Ben Franklin News

Ben Franklin to Invest $599,800 In Regional Technology-Based Economic Development

The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s (BFTP/NEP) Board of Directors approved the investment of $599,800 in support of regional economic development. The investments are with seven early-stage technology companies and two established manufacturers. 

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, Center staff concentrate their efforts on three key areas:

  1. developing early-stage technology-oriented 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 start 398 new companies, developed 865 new products and processes, created 13,931 new jobs for Pennsylvania workers and retained 20,772 existing jobs. The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania is headquartered on the campus of Lehigh University in Bethlehem, and also operates Ben Franklin TechVentures, an award-winning business incubator/post-incubator facility, at Lehigh.

Ben Franklin announces the following early-stage company investments:

ClydeTec Systems, Inc., Orefield, Lehigh County
Ben Franklin Investment: $35,000
Complete a prototype of a semiconductor device for an optical coherence tomography system-on-a-chip for high-throughput 3-D biomedical imaging. This device will be used in the imaging of body tissues and in other biophotonic and biomedical applications. Also produce a new company business plan.

Gleason Custom Kitchens, Scranton, Lackawanna County
Ben Franklin Investment: $55,000
Implement production and administrative efficiencies at this manufacturer of custom-built and standard cabinetry for residential and commercial applications. This will allow the company to respond to increased sales volume and expand its presence in additional markets.

Icon Legacy Custom Modular Homes LLC, Selinsgrove, Snyder County
Ben Franklin Investment: $75,000
Improve production efficiencies, develop new products, and update customer service procedures for this manufacturer of custom-designed, high-end modular homes.

Infinity Access, LLC, Hazleton, Luzerne County
Ben Franklin Investment: $75,000
Complete final design and obtain UL approval of a proprietary new gate release device and new vehicle identification wireless access technology. Infinity Access manufactures innovative and proprietary electronic controls, drive devices, and power supply systems for commercial and industrial doors, particularly fire doors, overhead doors, and gates. These next-generation products comply with newly mandated safety code requirements of the Department of Homeland Security.

Pennsylvania Sustainable Technologies LLC, Ben Franklin TechVentures, Bethlehem, Northampton County
Ben Franklin Investment: $150,000
University Partner: Lehigh University
Demonstrate the feasibility of the company’s new integrated fuel synthesis process for the production of alternative fuels. Using inedible biomass and other waste materials as feedstock, the process yields long carbon chain biofuels. Increased oil demand from developing economies and limited supplies in consuming regions continue to drive demand for renewable fuels.

Viddler, Inc., Ben Franklin TechVentures, Bethlehem, Northampton County
Ben Franklin Investment: $50,000
Continue commercializing Viddler’s on-line video distribution and sharing platform which businesses and social media professionals use to engage their clients and build their brand recognition through on-line video. Viddler offers the only platform that allows in-line text or video commenting, which has been proven to increase the amount and duration of a video’s viewership. The product has been designed to appeal to businesses, resellers, and social media professionals.

XiGo Nanotools, Ben Franklin TechVentures, Bethlehem, Northampton County 
Ben Franklin Investment: $100,000
Complete beta testing of a newly patented, shoebox-size device called the Acorn Area™ that rapidly measures the surface area of nano-particles. Also finish development of a bioanalytical version of the same device. Nano-particles are minute; they typically have diameters that are 1/1,000th the diameter of a human hair. Measuring nano-particle properties is significant in many industrial applications including energy, electronics, ceramics, and pharmaceuticals. Nanoparticle properties are key predictors of material performance, and currently there are no efficient methods to measure nano-particle surface area.

Ben Franklin announces the following established manufacturer company investments.

Amcor PET Packaging, Allentown, Lehigh County
Ben Franklin Investment: $19,800
University Partner: Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center
Improve manufacturing efficiencies and improve productivity at this manufacturer of blow- molded and injection-molded containers for the personal care and liquor industries. Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center will work with Amcor to implement document standard production procedures, prepare for additional production through new lines, and reduce cycle time and production costs.

Strong Industries, Inc., Northumberland, Northumberland County
Ben Franklin Investment: $40,000
University Partner: Lehigh University
Perform a complete systems, processes, and data assessment of Strong’s operation to enhance efficiencies at this manufacturer of molded pools and spas. Process improvements and enhancements will be implemented to address the company’s rapid increase in demand for its products.