The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s (BFTP/NEP) Board of Directors approved the investment of $135,000 in support of regional economic development. The investments are with one early-stage technology company, two established manufacturers, and one infrastructure project.
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 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 14,922 new jobs for Pennsylvania workers and to retain 21,358 existing jobs, to start 420 new companies, and to develop 1,017 new products and processes. The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania is headquartered on the campus of Lehigh University and operates Ben Franklin TechVentures®, an award-winning business incubator/post-incubator facility, in Bethlehem, and the Bloomsburg Regional Technology Center in Bloomsburg. The Pennsylvania Ben Franklin Technology Partners network has returned $3.50 to the state treasury for every $1.00 invested in the program.
Ben Franklin announces the following early-stage company investment:
Piratecom LLC, Reading, Berks County
Ben Franklin Investment: $50,000
Complete product enhancements and implement a strategic plan to expand sales of Piratecom’s noise-reducing communication devices. Piratecom produces novel wired and wireless intercom systems and accessories for use in noisy environments in which accurate communication is essential. Beginning with the marine industry, the company will later expand into other market sectors.
Ben Franklin announces the following established manufacturer company investments:
Bazzini Holdings, Allentown, Lehigh County
University Partner: Lehigh University
Ben Franklin Investment: $50,000
Complete an Enterprise Resource Planning implementation that supports the consolidation of Bazzini’s operations to a single facility in the Lehigh Valley. This producer of nuts, fruits, and confections will garner significant savings through the consolidation, which will allow it to compete more effectively and support the company’s anticipated growth.
Demco Automation, Quakertown, Bucks County
University Partner: Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center
Ben Franklin Investment: $30,000
Select and implement a new Enterprise Resource Planning System for this developer and manufacturer of custom automation equipment and controls. Demco’s patented modular and reconfigurable automation platforms are used for assembling, testing, inspecting, and packaging small parts. The new system will enable Demco to double its sales by 2014.
Ben Franklin announces an investment in the regional infrastructure:
Pennsylvania Angel Network, Pennsylvania
Ben Franklin Investment: $5,000
Support the Pennsylvania Angel Network’s (PAN) efforts to provide resources and support to the Pennsylvania angel community, foster the growth of existing angel investor groups, and promote the formation of new angel investor groups. PAN’s goal is improve the overall environment for investors, increase the number of investors, and increase investment dollars in Pennsylvania for high-growth early-stage companies.