Ben Franklin approves $465,000 in Northeastern Pennsylvania economic develo – Times News Online

The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s (BFTP_NEPA) Board of Directors has approved the investment of $465,000 in support of regional economic development.

Eleven companies and 12 business incubators from BFTP_NEPA’s 21-county service area received funding.

BFTP_NEPA announces the following early-stage company investments, which are provided in the form of loans with warrants.

Brewpub Jerky, LLC, Waymart, Wayne County

Ben Franklin Investment: $60,000

Design and implement a high-speed manufacturing line at this producer of beef-based snack food products. Brewpub’s high-protein jerky is crafted to pair well with beer. Its high-throughput facility will help the company scale to meet growing demand and target high-volume customers on a national level.

Click Video, LLC, Scranton Enterprise Center, Scranton, Lackawanna County

Ben Franklin Investment: $15,000

Develop product messaging and establish-test a strategic marketing plan for this provider of digital media communication tools. Click-Video’s Reachlum product is a proprietary communication platform that allows for instantaneous product purchases from within a video, advertising, or a virtual presentation platform, providing a more interactive and engaging user experience than other tools.

MDS Link, Inc., Ben Franklin TechVentures, Bethlehem, Northampton County

Ben Franklin Investment: $100,000

Continuation project. Client achieves pre-determined milestones and is receiving more funding to accomplish additional project work.

Support manufacturing and sales and marketing efforts for this producer of an inexpensive and patented hardware-software solution that enables gigabit data transmission across existing coax cable. There is a growing market need to increase bandwidth rates in buildings like hotels and apartments that have pre-existing coax infrastructure. MDSlink’s module can be installed into modern networking equipment configurations to deliver massive increases in bandwidth at a substantially lower cost than the installation of new fiber lines through buildings.

Showcase Ventures, Inc., Falls, Wyoming County

Ben Franklin Investment: $35,000

Support the product roll out of this new digital music discovery platform and streaming service. Designed by music industry professionals, Showcase Daily intersects human curation and editorial viewpoints to spotlight high-quality new music from emerging artists. Every day, it will showcase musicians across a variety of genres through its well-designed application. With no initial paywall, advertisements, required sign-in, or algorithms, Showcase Daily is the first dedicated service to offer music fans early access to talented up-and-coming artists.

Slick Leagues, Scranton Enterprise Center, Scranton, Lackawanna County

Ben Franklin Investment: $50,000

Support marketing efforts to showcase Slick League’s impact on the youth sports management industry while building a holistic overall strategy including building brand awareness. Slick League’s Software-as-a-Service sports management platform streamlines clients’ marketing, registration, payment collection, rostering, player safety, scheduling, and concession operations, so league administrators, coaches, and volunteers can focus on growing their organizations and developing their athletes. The platform is a comprehensive solution for automating and analyzing sports facilities and athletic leagues.

Unity Lab, Dushore, Sullivan County

Ben Franklin Investment: $50,000

Update the e-commerce platform with sales and support features and incorporate newly acquired product lines at this manufacturer of commercial-grade equipment that serves small businesses and nonprofit clients. These improvements will help UnityLab upgrade services to existing customers and acquire new ones.

Ben Franklin provides 1:1 matching funding for work with a college or university partner on technology-based innovation in established manufacturers.

Dynalene Inc., Whitehall Township, Lehigh County

Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000

University Partners: Lehigh University’s Center for Supply Chain Research

Conduct product validation and testing for large customer specifications for manufacturing de-ionizing filter cartridges that are used in the coolant loops of fuel cells, electric vehicle charging stations, and heat-producing electronics and computers. Dynalene develops, manufactures, and distributes innovative industrial heat transfer fluids and related accessories. This work will allow Dynalene to improve manufacturing efficiencies and increase production yield to continue to grow in the fuel cell/automotive and electronics industry.

eti, Inc., Morgantown, Berks County

Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000

University Partners: Alvernia University’s O’Pake Institute

Increase capacity to meet growing customer demand by focusing on Operational Process Excellence to improve throughput. eti manufactures chemical formulations for industrial water treatment for cooling and boiler water systems and membrane systems, as well as process, potable, and wastewater treatments. eti’s formulations are used by regional, national, and international water treatment companies.

Myers Emergency Power Systems, LLC, Bethlehem, Northampton County

Ben Franklin Investment: $7,500

University Partners: Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center

Implement lean manufacturing processes and develop configure-to-order capabilities at this manufacturer of highly engineered emergency power backup equipment, such as emergency lighting, traffic, rail, and broadband, as well as components. Myers provides integrated technology solutions mandated by safety codes in industries including data centers, government buildings, and healthcare centers. Work will help Myers enhance manufacturing efficiencies and lead times, allowing the company to increase sales.

PowerRail Holdings, Inc., Duryea, Lucerne County

Ben Franklin Investment: $12,500

University Partners: Wilkes University

Support phase two of layout and design to maximize productivity and material flow for this manufacturer, re-manufacturer, and global distribution center of locomotive parts, as it transitions to a new facility. The firm has completed phase one, valued at $5.4 million, with future expansion to follow.

Schott Advanced Optics, Duryea, Lucerne County

University Partners: Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center

Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000

Identify process improvements associated with automating the manufacturing transition from molten glass to molds, in order to increase yield while maintaining or improving product quality. With a portfolio of more than 120 glasses, Schott Advanced Optics produces specialty glass and ceramics for optics, astronomy, opto-electronics, augmented reality, life sciences, and research, and other industrial and consumer applications.

Business incubators are an important component of the entrepreneurial and technology ecosystem in northeastern Pennsylvania. Establishing the Ben Franklin Business Incubator (now Ben Franklin TechVentures) in 1983, BFTP_NEPA was one of the pioneers of business incubation in the nation. Ben Franklin TechVentures has earned two international Incubator of the Year awards. BFTP_NEPA leads the 14-member Ben Franklin Business Incubator Network, which is one of the largest such networks in the world.

Ben Franklin Business Incubator Network,

BFTP Investment: $60,000; Twelve incubators at $5,000 each.

The 12 other Ben Franklin Business Incubator Network members received BFTP_NEPA investments to help support operations:

Bridgeworks Enterprise Center, Allentown Economic Development Corp., Allentown

CAN BE Innovation Center, West Hazleton

Carbondale Technology Transfer Center, Carbondale

East Stroudsburg University Innovation Center, East Stroudsburg

Innovation Center

O’Pake Institute for Economic Development and Entrepreneurship at Alvernia University, Reading

Scranton Enterprise Center, Scranton

Startup Danville, Bucknell University, Danville

Startup Lewisburg, Bucknell University, Lewisburg

Stourbridge Project, Honesdale

Tek Ridge Center, Jessup

The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP_NEPA) creates and retains highly paid, sustainable jobs by investing in and linking companies with experts, universities, follow-on funding, and other resources to help them prosper through innovation. It is part of a four-center economic development initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and is funded by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority.

BFTP_NEPA’s strategy encompasses 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 compete globally;

3. Promoting an innovative community-wide infrastructure that supports Pennsylvania’s business technology ecosystem.

Since beginning operations in 1983, BFTP_NEPA has typically been among the top 5 percent of the most active investors in the United States and has helped to create 20,688 new jobs for Pennsylvania workers and to retain 56,268 existing jobs, to start 535 new companies, and to develop 2,456 new products and processes.

Since 2007, BFTP_NEPA clients have generated more than $1.7 billion in follow-on funding. The Pennsylvania Ben Franklin Technology Partners network has returned $3.90 to the state treasury for every $1.00 invested in the program.

BFTP_NEPA owns, manages, and is headquartered in Ben Franklin TechVentures, an award-winning business incubator-post-incubator facility on Lehigh University’s campus in Bethlehem.

BFTP_NEPA also owns and manages the Bloomsburg Regional Technology Center. Applying more than 38 years of experience and two international awards for excellence in business incubation, BFTP_NEPA leads a 14-member business incubator network that is among the largest in the US

Comments are closed.