Ben Franklin News

BFTP Supporting Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises

The company founders and leaders in Ben Franklin’s portfolio are diverse, with many of our clients led by women and people of color. The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania embraces and encourages diversity among client company leaders as a strength in our regional economy.

BFTP/NEP celebrates diversity in its minority and women owned business enterprise (MWBE) clients from throughout our 21-county service area.

A Sound Strategy, Inc., East Stroudsburg – African American founders – A Sound Strategy’s (ASSI) software-as-a-service products help small- and-medium-sized business customers utilize web-based platforms to increase sales and enhance efficiency. ASSI provides intelligent web-based application products including Ticket Mambo – Event Management and Ticketing; siteMaster – Conference Registration; Membership Management; and Website Development and E-Commerce. BFTP/NEP uses A Sound Strategy’s Ticket Mambo product to manage its annual iXchange and Venture Idol events.

Discovery Machine, Inc., Williamsport – Woman co-founder – Discovery Machine, Inc. (DMI) is an artificial intelligence company focused on knowledge transfer within organizations. DMI offers solutions enabling individuals to create and author their own virtual training simulations, enabling knowledge transfer by helping trainees learn faster and see the cause/effect relationship of their decisions in real time. DMI has been recognized as a Department of Defense SBIR Success Story with DARPA and holds four U.S. patents.

Ethnic Beauty Store, LLC, East Stroudsburg University Innovation Center, East Stroudsburg – African American founder – Ethnic Beauty Store produces the proprietary Game Face Grooming product line, currently comprised of extra-large-sized wipes, targeted to men who are seeking skincare products that are simple to use. The wipes are fully biodegradable/compostable, have 98.5% natural ingredients, and are made in the U.S.

Grovara, LLC, formerly Ben Franklin TechVentures, Bethlehem – African American co-founder – Grovara is the only online wholesale marketplace where US better-for-you brands and international buyers can discover, transact, and manage their global businesses. Grovara’s intelligent discovery engine, streamlined order management, and compliance documentation make the complex world of global wholesale easy.

LifeAire Systems, LLC, Allentown – Woman founder – The proprietary and transformational air purification systems originally developed for highly sensitive In Vitro Fertilization facilities by LifeAire Systems are capable of killing infectious airborne pathogens including COVID-19. In addition to placing the technology in hospitals and senior living facilities to reduce infections, illness, and length of stay, LifeAire has applied its proven kill technology to help during the COVID-19 pandemic in protecting dental practices, offices, and transportation and school facilities.

Ophidion, Ben Franklin TechVentures, Bethlehem – Woman founder – Ophidion produces a new technology that enables the delivery of therapeutics, including large molecules, to the brain following systemic administration. The company is leveraging its proprietary blood-brain barrier transport technology to advance a systemically delivered gene-silencing siRNA product for the treatment of Huntington’s disease, a fatal neurodegenerative disease with no current cure. The technology may also be applicable to treat other neurodegenerative diseases and brain cancer.

PhytogenX, Inc., Morgantown  – Woman founder – PhytogenX is an FDA-regulated and cGMP-compliant contract manufacturer specializing in personal care beauty products. The firm formulates, manufactures, fills, and packages skin care, hair care, and body care products, as well as over-the-counter and medical devices. The company’s vision is to focus on serving mid-level companies producing 5,000 to 500,000 units/order, Indy brands, and industry veterans.

RADIUS Corporation, Kutztown – Woman CEO
RADIUS is a modern, certified women-owned oral care company inspired by nature and designed with purpose for a better tomorrow: better smiles, better living, and a better world. RADIUS designs and manufactures premium, sustainable toothbrushes, toothpastes, flosses, and accessories – for humans and pets! RADIUS has grown tremendously and recently moved into a completely restored, historic landmarked 40,000 square foot silk mill in Kutztown, PA – more than doubling its previous facility’s square footage.
Rocket Cloud, Inc.Ben Franklin TechVentures, Bethlehem – Middle Eastern co-founder
Rocket Cloud is a technology company that enables eCommerce for industrial wholesalers, specifically in the HVAC, electrical, and plumbing markets. Its technology has driven more than $25 million in product sales over the last two years on B-to-C marketplaces, which provided a much-needed online presence for wholesalers. Using data from this experience, Rocket Cloud has now built, a gated B-to-B commerce platform focused on providing great prices, free and fast shipping on millions of items, and a one-stop-shop for professional contractors.

studio BE Mindfulness, LLC, Wilkes-Barre – Woman founder – studio BE leverages a web interface to utilize scientifically-proven mindfulness techniques to empower employees to increase productivity, reduce stress, improve interpersonal communication, and strengthen resilience. The company aims to be its corporate clients’ private and secure end-to-end employee well-being platform, integrating studio BE content with each client’s current wellness programming. studio BE also serves consumers with its proprietary solutions. 

US Specialty Formulations LLC, Allentown – African American founder – US Specialty Formulations (USSF) manufactures sterile injectable pharmaceuticals used by healthcare providers or in new drug or vaccine clinical trials. Millions of Americans require specialized and custom-manufactured drugs, and the current infrastructure is insufficient to support their therapies. These specially prepared drugs are U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA)-approved medications and are provided globally. USSF, in conjunction with Vaxform, LLC, another Ben Franklin TechVentures resident company, recently announced first successes in their joint development program to bring oral and injectable COVID-19 and other vaccines to market. The oral vaccine is showing good performance in the ongoing clinical study. USSF now employs 14 in high-value jobs, and Vaxform employs six.

The Ben Franklin Business Incubator Network – BFTP/NEP was one of the pioneers of business incubation in the nation. BFTP/NEP applies its 38 years of incubator experience and two international awards in leading the Ben Franklin Business Incubator Network. The network is 14 members strong and one of the largest of its kind. Member incubators fuel innovation, catalyze the regional technology economy, and create the high-value jobs of the future. Four of the incubators in the network are led by minority individuals or women.
·      CANBE Innovation Center – Woman incubator manager
·      East Stroudsburg University Innovation Center – Woman incubator manager
African American incubator manager
·      Stourbridge Project – Woman incubator manager