Five GENs Engaged in The War at Work
You are safe, is the message of a hierarchical organizational structure. You are free, is the promise of a networked organizational structure. You belong, is the key to psychological safety in any organization. Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, GEN X, GEN Y (Millennials), and GEN G (iGen) – five generations are in the workplace today. Each is motivated by similar overarching desires, but each was raised in a different organizational culture. The key for today’s leaders to drive top performance across these generations is to tap the best attributes of each structure.
Seth Mattison, Ben Franklin Technology Partners’ iXchange keynote speaker, addressed the challenging work of bringing together disparate generations (GENs) to achieve organizational goals. He said leaders must develop and maintain a work environment in which freedom, trust, and experimentation are not only embraced, but encouraged. For future-focused organizations to succeed in the new age of the networks, a bold approach to leadership is needed.
The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/NEP) hosted its annual iXchange at the Zoellner Arts Center at Lehigh University in Bethlehem on Tuesday evening, May 21. Hundreds of technology entrepreneurs, business people, venture capitalists, economic developers, political leaders, and regional influencers from Ben Franklin’s 21-county service area attended. The iXchange included two executive networking sessions, a keynote by Mattison, a speaker who has been called “one of the most dynamic young speakers today,” and the presentation of six Innovation Awards.
In following with the keynote theme of “The Ware at Work”, iXchange guests had the option of wearing small pins that identified their GEN. “You may wonder why there were bowls of small pins at the registration area of tonight’s event, said iXchange emcecc, R. Chadwick Paul, Jr., President and CEO of BFTP/NEP. We have the most age-diverse workforce in American history, with five generations at work, represented by the five pins here tonight. While workers of different ages are pretty much looking for the same things, they can have very different ideas of what those rewards should be.
Paul began the program by presenting the results of a statewide independent study on the impacts of Ben Franklin Technology Partners in Pennsylvania from 2012 through 2016. “According to the analysis, Pennsylvania received a total of $386 million in additional tax receipts as a result of Ben Franklin investments in client firms. Ben Franklin returned $3.90 in additional state tax revenue for every $1 invested in the program,” said Paul. “A total of 11,407 jobs exist in the Commonwealth because of Ben Franklin Technology Partners. The jobs that Ben Franklin creates are in industries that pay annual salaries of $79,364, which is 52 percent higher than the average salary in Pennsylvania.”
Paul presented Innovation Awards to six recipients who have achieved business success through Ben Franklin funding and assistance, have helped others to achieve success, or have improved their companies through innovation. The 2018 Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania Innovation Awards are:
Entrepreneurial Achievement Award
The company that best exemplifies the quintessential entrepreneurial spirit: a combination of ingenuity, hard work, and innovation that has resulted in the creation of a successful and growing business venture.
Dynalene Inc., Whitehall
Mohapatra, President & CEO and David Arcury, COO
Dynalene is an established international leader in the development and manufacturing of heat transfer fluids for industries including fuel cells, solar and geothermal energy, HVAC, plastics and chemical manufacturing, electronics, pharmaceuticals, and food. Dynalene was conceived as a result of an R&D collaboration between another Ben Franklin client, Loikits Technologies, and Lehigh University, when founder Dan Loikits saw an opportunity in the low-temperature heat transfer fluid market. Loikits, along with Dr. Satish Mohapatra, launched the Dynalene series of fluids and identified additional applications to capture other markets. Ben Franklin later invested in the development of new heat transfer fluids for fuel cells and solar power, and Dynalene received more than $1 million of follow-on funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and SBIR. Dynalene has experienced significant recent growth, increasing revenue 38% over the last three years, occupying three buildings in Whitehall and one in Schnecksville, and employing 21.
Incubator Graduate Award
The company that best demonstrates successful Ben Franklin business incubation. The business has been operated skillfully and confidently, meeting all challenges, from the development of the product concept, execution of the business and technical plan, and successful start-up and operation, to graduation from the incubator.
Forge3, Ltd., Bethlehem
Jeff Teschke, Founder & CEO
Forge3 offers the insurance industry’s leading website and digital marketing platform, powered by ActiveAgency. This powerful, cost-effective platform enables independent insurance agencies around the world to educate, sell, and service clients in today’s always-connected world. Forge3 Founder Jeff Teschke knows firsthand the many benefits of working within a business incubator. Soon after the company became a TechVentures resident, the company participated in a Ben Franklin Tiger Session, an intensive, enterprise-wide analysis by a team of business experts. The strategic direction and constructive criticism provided to young firms during these sessions is often pivotal to a firm’s success. One of Forge3’s expert Tigers was Ben Franklin incubator graduate Ray Glemser, who went on to mentor Jeff as he transitioned Forge3 into the scalable, high-growth company it is today. Graduating from Ben Franklin TechVentures in late 2016, Jeff is now a TechVentures affiliate client, paying it forward by coaching new incubator clients.
Product Innovation Award
The company that best demonstrates the commercialization of a unique, innovative product that creatively and effectively meets a market need.
Gilson Snow, Inc., Winfield
Nicholas Gilson, CEO
Gilson Snow is a snowboard, ski, and apparel manufacturer that designs bases in an innovative and proprietary way to provide an enhanced and unique “feel” on the mountain. Applying aeronautical engineering concepts, Gilson snowboards and skis have a three-dimensional base that is faster, stronger, and more flexible than traditional products, storing more energy for the “pop” that is sought by snowboarders. The company merges the woodworking heritage of rural Pennsylvania with the precision of modern technology, all with a demonstrated commitment to environmental sustainability. Reddyyeti ranks Gilson as the #1 snowboard brand and Wired ranked it Snowboard gear of the year in 2015. The firm has also earned accolades from Snowboard, Outside, and Bloomberg Businessweek.
Innovative Application of Technology Award
The company that strongly demonstrates a “break-the-mold” approach to integrating new or existing technology into its business.
TRuCapSol, LLC, Bethlehem
David A. Brand, CEO and Jiten Dihora, CTO
TRuCapSol (Time-Release Capsule Solutions) applies a patented materials process to high-value active ingredients to encapsulate them to form micron-sized capsules. These capsules retain the vital properties of the ingredient as the product is used, and release it over a duration of time. Unlike conventional capsules, which utilize chemistry that is not environmentally biodegradable, TRuCapSol uses natural materials, making its capsules more environmentally friendly. The company’s initial focus is in fragrances for laundry detergents and fabric softeners, developing encapsulation systems that allow fabrics to retain their fragrance for two weeks instead of two days, and on improving the stability of vitamins. TRuCapSol’s materials provide improved effectiveness, reduced waste, and a performance/cost ratio that is better than existing capsules.
Manufacturing Achievement Award
The company that best exemplifies achievement in the manufacturing arena, showing a proven track record of success and an unbending commitment to achieving and maintaining excellence in manufacturing.
Galaxy Brushes, Moosic
Lee Batzel, President and CEO
Galaxy Mfg. Company produces innovative, durable brushes for oil and gas pipeline operators and pipeline cleaning service providers. The company developed and commercialized a patented “pencil-end” brush, the key component to pipeline pigs that clean and maintain the inside of pipelines. Ben Franklin made multiple investments in Galaxy to develop specialized machinery to manufacture the brushes for domestic and international customers. The firm also utilized the Ben Franklin Solutions Network for financial expertise and strategic support. Galaxy is committed to outstanding customer service, and boasts an industry-best order-to-delivery turnaround. It continues to grow by diversifying its revenue streams and reducing outsourcing. Galaxy employs 27 and increased revenues 100% over the last three years.
BFTP/NEP renamed the Partnership Award to honor its longest-serving board member, former board chair, and staunch Ben Franklin Technology Partners supporter, Fred Beste, who sadly passed away last year. Fred defined the strong vision, dedication, and commitment that is emblematic of the award.
The Frederick J. Beste III Partnership Award
An organization whose strong vision, dedication, and commitment have helped the Ben Franklin Technology Partners accomplish its goals. This support demonstrates a sincere desire to see the region thrive.
Penn State Berks, Reading
Dr. R. Keith Hillkirk, Chancellor
Penn State Berks models the productive relationship between higher education institutions and innovative companies that Ben Franklin was created to foster. PSU Berks has hosted Ben Franklin’s regional advisory board and presented on how it supports companies. It also hosted two Ben Franklin Medical Device Group meetings and continues to support this key sector in Berks County. As part of its emphasis on entrepreneurship education, Penn State Berks has invited Regional Manager Connie Faylor to present to undergraduate classes. It established the Fleming Creativity Entrepreneurship and Economic Development Center, offers maker space at its Penn State Berks LaunchBox, and, through its Learning Factory, has engaged student teams to support several Ben Franklin clients. Penn State Berks has aggressively sought opportunities for faculty, students, and Ben Franklin clients and staff to partner to the advance tech-based entrepreneurship to the great benefit of the regional economy.