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Eleven Life Sciences and IT Startups Receive Close to $1 Million in KIZ Tax Credits

Eleven start-up companies in University City and Center City together received close to $1 million in tax credits as part of the Keystone Innovation Zone (KIZ) Tax Credit Program. All eleven companies -- Curalate, Eight Eleven, Global Technology Enterprises, Longevity Biotech, Optofluidics, RJMetrics, Solve Media, Ticketleap, Torchlight Technology Group, Vita Products and Yorn - are located in the University Keystone Innovation Zone.

Pennsylvania’s Keystone Innovation Zone Tax Credit is a key component of the KIZ program which makes up to $25 million per year available to eligible companies. Companies that do not have any tax liabilities can “sell” or “trade” their tax credits in the tax credit market.

Since 2006 almost $4.5 million in KIZ Tax Credits have been awarded to 28 companies in the University City KIZ. “With the challenging economic climate for the startup community, KIZ Tax Credits provide a great boost for startups and much-needed funding,” says Robert McGrath, Chair of the University City KIZ Executive Committee and Senior Associate Vice Provost at Drexel University.

Eligible companies can access up to $100,000 in tradable credits each year and many of the current awardees are investing those funds in new employees while others plan to purchase equipment to further develop and commercialize products and technologies.

“The KIZ Tax Credit will allow us to hire one more technical employee to help validate key applications of our technology,” commented Bernardo Cordovez, Founder and CEO of Optofluidics. “Further, the sale of the tax credit will help in various aspects of the commercialization of our NanoTweezer system, which launched in December of 2013.”

Robert Moore of RJMetrics noted that his company will invest in another employee as a result of the KIZ Tax Credit received. While Wayne Clarkson, Director of Business Development at Global Technology Enterprise Limited stated “like other start-ups, every penny counts for us. The KIZ Tax Credit Program is critical for our growth. It enables us to innovate by means of research and development. We plan using the cash flow generated by the tax credit to purchase high-power computing servers, specialized software licenses, etc.”

The deadline for applying for a KIZ tax credit is September 15th of each year. Currently, revenue from grants, sales, royalties and other income can be included in tax credit applications, but equity and early-stage venture investments cannot be considered.

UC KIZ companies interested in applying for a tax credit should call 215.966.6156 or email [email protected] 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, University City Science Center, University of Pennsylvania, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia and The Wistar Institute. It was established in 2004 by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania 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. UC KIZ partners are committed to working together to ensure that life sciences technology opportunities are developed and supported to maximize the potential of university research, start-up companies and international companies seeking to locate in the region.

For more information about the University City Keystone Innovation Zone, call (215) 966-6156 or visit

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