Pittsburgh, PA – Today, Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Acting Secretary Neil Weaver and Deputy Secretary of Technology and Innovation Steve D’Ettorre highlighted the Wolf Administration’s investments in Pennsylvania’s advanced technology start-up companies during an event at Locomation, an autonomous trucking company in Pittsburgh.
“It’s critical to invest in start-up companies like Locomation, they represent the future in Pennsylvania,” said Acting Secretary Weaver. “And it was great to see, first-hand, the incredible things they are doing with autonomous trucks. We have a budding Silicon Valley in western Pennsylvania, and Locomation is one of the reasons why.”
Locomation has received roughly $60 million in funding, a portion of which was supported by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority (BFTDA) through Draper Triangle Venture entities. As one of the largest state technology development programs in the nation, the BFTDA was established to promote an entrepreneurial business environment, advance technology innovation, and create a technology-ready workforce.
“Locomation is proud to be part of Pittsburgh’s vibrant technology community and we’re grateful for the BFTDA’s early support,” said Locomation co-founder and CEO Çetin Meriçli. “Their support at a crucial time helped us hire key personnel, procure essential technology as we build towards becoming the first company to deploy commercially viable autonomous trucks across the country. As we approach our fourth anniversary, we’ve quadrupled our employee headcount in the last 14 months and are growing fast. DCED helped make it possible.”
The mission of the BFTDA is to encourage and coordinate programs and investments, which advance the competitiveness of Pennsylvania companies and universities in the global economy. To date, BFTDA has deployed $52M to Pennsylvania-based venture firms during the Wolf administration. To further this investment and his commitment to supporting innovation in the commonwealth, Governor Tom Wolf has proposed an $18 million increase in funding for the BFTDA in his 2022-23 budget.
Allison Brubaker, DCED, [email protected]
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