Ben Franklin News

Ben Franklin to Invest $642,045 to Support Regional Economic Development

The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s (BFTP/NEP) Board of Directors has approved the investment of $642,045 in support of regional economic development. The investments are with six early-stage technology companies.

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 379 new companies, developed 769 new products and processes, created 13,043 new jobs for Pennsylvania workers and retained 20,252 existing jobs. The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania is headquartered on the campus of Lehigh University in Bethlehem. It has regional offices in Lewisburg, Reading, and Wilkes-Barre.
Ben Franklin announces the following early-stage company investments:

Infinity Access

Hazleton, Luzerne County
Ben Franklin Investment: $150,000
Complete final design and UL approval of an innovative new fire door controller and motor operator. Infinity Access develops and commercializes proprietary products including controllers, operators, clutch drives, and power supplies for the door and gate markets. These next-generation products meet newly mandated safety requirements and will be manufactured in Hazleton.

Keystone Automation, Inc.

Duryea, Luzerne County
Ben Franklin Investment: $125,000
Implement manufacturing and financial reporting processes for this designer and contract manufacturer of specialized automated equipment. The company has machining and fabrication capabilities as well as innovative design and engineering resources that allow it to respond to clients’ needs for unique equipment in various industries.

RantNetwork, Inc.

Bloomsburg, Columbia County
Ben Franklin Investment: $34,995
Expand the marketing and development initiatives of the RantNetwork’s “Communilator” application for language translation in mobile phones. These applications will facilitate cell phone communication among people speaking different languages. RantNetwork’s Communilator provides both text-to-text and text-to-speech translation for over 20 different language pairs. It also offers image text translation; a cell phone’s camera can capture an image and translate the image to text and/or speech.

Snake Creek Lasers

Hallstead, Susquehanna County
Ben Franklin Investment: $32,050
Develop a new strategic business plan and improve the quality control and inventory/order control processes for this supplier of miniaturized and cryogenic lasers. Snake Creek Lasers has achieved worldwide recognition as the provider of the world’s smallest green laser products for both commercial and military applications, including laser-based projectors, heads-up displays, laser flashlights, missile defense, and bio-warfare agent detection. The company has set records in its industry for output power and cryogenic laser output.


Ben Franklin TechVentures, Bethlehem, Northampton County
Ben Franklin Investment: $150,000
Launch SPINACT’ “s v-Knowledge as a Service™” platform to provide an on-demand marketplace for knowledge and skill acquisition for professionals in all disciplines. SPINACT’s knowledge marketplace contains content libraries of varying styles and formats including written documents, video and audio, flash media, and interactive modules. The content, created by knowledge producers, is sold to knowledge seekers through subscription to SPINACT content libraries or purchased on an as-needed basis. The company’s first focus is support of the vast SAP eco-system, and will expand into other enterprise applications later on.

XiGo Nanotools

Ben Franklin TechVentures, Bethlehem, Northampton County
Ben Franklin Investment: $150,000
Complete beta testing of a newly patented, shoebox-size device called the Acorn Area™ that rapidly measures the surface area of nano-particles. 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.