The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/NEP) announces the graduation of two client companies from Ben Franklin TechVentures®, the business incubator/post-incubator that it owns and manages. Orbweaver Sourcing, LLC, is relocating to a facility in downtown Bethlehem that is five times the size of its current space, and Sunbound Technology is moving to a Whitehall facility that is seven times its current incubator space.
Orbweaver is the first and only provider of complete, real-time supply chain integration solutions for the electronics manufacturing industry. Orbweaver’s suite of products and services empowers distributors, manufacturers, and contract manufacturers to instantly and securely transfer and use critical supply chain data, resulting in dramatic increases in efficiency, reductions in cost, and improvements in customer service. Orbweaver will graduate TechVentures with a dozen employees.
Sunbound Technology is developing custom LED lighting products for industrial and commercial applications. Its “slim light” and LED-dimmable drivers open new applications for LED lighting in both residential and commercial settings. The company also serves the semiconductor industry with equipment and solutions. Sunbound employs six.
“Both Orbweaver and Sunbound are moving into offices that are eight or nine times their current space,” said Wayne Barz, manager of entrepreneurial services at Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania. “This exemplifies one of our roles in the regional economy. We provide a supportive environment in which start-ups test their business models with a minimal financial obligation. After early success, they graduate from the incubator to larger spaces in the region and make room for new start-ups at Ben Franklin TechVentures.”
The concept of business incubators in Pennsylvania originated with the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania program. The Ben Franklin Business Incubator, predecessor of TechVentures and among the nation’s first business incubators, was established just months after BFTP/NEP in 1983 on Lehigh University’s Mountaintop campus.
The reduced operating costs of starting a company in a business incubator are typically what initially draw early-stage companies to an incubator facility. But the business development assistance and sharing of best practices among tenants are also key benefits.
Ben Franklin staff apply their more than 30 years of business incubation expertise in support of incubators in a network throughout northeastern Pennsylvania. The 15-incubator Ben Franklin Business Incubator Network is one of the largest such networks in the nation. Ben Franklin staff meet with incubator network managers annually to exchange ideas and information, work collaboratively, and provide guidelines and training that are in accordance with national standards. BFTP/NEP owns and manages both Ben Franklin TechVentures and the Bloomsburg Regional Technology Center. Coverage via Lehigh Valley Business and Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation.