Ben Franklin News

Ben Franklin Announces iXchange Award Winners

Register Now – Early registration discount, $75, until May 7, $95 thereafter. Register on-line at or contact the Ben Franklin Technology Partners at 610-758-5200 or Hot hors d’oeuvres and dessert will be served; a cash bar will be available. A nationally known speaker will present the keynote.

Ben Franklin has announced the winners of its annual Northeastern Pennsylvania Innovation Awards. Winners will be honored at the Ben Franklin iXchange event, which will begin earlier, at 4:30 PM on Tuesday, May 21 at the Zoellner Arts Center at Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA. More than 450 business and community leaders attended iXchange last year.

Awards will be presented to six recipients, companies or organizations that have achieved business success through Ben Franklin funding and assistance, have helped others to achieve success, or have improved their organizations through innovation. Each award recipient exemplifies outstanding achievement in that particular category.

The purposes of the Innovation Awards are to congratulate winners on their success and achievement, to highlight the effectiveness of the Ben Franklin program, and to inform entrepreneurs and established manufacturers about the resources that are available to them in northeastern Pennsylvania. The 2019 Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania Innovation Awards winners are:

Entrepreneurial Achievement Award
The company that best exemplifies the quintessential entrepreneurial spirit: a combination of ingenuity, hard work, and innovation that has resulted in the creation of a successful and growing business venture.
Dynalene Inc.,Whitehall
Dr. Satish Mohapatra, President & CEO and David Arcury, COO
Dynalene is an established international leader in the development and manufacturing of heat transfer fluids for industries including fuel cells, solar and geothermal energy, HVAC, plastics and chemical manufacturing, electronics, pharmaceuticals, and food. Dynalene was conceived as a result of an R&D collaboration between another Ben Franklin client, Loikits Technologies, and Lehigh University, when founder Dan Loikits saw an opportunity in the low-temperature heat transfer fluid market. Loikits, along with Dr. Satish Mohapatra, launched the Dynalene series of fluids and identified additional applications to capture other markets. Ben Franklin later invested in the development of new heat transfer fluids for fuel cells and solar power, and Dynalene received more than $1 million of follow-on funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and SBIR. Dynalene has experienced significant recent growth, increasing revenue 38% over the last three years, occupying three buildings in Whitehall and one in Schnecksville, and employing 21.

Incubator Graduate Award
The company that best demonstrates successful Ben Franklin business incubation. The business has been operated skillfully and confidently, meeting all challenges, from the development of the product concept, execution of the business and technical plan, and successful start-up and operation, to graduation from the incubator.
Forge3, Ltd., Bethlehem
Jeff Teschke, Founder & CEO
Forge3 offers the insurance industry’s leading website and digital marketing platform, powered by ActiveAgency. This powerful, cost-effective platform enables independent insurance agencies around the world to educate, sell, and service clients in today’s always-connected world. Forge3 Founder Jeff Teschke knows firsthand the many benefits of working within a business incubator. Soon after the company became a TechVentures resident, the company participated in a Ben Franklin Tiger Session, an intensive, enterprise-wide analysis by a team of business experts. The strategic direction and constructive criticism provided to young firms during these sessions is often pivotal to a firm’s success. One of Forge3’s expert Tigers was Ben Franklin incubator graduate Ray Glemser, who went on to mentor Jeff as he transitioned Forge3 into the scalable, high-growth company it is today. Graduating from Ben Franklin TechVentures in late 2016, Jeff is now a TechVentures affiliate client, paying it forward by coaching new incubator clients.

Product Innovation Award
The company that best demonstrates the commercialization of a unique, innovative product that creatively and effectively meets a market need.
Gilson Snow, Inc., Winfield
Nicholas Gilson, CEO
Gilson Snow is a snowboard, ski, and apparel manufacturer that designs bases in an innovative and proprietary way to provide an enhanced and unique “feel” on the mountain. Applying aeronautical engineering concepts, Gilson snowboards and skis have a three-dimensional base that is faster, stronger, and more flexible than traditional products, storing more energy for the “pop” that is sought by snowboarders. The company merges the woodworking heritage of rural Pennsylvania with the precision of modern technology, all with a demonstrated commitment to environmental sustainability. Reddyyeti ranks Gilson as the #1 snowboard brand and Wired ranked it Snowboard gear of the year in 2015. The firm has also earned accolades from Snowboard, Outside, and Bloomberg Businessweek.

Innovative Application of Technology Award
The company that strongly demonstrates a “break-the-mold” approach to integrating new or existing technology into its business.
TRuCapSol, LLC., Bethlehem
David A. Brand, CEO and Jiten Dihora, CTO
TRuCapSol (Time-Release Capsule Solutions) applies a patented materials process to high-value active ingredients to encapsulate them to form micron-sized capsules. These capsules retain the vital properties of the ingredient as the product is used, and release it over a duration of time. Unlike conventional capsules, which utilize chemistry that is not environmentally biodegradable, TRuCapSol uses natural materials, making its capsules more environmentally friendly. The company’s initial focus is in fragrances for laundry detergents and fabric softeners, developing encapsulation systems that allow fabrics to retain their fragrance for two weeks instead of two days, and on improving the stability of vitamins. TRuCapSol’s materials provide improved effectiveness, reduced waste, and a performance/cost ratio that is better than existing capsules.

Manufacturing Achievement Award
The company that best exemplifies achievement in the manufacturing arena, showing a proven track record of success and an unbending commitment to achieving and maintaining excellence in manufacturing.
Galaxy Mfg. Company, Moosic
Lee Batzel, President and CEO
Galaxy Mfg. Company produces innovative, durable brushes for oil and gas pipeline operators and pipeline cleaning service providers. The company developed and commercialized a patented “pencil-end” brush, the key component to pipeline pigs that clean and maintain the inside of pipelines. Ben Franklin made multiple investments in Galaxy to develop specialized machinery to manufacture the brushes for domestic and international customers. The firm also utilized the Ben Franklin Solutions Network for financial expertise and strategic support. Galaxy is committed to outstanding customer service, and boasts an industry-best order-to-delivery turnaround. It continues to grow by diversifying its revenue streams and reducing outsourcing. Galaxy employs 27 and increased revenues 100% over the last three years.

The Frederick J. Beste III Partnership Award
An organization whose strong vision, dedication, and commitment have helped the Ben Franklin Technology Partners accomplish its goals. This support demonstrates a sincere desire to see the region thrive.
Penn State Berks, Reading
Dr. R. Keith Hillkirk, Chancellor
Penn State Berks models the productive relationship between higher education institutions and innovative companies that Ben Franklin was created to foster. PSU Berks has hosted Ben Franklin’s regional advisory board and presented on how it supports companies. It also hosted two Ben Franklin Medical Device Group meetings and continues to support this key sector in Berks County. As part of its emphasis on entrepreneurship education, Penn State Berks has invited Regional Manager Connie Faylor to present to undergraduate classes. It established the Fleming Creativity Entrepreneurship and Economic Development Center, offers maker space at its Penn State Berks LaunchBox, and, through its Learning Factory, has engaged student teams to support several Ben Franklin clients. Penn State Berks has aggressively sought opportunities for faculty, students, and Ben Franklin clients and staff to partner to the advance tech-based entrepreneurship to the great benefit of the regional economy.