP. “The KIZ Tax Credit program really made a difference. CampusESP now serves over 200 major colleges and universities, including 29 in Pennsylvania, supporting family engagement and communication for over two million parents.”

Eligible early-stage life science and tech companies can access up to $100,000 in tradable credits each year, and many of the awardees will invest those funds in new employees and equipment to further develop and commercialize products and technologies.

“The KIZ Tax Credit program is an incredible opportunity for our startup as it provides supplemental research funds which have been instrumental in our discovery process,” says Shariff Bayoumy, Managing Partner at Mebias Discovery. “Past KIZ Tax Credits have allowed us to complete FDA studies in advance of starting clinical trials later this year. This most recent tax credit will enable us to conduct experiments designed to assess efficacy and safety in healthy volunteers during our first-in-human trials.”

The deadline to apply for KIZ Tax Credits is December 1st of each year.

Startups located in the University City KIZ who are interested in applying for a tax credit should call Alafia Simmons, Zone Coordinator, at 215.966.6161 or email for more information.

About the University City Keystone Innovation Zone

The University City Keystone Innovation Zone is a partnership of BioAdvance, Drexel University, Thomas Jefferson University, the University City Science Center, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia and The Wistar Institute. It was established in 2004 by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority as a Keystone Innovation Zone, a geographically designated zone designed to create a “knowledge neighborhood” that develops technology business communities by aligning talent and resources. University City KIZ partners are committed to working together to ensure that life sciences and information technology opportunities are developed and supported to maximize the potential of university research, startup companies and international companies seeking to locate in the region. The Science Center serves as the administrative and fiscal agent of the University City KIZ.

Media Contact:

Kristen Fitch

Kristen Fitch

Senior Director, Marketing