Pittsburgh, PA – December 29, 2017 –  Democratic Leader Senator Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) announced more than $2.5 million in funding to local businesses in the Oakland-based Keystone Innovation Zone.

“We need to retain the bright, young college students who are educated in Pennsylvania – and one way to do this is by boosting the businesses that will hire them,” said Senator Costa. “Keystone Innovation Zones support burgeoning businesses on the cutting edges of their fields. The tax credits they get from the state allow them to hire our local college graduates and cover their business expenses.”

In the Greater Oakland KIZ, 18 startups were awarded more than $1 million in credits, including companies like Gecko Robotics Inc. in Point Breeze, Mine Vision Systems Inc. in East Liberty, NoWait in Oakland and others. Nearly $1.5 million went to 25 businesses in the Pittsburgh Central zone, including: Birdbrain Technologies, LLC in Uptown, Downtown-based Showclix, Inc., RoadRunner Recycling, Inc. and others.

The Keystone Innovation Zone Program is designed to support and encourage entrepreneurship in and around Pennsylvania’s colleges and universities, several of which are in the Pittsburgh-area, by providing young companies with the capital they need to meet their growing needs. The program provides tax credits for companies in information technology or advanced manufacturing that have been in operation for less than eight years, with gross revenues that have increased over the prior year, and are located within the specified zone.