Youngstown Business Incubator Earns Global Recognition

Youngstown Business Incubator

FirstEnergy’s service area is home to the world’s best university-affiliated business incubator – Youngstown Business Incubator* (YBI), which helps technology startups grow to become thriving businesses. This Ohio Edison customer ranked number one in 2014 in the University Business Incubator (UBI) Index from Stockholm, Sweden.


Along with its partner in innovation, Youngstown State University, YBI bested peers affiliated with Stanford and other top learning institutions.

“Youngstown is the best place to start a business,” said YBI CEO Jim Cossler. “This award is a true testament to the community. We’re grateful for all of the support we receive.”

Amped up

FirstEnergy’s support plays a role in the success of YBI. Our Economic Development, Local Affairs, FE Technologies, FirstEnergy Utilities and other groups work with YBI to provide its clients with reliable power, technology expertise and business connections.

“FirstEnergy continues to help YBI nurture the 32 companies currently in its portfolio,” said Pat Kelly, director, Economic Development. “YBI and its clients – Information Technology (IT) and business-to-business software application companies – are fearless and determined. The YBI provides clients with high-quality entrepreneurial services and resources and we are proud to support that energy.”

3-D is Key

Expanding its traditional IT focus, YBI now is developing programs to help manufacturers in the community understand how 3-D printing can help them become more competitive. And thanks to funding from the U.S. Department of Commerce, YBI is opening a fifth building in downtown Youngstown.

“This gives us more space for our portfolio companies to grow as well as to expand our 3-D printing capabilities,” said YBI Chief Operating Officer Barb Ewing.

Why YBI Earned UBI Kudos

Examining more than 300 incubators in more than 60 countries, the UBI* Index considers factors such as the value the incubator generates for client companies and the local economy.

“YBI is an exceptional incubation program,” said Dhruv Bhatli, a UBI Index cofounder. YBI provides its client startups “an environment with excellent peers as well as access to an outstanding investor network … Youngstown Business Incubator provides exceptional value to its clients, who have a higher survival rate than the global average.”

Learn more about YBI and how it helps accelerate emerging businesses at*

FirstEnergy’s Econimic Development team can provide the assistance you need when you're looking to move to or expand your business in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia and Maryland. Learn more at


*By clicking this link you are leaving the FirstEnergy website and entering a website maintained by third party. The third party is entirely responsible for the content of their website.


Last Modified: October 3, 2018