Tag: DPP in the News

Startup302 Info Session December 14, 2022

Recorded Information Session Shows Prospective Applicants How to Enter Startup302 Competition

WILMINGTON, Del. – Delaware’s Startup302 pitch contest recently hosted an online information session for prospective entrants to learn more about the competition’s requirements, prizes, presentation ideas and more. The 40-minute video may be viewed here.

Coordinated by Delaware Prosperity Partnership and partners from the Delaware business community, Startup302 supports entrepreneurs who need a boost for their business. Awards include cash grants, and participation benefits include mentorship opportunities and engagement with investors and key influencers.

Tech-enabled startups with at least one founder from an underrepresented group are invited to learn more about Startup302. Ventures in advanced materials, agriculture, bioscience, business/financial services, chemistry, esports and blue/green energy are especially encouraged to enter.

Underrepresented founders include women and African Americans, Latin Americans, Native Americans and members of the LGBTQ+ community. Startup302 aims to strengthen Delaware’s innovation ecosystem by improving access to funding and mentorship for underrepresented entrepreneurs while fostering diverse perspectives, promoting inclusive and equitable consideration and attracting diverse communities of founders to the region. As a result, startups don’t have to be Delaware-based to enter.

DPP’s Startup302 partners include First Founders, the Delaware Sustainable Chemistry Alliance, the University of Delaware’s Horn Entrepreneurship, True Access Capital’s Women’s Business Center, the Small Business Development Center, Delaware State University’s College of Business, PNC Bank and StartOut.

Contest details and the application are at startup302.org. Questions may be directed to DPP’s Erica Crell at ecrell@choosedelaware.com.


About Delaware Prosperity Partnership

Delaware Prosperity Partnership (choosedelaware.com) leads Delaware’s economic development efforts to attract, grow and retain businesses; to build a stronger entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem; and to support employers in place marketing Delaware to potential employees, highlighting Delaware as a great place to work, live and play through its LiveLoveDelaware website. In partnership with economic development partners throughout the state, the DPP team works with site selectors, executives and developers focused on where to locate or grow a business and helps with reviewing potential sites, cost-of-living analyses and funding opportunities, including available tax credits and incentives. DPP advances a culture of innovation in Delaware, working with innovators and startups to spotlight and celebrate successes and connect them with the resources they need to succeed. DPP and its partnerships throughout Delaware support and advance the missions of companies of all sizes and sectors.

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Innovation and Growth Ahead in Delaware’s Chemical Industry

Option: 1

Innovation and Growth Ahead in Delaware’s Chemical Industry

chemical industry innovation in Delaware

Delaware continues to provide a productive environment for major companies throughout the world in agriculture, financial services, manufacturing, healthcare, and the chemical industries. Known as the chemical capital of the world, Delaware has a commanding presence in the $4 trillion global chemical industry. It is the research and administrative center for some of the largest chemical companies in the world and provides one of the richest research environments for chemical innovation. 

Through innovation, a very talented workforce, and sustainable chemistry practices, the future of the rapidly evolving chemical industry in the First State is bright.


Delaware is home to some of the world’s most transformative innovations. A global leader in science, tech, manufacturing, and agriculture, the First State supports innovative enterprises with incentives, financing options, research and development (R&D), and business development support. Many companies today are embracing joint development programs, strategic partnerships, and even increasing merger and acquisition (M&A) activity to support a more innovative culture.

The chemical industry is no exception to this trend. The leaders and trailblazers in this industry are innovating through collaboration with customers, other companies, and academic institutions.

Talented Workforce

Delaware is known for its diverse, educated, and talented workforce. Delaware has seen an expansion in its workforce by 10% during the past decade, nearly twice the U.S. average and is within easy access to more than 100 research-based universities, colleges and medical schools.

Various programs are developed to ensure the talent that walks out of these educational institutions are appropriately employed. They train the workforce and match the right talent to the right company.

Sustainable Chemistry 

Sustainable chemistry involves finding lasting solutions to various issues like environmental protection, global healthcare, and food and water safety. Uniquely positioned as a commercial center and hub for comprehensive chemistry research, Delaware has seen a steady increase in the focus on sustainable chemistry. The industry continues to grow and rely on innovations. Incredible talent comes out of the world-class research universities that have a particular focus on chemistry and chemical engineering. The University of Delaware has a top 10 ranked Chemical Engineering program and multiple research institutes directly related to sustainable chemistry, such as the Center for Composite Materials, the Energy Institute, the Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation, and the Delaware Environmental Institute. Sustainable chemistry companies find a concentration of talent in Delaware with the highest concentration of chemical engineers and chemists in the United States – more than three times the national average.

The innovation ecosystem in Delaware forms the basis of the continued growth of all the key industries in Delaware, including the chemical industry. The industry is shifting to high-tech innovation to commercialize higher-value products and services with shorter turnaround times and reduces risk.  Delaware looks forward to a ‘ChemTech’ future that is driven by innovation, nurtured by sustainable chemistry, and strengthened by a diverse and talented resource pool.

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Claymont Renaissance Continues

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Claymont Renaissance Continues

Claymont Train Station rendering Delaware business

Community hears updates on development initiatives

On December 3, 2019, more than 150 people attended a public meeting at the Crowne Plaza Hotel to learn about economic progress in northern Claymont, Delaware, which is situated near the state’s border with Pennsylvania.

The panel, hosted by the Claymont Renaissance Development Corporation, included representatives from the Delaware Transit Corporation, the Wilmington Area Planning Council, the CRDC and Commercial Development Corporation. 

There was much to discuss, including a new train station and office park, biking and walking trails, and a possible residential area.

“A lot of great questions were asked. I was pleased to be there and see the interaction,” said New County Councilman John Cartier.

 Building a Hub

Claymont has long been prized for its location near interstates, railways and the Delaware River. The new train station, which is currently under construction, is slated to open in 2022. “This will be a state-of-the-art commuter rail station that will drive redevelopment in the whole north Claymont zone,” Cartier said.

The access to Amtrak’s Northeast corridor and SETPA Regional Rail service is attractive to businesses. Commercial Development Company (CDC), which now owns the leveled Evraz Claymont Steel property, has filed an exploratory plan with New Castle County to build an office park adjacent to the train station.

 Live, Work, Play

For commuters, Claymont’s location is a plus, and the area has a mix of housing options, from old manor homes with river views to apartments. More recently, buyers have had the choice of new construction in Darley Green.

Just minutes from I-95 and I-495, Darley Green blends townhomes and apartments with the new Claymont Public Library and retail space. The community is 75% built out, Cartier reported at the CRDC meeting at the library on Dec. 4. “It’s a milestone; the project is near completion.”   

Seeing the popularity of Darley Green, CDC has considered developing a 1,200-unit residential project of townhomes and apartments. At the CRDC meeting, Cartier and Brett Saddler, executive director of the public-private CRDC, stressed that CDC had not filed a proposal.

 Both residents and visitors will soon have more to do in their own backyard. Hangman Brewing Company is nearly ready to open near the intersection of Harvey Road and Philadelphia Pike, Saddler said. 

For outdoor enthusiasts, the Wilmington Area Planning Council, a regional transportation agency, is conducting studies to make Governor Printz Boulevard more pedestrian-friendly. According to Saddler, the goal is to connect the former steel mill and train station sites with Bellevue State Park and Fox Point State Park to the north and, therefore, create a link with the Northern Delaware Greenway.

“This is exciting for people who like to bike and walk,” he said. “It will be safe and aesthetically pleasing.”

The North Area Claymont Master Plan also includes a marina on the Delaware River, easy waterfront access and a recreation area.

 The CRDC will continue to hold regular update meetings so the public can weigh in. “CRDC works for the people of Claymont,” Saddler concludes. “We will be here month after month, rain or shine, to answer questions the best we can.” 

For information on the CRDC, visit claymontrenaissance.org. For a video rendering of the train station, visit youtube.com/watch?v=qbh0JZmbmfc&feature=youtu.be

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UD, Delaware Technology Park and Discover Bank Partner on New FinTech Building at STAR Campus

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UD, Delaware Technology Park and Discover Bank Partner on new FinTech Building at STAR Campus


Once a nearly blank canvas inviting imagination for what the university of the future may look like, the University of Delaware’s Science Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus is realizing such transformation on a daily basis. Combining top academics and research with industry and community partnerships, a renewed future is shaping in real time at this intersection of discovery, education and innovation, driven by a bold vision for positive impact on the world.

UD, Delaware Technology Park (DTP) and Discover Bank will partner on the construction of a new building that continues the STAR Campus’s march into the future, adding a building block that taps into the evolving world of financial services technology — commonly called FinTech — with an eye on growth for Delaware.

Like the previous construction on STAR Campus, the six-story, 100,000-square feet structure will bring various facets of an industry together under one roof, in this case the academic, business and governmental segments of the financial world.

“Working with DTP and Discover to strengthen Delaware’s growing FinTech sector, the University of Delaware is proud to participate in this public-private partnership, continuing development of knowledge and innovations that help drive our state’s economy,” said UD President Dennis Assanis. “Our University is a national leader in finance, technology and entrepreneurship, so combining our expertise and resources in these complementary fields will yield exciting opportunities for our students and faculty with meaningful impact on society.”

The new FinTech building will add immense value to Delaware’s growing prowess in financial technology. More and more financial services companies are morphing into technology companies. Global investment in FinTech-related companies rose from $18.9 billion in 2013 to $111.8 billion in 2018, according to a recent report by the Delaware Prosperity Partnership.

“We’re working hard in Delaware to support those entrepreneurs and innovators who will keep our state competitive in the 21st century economy, and drive new job creation,” Governor John Carney said. “We’re also good at working together in Delaware, and I am really pleased to see this kind of collaboration between the private sector and the University of Delaware. This partnership at the STAR Campus will help create a pipeline of skilled local talent, support our entrepreneurs, build on our strength in financial technology, and strengthen our economy over the long term.”

By constructing a hub where the financial services industry and academia intersect with technology and innovation, UD, Discover and DTP will contribute to the vitality of Delaware’s economy. UD’s research and instruction in data-related disciplines will create a highly capable workforce to feed the FinTech industry in Delaware, including the start-up businesses that will hatch, grow and spin out of the new facility.

The building will house:

  • Spaces for startups to develop and grow, managed by Delaware Technology Park. Tenants will have onsite access to business development resources and technical assistance.
  • Labs and centers associated within UD’s College of Engineering and Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics. These spaces will link strengths and resources from both colleges on topics such as financial analytics, cybersecurity, human-machine learning and data analysis.
  • UD’s Office of Economic Innovation and Partnerships (OEIP) will relocate its offices from the Delaware Technology Park’s Innovation Way location.
  • Delaware’s Small Business Development Center, which will be synergistically located to offer assistance to OEIP’s Spin In program. This program connects UD undergraduate students with community entrepreneurs and early-stage startups to give them an inside look at business innovation in action and a chance to apply what they’re learning in real-life situations.

“Delaware Technology Park is excited to launch a new building project on STAR Campus in conjunction with the University of Delaware and funded by Discover Bank,” said Mike Bowman, president and CEO of DTP. “It will contain faculty, students and entrepreneurs with outstanding data science knowledge and digital management competencies as well as support resources for business development and community education.”

The $38 million project will be funded via a favorable below market interest rate loan by Discover Bank to DTP, the owner of the building. UD will lease space in the building.

Discover Bank is currently exploring ways to partner with UD on research related to the financial technology needs of the bank that may include cyber-related technologies, and consumer data analytics, applications and behaviors. A national nonprofit focused on improving the financial health of communities, has partnered with Discover Bank to work with UD, DTP, entrepreneurs and the community on the utilization and testing of financial technologies to improve consumer financial health.

“Discover Bank is dedicated to building stronger communities, which is why we’ve championed this project with the Delaware Technology Park and the University of Delaware to expand economic opportunities, create jobs in financial services and FinTech, and promote financial health for underserved populations,” said Discover Bank President James J. Roszkowski. “The development at STAR helps us realize our vision of creating brighter financial futures for consumers as well as creating new opportunities for the business community.”

The building, which is scheduled for a 2021 opening, will mark the first sizable presence of Lerner College on the STAR Campus.

“This project will create an excellent opportunity for UD students to explore new frontiers in data-related disciplines including computer and information sciences, computer engineering and financial analytics,” UD Provost Robin Morgan said. “With a focus on setting up our students for success, the UD community will have access to new space for academic growth and the pursuit of employment opportunities in the continuously expanding FinTech industry here in Delaware.”

Potential plans and programs include a cybersecurity leadership center that would link Lerner’s cybersecurity management with the College of Engineering’s cybersecurity engineering and technology, a space for human-machine learning and social media data analysis and a multi-media studio.

Kurt Foreman


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DPP’s Role in Delaware Economic Development

DPP’s Role in Delaware Economic Development

This month, we had an opportunity to meet with Becky Harrington, Director of Business Development, to chat about Delaware’s economic development efforts. Below, she shares some background and insights about the Delaware Prosperity Partnership (DPP) and its role in helping the state attract new jobs and companies. (This interview has been edited for length and clarity.)

Leading Delaware’s Economic Development Efforts

Like most state economic development organizations, when the DPP was formed, it focused on creating new jobs and investment in Delaware. These efforts focus on four areas:

  1. Attraction – Focusing on bringing new companies here
  2. Expansion – Engaging and supporting existing employers
  3. Innovation – Convening and supporting new, emerging sectors
  4. Talent – Enhancing the state’s talent pool and supporting employers in their workforce needs

Most states focus on the first three areas, but the fourth area has been increasing in importance across the nation. The emphasis on workforce and talent cultivation has become an increasingly important element of attracting new companies and retaining existing employers. As a result, DPP has a focus on talent attraction, to complement what Delaware Technical Community College and other colleges and universities are doing. We want to further strengthen Delaware’s talent pipeline with a two-pronged approached – by developing local talent and attracting employees from outside the state. We have some exciting initiatives that will help Delaware stay competitive.

Partnerships Fuel Delaware Economic Development

Our economic development efforts are fueled by strong partnerships. We include our statewide partners when we engage with new companies and site selectors. Because of these valuable partnerships, prospects considering Delaware are able to ask peer companies important questions about the business climate, labor force, taxes, and quality of life.

Delaware’s Collaborative Spirit

In Delaware, we often say that we are bigger because of our size. We can easily access elected officials, regulatory agency leaders, and community leaders to help our clients and prospects. When a prospect sees how cooperative our state is, it makes it easy to visualize how Delaware can be a good fit for their company.

Delaware’s Pro-Business Attitude

We have a pro-business attitude in Delaware, both on the government side and corporate leadership side. It is exciting to be here working with DPP – From Governor John Carney to our Congressional delegation to our private sector investors, there is a great focus on creating the right kind of jobs and the right kind of investments in our state.

If you’re looking to grow or expand your business or would like to learn how our Delaware economic development agency can help you, contact us today at (302) 477-7497.

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No State Builds Pathways from High School to Jobs as well as Delaware Does: Opinion

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No State Builds Pathways from High School to Jobs as well as Delaware Does: Opinion

7 NOVEMBER, 2019

How can it be that with the lowest unemployment rate in anyone’s memory, the U.S. still has 6.9 jobs seeking workers and 6.3 workers seeking jobs?

There is no single answer, but a big part of the problem is the skills gap – not enough workers with the right skills, especially to fill middle-skill jobs in such fields as health care, IT, and advanced manufacturing.

Many states are building pipeline programs to address this gap, programs that begin in high school, connect to post secondary institutions, and work with employers to ensure that students have the right skills to fill in-demand jobs that can get them launched on fulfilling careers.

No state does this as well as Delaware.

Over these past six years, Delaware has, from a standing start, created a statewide career pathways system that has become a model for the nation. Delaware has grown from 27 students enrolled in an advanced manufacturing program in 2014 to 16,000 students across the state currently enrolled in 25 career pathways in 12 high-growth, high-demand sectors of the state’s economy.

The state is on track to meet its goal of enrolling 20,000 students — half the high school population — in career pathways by 2020.

Delaware’s story is the lead chapter in a new book just published by Harvard Education Press, “Career Pathways in Action: Case Studies from the Field,” written by Nancy Hoffman and myself. This book, and the case study of Delaware Pathways, will be featured in a session at the upcoming annual Vision Coalition Conference Tuesday, Nov. 12 at the University of Delaware.

In a few short years, Delaware Pathways has transformed the education landscape. Career pathways match students’ interests with tailored instruction and relevant work-based learning experiences, and award industry-recognized credentials and college credits while students are still in high school.

These pathways provide on and off ramps for the full spectrum of options. A young person on a health care pathway could use it to decide: a) to become a certified nursing assistant so she can start earning some money while she weighs her options; b) to start working toward becoming a medical doctor; or c) that it isn’t the right field.

The goal is to give program participants enough early exposure to the world of work and careers to make informed decisions about what comes next after high school.

How has Delaware been able to build such a robust career pathways system in such a short time? The secret is partnership.

The collaboration among statewide entities like the departments of Education and Labor, Delaware Technical Community College, the United Way, Rodel and a network of private employers large and small led to the development of a compelling strategic plan specifying the roles and responsibilities of each partner.

This cross-agency structure is unusually strong, and a dedicated core team from the partner organizations has stuck together to implement that plan.

Delaware Pathways is not without its challenges, including the provision of meaningful work-based learning opportunities for all participants and the development of a long-range funding plan.

But with Gov. John Carney leading the effort to bring more employers to the table, the first challenge is being addressed, and given the broad-based political support for the program, I’m confident the funding challenge will be addressed as well.

Delaware, you are currently building what many believe is the most scalable and replicable career pathways model in the nation.

Keep pushing.

The leaders of the other 15 state and regional members of the Pathways Network are all pulling for you because what you build here could not only help your young people, but benefit their peers in states across the United States.

— Robert Schwartz is a professor emeritus of practice in educational policy and administration at Harvard Graduate School of Education and co-founder of the Pathways to Prosperity Network.

Kurt Foreman


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