Ben Franklin Tech Partners to Invest $552,215 in Northeast PA Companies

BETHLEHEM, Pa., April 04, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s (BFTP/NEP) Board of Directors has approved the investment of $552,215 in support of regional economic development. BFTP/NEP’s goal is to help lead northeastern Pennsylvania to a better economic future by building partnerships that develop and apply technology for competitive advantage. To achieve this goal, Ben Franklin staff concentrate their efforts on three key areas:

  1. developing and growing early-stage technology-oriented companies;
  2. supporting established manufacturers as they creatively apply new technology to help them succeed globally by producing better, cheaper, and faster;
  3. promoting an innovative community-wide infrastructure that supports Pennsylvania’s business technology ecosystem.

Since beginning operation, BFTP/NEP has helped to create 18,056 new jobs for Pennsylvania workers and to retain 31,840 existing jobs, to start 511 new companies, and to develop 1,733 new products and processes. Since 2007, BFTP/NEP clients have generated $1.5 billion in follow-on funding. The Pennsylvania Ben Franklin Technology Partners network has returned $3.60 to the state treasury for every $1.00 invested in the program. Ben Franklin Technology Partners is an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and is funded by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority.

BFTP/NEP owns, manages, and is headquartered in Ben Franklin TechVentures®, an award-winning business incubator/post-incubator facility on Lehigh University’s campus in Bethlehem, PA. BFTP/NEP also manages the Bloomsburg Regional Technology Center in Bloomsburg.

Ben Franklin announces the following early-stage company investments that are provided in the form of loans with warrants.

eCO2Dye, LLC, www.eco2dye.com, Allentown, Lehigh County
Ben Franklin Investment: $45,000
Complete fundraising for a facility to demonstrate the waterless dyeing of fabrics, threads, and yarns for B-to-B sales to clothing manufacturers and textile companies. The proprietary supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO2) process eliminates water use and substantially reduces energy use, drying time, dye used, and waste. Current practices utilize large amounts of energy and water. With the developing worldwide water shortage, the industry is actively seeking methods to significantly lessen its water usage.

LifeAire Systems, LLC, www.lifeaire.com, Allentown, Lehigh County
Ben Franklin Investment: $24,000
Engage a consultant to complete development of a new marketing strategy for this producer of proprietary in-duct air purification systems for highly sensitive environments. Originally developed for In Vitro Fertilization laboratories, the LifeAire Systems' technology is also being used to address hospital acquired infections (HAI) in the healthcare setting and in the support of the living cell environment in life sciences and biopharma. Research indicates that 1.7 million patients in the U.S. acquire an HAI each year with an associated cost burden of $35-88B annually. These infections create avoidable complications, and contribute to increased readmission rates, morbidity, mortality, and significant additional costs borne by the hospital.

MDS Link, Inc., www.mdslink.com, Ben Franklin TechVentures, Bethlehem, Northampton County
Ben Franklin Investment: $100,000
Complete development of a simple, inexpensive, and patent-pending MoCA SFP solution, which significantly increases data transport capacity using existing coax cable. There is a growing market need for greater data transmission bandwidth to homes and apartments, driving demand for sophisticated technological solutions such as the innovative MDS Link MoCA SFP. Broadband operators can deploy this solution using already installed coax cable systems, delivering massive increases to “last mile” bandwidth in less time and with dramatically lower cost versus “fishing” new fiber lines through buildings.

Pennsylvania Glassworks Company, Temple, Berks County
Ben Franklin Investment: $100,000
Begin production and processing of decorative architectural cast-glass panel prototypes for presentation to prospective clients and listing in an online catalog. This proprietary process will allow architects and designers to apply custom glass wall panels, windows, and doors that have deep sculptural patterns or imagery cast directly into the surface of the glass. The process will address current product limitations in color and sound transmission with better manufacturing throughput and improved cost and quality efficiencies over competitors.

TierraNOVA, LLC, www.tierranova.net. Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County
Ben Franklin Investment: $35,000
Develop a strategic business and financial plan, and enhance product commercialization efforts for this producer of a law enforcement and community-based safety software application. The company’s app, “Am I Safe,” utilizes crime data and real-time input to assess the current safety level in a given location. Built on a proprietary algorithm, the app provides users with a safety factor that considers their personal demographics, including age and gender. It also provides municipalities direct contact with citizens using a web-based portal that allows for alerts, broadcast messages, mass calling, and video.

Universal Cross-Connection Control, http://universalccc.com/, Ben Franklin TechVentures, Bethlehem, Northampton County
Ben Franklin Investment: $100,000
Provide sales, marketing, and customer support to this producer of a software-enabled service for water utilities. Most of the 160,000 U.S. water service providers face numerous physical infrastructure challenges due to antiquated systems or software, including cross-connection control. Circumstances such as water main breaks and power failures can cause unsafe water to flow into water distribution systems, causing “boil water” warnings issued in communities. UCCC’s products manage all facets of cross-connection control administration, allowing water service provider clients to remain safe and in compliance with regulations and standards.

Ben Franklin announces the following established manufacturer company investments. Ben Franklin provides 1:1 matching funding for work with a college or university partner on technology-based manufacturing innovation in established manufacturers.

Applied Separations, Inc., http://www.appliedseparations.com, Allentown, Lehigh County
Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000
University Partner: Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center
Complete implementation of a new enterprise resource planning system to improve operational efficiency, provide scalability and flexibility of operations, and better meet customer demands. Applied Separations builds supercritical fluid (SCF) systems, develops emerging SCF markets, and supplies laboratory equipment to companies all over the world.

Bosch Rexroth Corporation, www.boschrexroth-us.com, Bethlehem, Northampton County
Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000
University Partner: Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center
Develop a simulation that will improve scheduling of a multi-product line for the assembly of hydraulic valves to improve operation efficiencies. Bosch Rexroth manufactures products and systems associated with the control and motion of industrial and mobile equipment.

Medico Industries, Inc., http://www.medicoind.com, Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County
Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000
University Partner: Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center
Adapt a newly developed hybrid manufacturing process for reworking high-temperature tooling surfaces through additive manufacturing to reduce costs and speed maintenance. Medico Industries produces metal parts for the U.S. Department of Defense, oil and gas drilling companies, the automotive industry, and other customers.

Misco Products Corporation, www.miscoprod.com, Reading, Berks County
Ben Franklin Investment: $23,215
University Partner: Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center
Complete automation of the material handling and job tracking processes at this manufacturer of cleaning and maintenance chemicals for the JanSan, industrial, food service, health care, and institutional markets. These manufacturing improvements will support the company’s revenue growth by expanding product offerings and enhancing customer resources.

PhytogenX, Inc., www.phytogenx.com, Morgantown, Berks County
Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000
University Partner: Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center
Select and implement an Enterprise Resource Planning System at this contract manufacturer for the beauty and skincare industry. The company has realized double-digit growth and is being hampered by existing systems. The enhancements will support growing batch production levels with improved manufacturing efficiencies that will greatly enhance throughput.

SHI Cryogenics of America, Inc., http://www.shicryogenics.com/americas/, Allentown, Lehigh County
Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000
University Partner: Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center
Complete a thorough process analysis to optimize efficiencies and reduce lead times at this manufacturer of cryogenic equipment. Manufacturing improvements at the company’s Lehigh Valley facility will enhance its competitive stance in the company’s global network. SHI Cryogenic’s equipment is utilized by healthcare companies, semiconductor tool manufacturers, and original equipment manufacturers that supply universities and national labs.

Contact: Laura S. Eppler
Chief Marketing Officer
Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania
610-758-5237
leppler@nep.benfranklin.org

Source: BenFranklin Technology PartnersofNortheastern Pennsylvania