Ben Franklin News

Ben Franklin to Invest $180,000 in Regional Economic Development

The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s (BFTP/NEP) Board of Directors has approved the investment of $180,000 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:

  1. developing and growing early-stage technology-based companies,
  2. helping established manufacturers creatively apply new technology and business practices to achieve industry leadership, and
  3. 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 16,986 new jobs for Pennsylvania workers and to retain 23,761 existing jobs, to start 482 new companies, and to develop 1,433 new products and processes. BFTP/NEP clients have generated $1.424 billion in follow-on funding since 2007. 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® on Lehigh University’s campus in Bethlehem, and the Bloomsburg Regional Technology Center in Bloomsburg. Applying more than 30 years of experience and two international awards for excellence in business incubation, BFTP/NEP leads a 14-member northeastern Pennsylvania business incubator network.

Ben Franklin announces the following early-stage company investments that are provided in the form of loans with warrants. 

Indoor Sky, LLC, ( Williamsport, Lycoming County
Ben Franklin Investment: $45,000
Develop a sales promotion plan to create more market awareness for this manufacturer of innovative interior shading for windows and skylights. Work will include developing an external sales network, internal sales support team, and opportunity management system. Indoor Sky’s Dayliter Shading System increases the amount of diffused sunlight in a room while still blocking the glare and harmful effects of direct sunlight. Effective management of usable daylight improves patient outcomes, worker productivity, student focus, and the attendance and moods of indoor inhabitants, as well as substantially reduces energy consumption in buildings.

Snowvation, Inc., ( Easton, Northampton County
Ben Franklin Investment: $75,000
Complete development and commercialization of additional software modules for this producer of cloud-based software tools for the ski and snowboard industry. Snowvation’s platform manages all aspects of ski resort operations, including scheduling, e-commerce, reservations, inventory management, and more to allow resorts to better engage with their guests.

Ben Franklin announces the following established manufacturer company investments. Ben Franklin provides 1:1 matching funding for work with a college or university partner on technology-based manufacturing innovation in established manufacturers.

Bosch Rexroth Corporation (, Bethlehem, Northampton County
University Partner: Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center
Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000Develop and implement a process to automate data collection that will drive process improvements and enable predictive maintenance for machining centers throughout the company. Bosch Rexroth manufactures products and systems associated with the control and motion of industrial and mobile equipment.

Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc., (, Breinigsville, Lehigh County
University Partner: Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center
Ben Franklin Investment: $10,000
Conduct a plant-wide analysis of this agricultural cooperative’s beverage facility to identify areas for increased efficiency. Productivity, production flow, maintenance, and other areas will be analyzed to maintain premium quality while managing costs.

Penn-Troy Manufacturing, Inc., ( Troy, Bradford County
College Partner: Pennsylvania College of Technology
Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000
Complete the final design of the BICERA relief valve and the subsequent testing and certification of that valve. Penn-Troy manufactures wastewater treatment valves and crankcase explosion relief valves for the water processing and large engine industries. These credentials endorse the products’ safety and will allow the company to increase sales and compete more effectively internationally.

Via Lehigh Valley Business, Morning Call