Ben Franklin News

Ben Franklin to Invest $316,100 In Regional Economic Development

The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s (BFTP/NEP) Board of Directors has approved the investment of $316,100 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. helping established manufacturers creatively apply new technology and business practices to achieve industry leadership, and
  3. promoting an innovative community-wide infrastructure that fosters a favorable business environment for high-growth companies.

Since beginning operation, BFTP/NEP has helped to create 16,214 new jobs for Pennsylvania workers and to retain 22,155 existing jobs, to start 458 new companies, and to develop 1,279 new products and processes. 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 and manages Ben Franklin TechVentures®, an award-winning business incubator/post-incubator facility on Lehigh University’s campus in Bethlehem at which it is headquartered. BFTP/NEP also manages the Bloomsburg Regional Technology Center in Bloomsburg.

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

 Bison Analytics, LLC, Lewisburg, Union County
Ben Franklin Investment: $52,500
Complete development of and provide marketing support to Bison Analytics’ consolidation, planning, and business intelligence software. The product is targeted to small businesses that use QuickBooks™. The Bison System allows clients to easily utilize QuickBooks™ data for comprehensive financial consolidation, analysis, planning, and management. Bison Analytics will implement software enhancements, expand to more Enterprise Resource Planning systems, and increase sales efforts.

Colymer Industries, LLC, Ben Franklin TechVentures, Bethlehem, Northampton County
Ben Franklin Investment: $50,000
Implement a marketing and sales strategy to commercialize a new, proprietary, non-asphalt roofing and waterproofing material called Tarzanite™. An improved coal tar formulation, Tarzanite is not water-soluble and is environmentally beneficial. The material is expected to outlast traditional asphalt-based materials by a factor of four.

Four Hound Solutions, LLC, Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County
Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000
Develop and submit a provisional patent and revise the business plan at this producer of software solutions for automated test equipment. The company’s Cognitive Automated Test System utilizes a proprietary algorithm that will provide a “self-healing” capability to automated test systems. The system allows manufacturing and diagnostic testing to continue even with the loss of critical test system assets. Original equipment, electronics, and test equipment manufacturers, as well as the Department of Defense, are initial prospective customers.

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., Allentown, Lehigh County
College Partner: Lafayette College
Ben Franklin Investment: $50,000
Develop and implement a new process and deploy equipment for the waterless dyeing of textiles for business-to-business sales to clothing manufacturers and textile companies. Current practices utilize large amounts of energy and water. With the developing worldwide water shortage, the industry is actively seeking means to significantly reduce its water usage. Applied Separations and its technical partner, Halide Group of Allentown, is employing its supercritical fluids expertise in this effort that has the potential of returning textile manufacturing jobs to the U.S.

Bio Med Sciences, Inc., Allentown, Lehigh County
University Partner: Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center
Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000
Complete implementation of a new Enterprise Resource Planning system at this producer of innovative and specialized materials for burn and wound care, and aesthetic skin care. Expected growth over the next three to five years necessitates a robust information technology system to improve operational efficiency, provide scalability and flexibility of operation, and meet customers’ demands.

Effort Foundry, Inc., Bath, Northampton County
University Partner: Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center
Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000
Implement improved production methods and product tracking capabilities at this supplier of high-integrity steel parts for the pump, power generation, and military industries. Technology upgrades at Effort will enhance its ability to shorten lead times and reduce costs.

Hydro Recovery LP, Blossburg, Tioga County
University Partner: The Pennsylvania State University
Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000
Further develop and optimize the economic extraction of useful materials from residual “frac” water used in the development of natural gas wells. Hydro Recovery’s process converts the used water into a Hydraulic Stimulation Fluid (HSF™) that can subsequently be reused to extract more natural gas. This process eliminates the need to transport wastewater over long distances. Further, recycling frac water into a reusable product will save millions of gallons of freshwater each year and eliminate discharge of treated water into waterways.

Pleasant Mount Welding, Inc., Carbondale, Lackawanna County
University Partner: Johnson College
Ben Franklin Investment: $20,100
Develop a manufacturing capability to produce aluminum I-bar and rectangular bar grating products to better serve customers, increase profit margin, and create additional market opportunities. Pleasant Mount Welding is a specialty metals fabricator serving the wastewater, water treatment and environmental industries. The work will support programming and implementation of programmable logic controllers and the human/machine interface.

Radius Toothbrush, Kutztown, Berks County
University Partner: Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center
Ben Franklin Investment: $18,500
Complete facility assessment and planning to accommodate future growth at this manufacturer of innovative, high-performance, ergonomic toothbrushes. The work will allow Radius to streamline manufacturing and increase productivity.

 Rea.deeming Beauty, Inc., Bethlehem, Northampton County
University Partner: Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center
Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000
Streamline current manufacturing process and shipping procedures by designing and implementing new automation techniques at Rea.deeming Beauty, manufacturer of the award-winning elliptical-shaped beautyblender® makeup applicator. Rea.deeming supplies high-quality products for the beauty, professional, and retail markets. This work will improve the company’s ability to meet a steep increase in consumer demand and enhance its production and fulfillment capabilities while maintaining industry-leading quality assurance.