The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s (BFTP/NEP) Board of Directors has approved the investment of $205,000 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:
- developing and growing early-stage technology-oriented companies,
- helping established manufacturers creatively apply new technology and business practices to achieve industry leadership, and
- 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.
EggZack, Ben Franklin TechVentures, Bethlehem, Northampton County
Ben Franklin Investment: $50,000
Expand EggZack’s sales effort by adding more resellers and increasing its direct sales force. EggZack provides an automated sales and marketing system that is specially designed for companies that serve local markets. The web- and mobile-based platform automates the management of their website, search engine optimization, social media, local search, email marketing, blogs, video, and directory optimization to generate more local leads. The system then makes it convenient for leads to convert into sales.
OPTiMO Information Technology, LLC, Bloomsburg, Columbia County
Ben Franklin Investment: $65,000
Expand OPTiMO’ s Legal Technology Division. The company’s new eDiscovery and Forensics Managed Services electronically wade through huge amounts of data to reconstruct electronic events in order to provide reliable information and evidence for legal, corporate, and government agencies in a cost-effective manner. OPTiMO delivers enterprise-level information technology products and services including software related to the digital forensics, e-discovery, and litigation support industries.
Orbweaver Sourcing, LLC, Ben Franklin TechVentures, Bethlehem
Ben Franklin Investment: $65,000
Develop a “supplier pricing infrastructure” in a cloud-based software solution for electronic circuit board manufacturers. This feature will allow end customers and other industry participants to collect a more robust set of data from component manufacturers and distributors. 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.
Ben Franklin announces the following established manufacturer company investment. Ben Franklin provides 1:1 matching funding for work with a college or university partner on technology-based manufacturing innovation in established manufacturers.
East Coast Erosion Control, LLC, Bernville, Berks County
Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000
University Partner: Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center
Improve measures of back-end processes to improve customer delivery performance, reduce cost-of-goods sold, increase efficiency, and maximize production capacity at this manufacturer of erosion control products for the construction industry. East Coast Erosion is one of the largest producers of erosion blankets in the U.S. This upgrade will allow the company to be the first in its industry to advance to this level, providing a competitive advantage and facilitating continued growth.