Ben Franklin News

Ben Franklin iXchange Postponed to May 18, 2021

Robert Tucker will keynote, retiring CEO Chad Paul will be honored, and 6 innovation awards will be presented.

As the world innovates to recover from COVID-19 and to prepare for future crises, the Ben Franklin iXchange keynote speaker’s message, SPARK! Managing the Future, has never been more timely. Because of the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP) has postponed the iXchange to Tuesday, May 18, 2021, beginning at 4:30 PM. The event will be held at Lehigh University’s Zoellner Arts Center, Bethlehem.

Often described as “America’s innovation coach,” Robert B. Tucker helps leaders spark innovative thinking in themselves and their teams using some surprisingly simple yet powerful concepts. Tucker bases his content on more than 20 years of research and real-world coaching experience to help leaders develop the mindset, toolset, and skillset of the innovator — necessary qualities to meet the triple challenges of growth, differentiation, and disruption.

As Ben Franklin’s president and CEO for more than 18 years, R. Chadwick Paul’s vision, determination, and tenacity have driven the organization’s lasting accomplishments. He led the creation and two expansions of Ben Franklin TechVentures, the business technology incubator that was twice named the International Business Innovation Association Incubator of the Year. Pennsylvania’s four-center Ben Franklin Technology Partners network is the recognized national gold standard in tech-based economic development. During Paul’s tenure, BFTP/NEP clients have created thousands, and retained tens of thousands, of highly paid, sustainable jobs.

The iXchange will include two executive networking sessions, Tucker’s keynote, and a tribute to retiring Chad Paul. Ben Franklin will also present six innovation awards to early-stage technology companies, established manufacturers, and individuals who have, through their success, advanced the technology economy of northeastern Pennsylvania. The winners are:

Entrepreneurial Achievement Award – OPTiMO, Bloomsburg

Michael Miguelez, Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Incubator Graduate Award – ChannelApe, Scranton

Jason DePietropaolo, Chief Operating Officer

Product Innovation Award – Signallamp Health, Inc., Scranton

Drew Kearney, Co-Founder and Andrew Goldberg, Co-Founder

 Innovative Application of Technology Award – SOLO Laboratories, Inc.. Kutztown

Lindsay Sokol Szejko, Chief Executive Officer

Manufacturing Achievement Award – Effort Foundry, Inc., Bath

Charles D. Hamburg, Chief Executive Officer and William C. Easterly, President

The Frederick J. Beste III Partnership Award – Eugene A. Lucadamo

Director of Industry Research Engagement, retired, Lehigh University, Bethlehem

Hot hors d’oeuvres and dessert will be served, and a cash bar will be available. Registration is open, $75 through May 3, 2021, and $95 May 4 through May 18. For additional information, contact the Ben Franklin Technology Partners at 610.758.5200 or


Ben Franklin iXchange Keynote Speaker, Robert B. Tucker