State Announces Funding for First Regional Startup Accelerator Program in Wilkes-Barre

August 14, 2018 - 1:08 pm
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Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf announced new funding for the development of two vacant buildings in downtown Wilkes-Barre to serve as the headquarters for all Kris Jones companies as well as the home of the region’s first startup accelerator program.

“I’m pleased to provide funding to both develop vacant properties and bolster a start-up in the Wilkes-Barre region,” Governor Wolf said. “My administration sees the long-term benefits of supporting projects that provide for expansion, economic development and jobs, and that align with the goals of the many business leaders and entrepreneurs in NEPA.”

The Greater Wilkes-Barre Industrial Fund was approved for a $1 million grant to acquire and renovate two vacant buildings located at 16 and 24 S. River St. in downtown Wilkes-Barre. The renovated buildings will serve as the headquarters of all companies owned by entrepreneur and author Kris Jones, including KBJ Capital and Special Guest App, an entertainment booking service.

The project will also house the region’s first startup accelerator program that will give local start-ups and entrepreneurs the opportunity to work directly with Jones to take their company or concept from incubation to a fully-launched, funded, and revenue-generating business. This aligns with the NEPA region’s long-term goal of creating and supporting a strong entrepreneurial community.

“First, thank you to Governor Wolf and his administration’s continued support of economic development in the Wilkes-Barre area,” said Representative Eddie Day Pashinski. “The creation of the KBJ Startup Community and specifically the region’s first accelerator program will be a boon to startups and help attract innovative new businesses to our community. I look forward to this project getting started and the return on investment I know we’ll see.”

Supported through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) program, funding will support critical expansion projects, some of which will provide opportunities for additional economic development.

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