Ben Franklin News

Ben Franklin to Invest $395,600 In Regional Economic Development

The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s (BFTP/NEP) Board of Directors has approved the investment of $395,600 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.

ChannelApe, Jessup, Lackawanna County
Ben Franklin Investment: $35,000
Revise the business plan, create corporate documentation, and refine the product at this provider of a software platform for e-commerce store owners. ChannelApe offers a Software-as-a-Service cloud-based platform that helps e-commerce stores automate and integrate their redundant inventory, order, and fulfillment management tasks across numerous platforms.

JUJAMA, Inc., Scranton, Lackawanna County
Ben Franklin Investment: $100,000
Continue to develop and commercialize a suite of customizable, fully supported event technologies for meetings and conferences that make events more productive. JUJAMA provides tools that enhance networking capabilities in the professional conference space, that support scheduling for corporate teams, and that incorporate third-party provider content into its proprietary platform. These new areas of expansion deliver more information to conference attendees and are expected to help grow JUJAMA’s revenue.

MindBridge Innovations, LLC, Allentown, Lehigh County
Ben Franklin Investment: $35,000
Finalize a new sales strategy, revise financial models, and complete software development for the Coach AL™ interface between the at-home patient and physicians and therapists for the company’s OrthoBike™ therapy system. This rehabilitative tool for physical therapists provides range-of-motion, strength, and gait rehabilitation to patients after total hip and knee replacement and other lower extremity surgeries.

OPTiMO Information Technology, LLC, Bloomsburg, Columbia County
Ben Franklin Investment: $35,000
Expand OPTiMO’s Legal Technology Division. The company’s new eDiscovery Managed Services use efficient software and modern cloud computing to provide a cost-effective and powerful solution that enables legal, corporate, and government agency clients to wade through huge amounts of data to discover relevant information. OPTiMO delivers enterprise-level information technology solutions to clients nationwide. 

Orbweaver Sourcing, LLC, Ben Franklin TechVentures, Bethlehem, Northampton County
Ben Franklin Investment: $30,000
Complete development of a real-time supplier pricing infrastructure as a module in a cloud-based software solution for electronic circuit board manufacturers. Current sourcing and procurement models in the electronics manufacturing industry are highly inefficient. Orbweaver’s software platform will allow for more well-negotiated terms with suppliers, thereby reducing costs and increasing productivity for clients. 

Precision POS, LLC, Jessup, Lackawanna County
Ben Franklin Investment: $70,000
Support marketing and sales efforts for the company’s tablet point-of-sale and on-line ordering technology for the restaurant industry and related food and beverage businesses.

TSG Software, Ben Franklin TechVentures, Bethlehem, Northampton County
Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000
Implement processes to significantly increase marketing and sales lead generation in commercializing software for business cleaning services, property and facility managers, and building management contractors. TSG’s Accelerator CC® brings traditionally manual processes into cloud software with mobile solutions to automate mission-critical processes, eliminating workflow disruption.

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.

Bayard Printing Group, Plymouth, Luzerne County
University Partner: Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center
Ben Franklin Investment: $15,600
Optimize the manufacturing process between operator and machine and identify a solution to  consolidate accounting systems at this digital, web, and sheet-fed offset printing and fulfillment company.

Jesse James & Co., Inc., Bethlehem, Northampton County
University Partner: Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center
Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000
Reduce manufacturing and fulfillment costs and improve speed, productivity, and quality at this designer and manufacturer of bead and button embellishments for craft stores, mega-stores, and online distribution.

Lutron Electronics Company, Inc., Coopersburg, Lehigh County
University Partner: Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center
Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000
Complete design and implementation of an improved, streamlined service scheduling system for this leading supplier of light control products for individual and corporate customers.