SOURCE: Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania

Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania

October 07, 2014 16:52 ET

Ben Franklin to Invest $357,100 in Regional Economic Development

BETHLEHEM, PA--(Marketwired - Oct 7, 2014) - The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/NEP) board approved the investment of $357,100 in regional companies. BFTP/NEP is an award-winning, state-funded economic development organization that links early-stage technology firms and established manufacturers with experts, universities, funding, and other resources to help them prosper through innovation. BFTP is an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and is funded by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority.

Since beginning operation, BFTP/NEP has helped to create 16,214 new jobs for Pennsylvania workers and to retain 22,155 existing jobs, to start 458 new companies, and to develop 1,279 new products and processes. Ben Franklin has returned $3.60 to Pennsylvania for every $1.00 invested in the program. 

BFTP/NEP will invest in early-stage technology firms through loans:

HB Custom Media, Inc., Bethlehem - $25,000
Expand the commercialization effort for producing and selling custom tissue culture media, reagents, cell culture supplements, and mouse embryo culture media to the Research-Use-Only market. These products are essential for life sciences companies in various applications, including drug development, cancer research, nerve cell regeneration investigation, and treatments for heart attacks.

Medtrics Lab, LLC, Lewisburg - $25,000
Conduct an expanded market launch of a cloud-based clinical education management software system. This software is crucial for healthcare institutions for training the next generation of healthcare professionals. Work will include completing the web application for physician training programs, developing both Apple mobile (iOS) and Android applications, and building additional features to support nursing schools.

Skaffl, LLC, Bethlehem - $100,000
Add additional functionality to Skaffl, a new mobile application through which teachers and students can exchange class materials, assignments, completed homework, assessments, and grades. This digital application addresses the growing use of tablets in K-12 classrooms and the needs of teachers as they develop tools and curricula to enhance real-time educational interaction. There are no other applications that address these needs comprehensively while also being simple to use for students, teachers, and administrators.

TSG Software, Bethlehem - $50,000
Implement processes to significantly increase marketing and sales lead generation in commercializing software for business cleaning services, property and facility managers, and building management contractors. TSG's Accelerator CC® brings traditionally manual processes into cloud software with mobile solutions to automate mission-critical processes. This eliminates workflow disruption. Its innovative approach provides compelling value to a large market.

Virterras Foods, Moosic - $50,000
Support the development of a large, state-of-the-art hydroponic greenhouse for climate-smart, year-round agriculture in Pennsylvania. Virterras' site selection in PA, innovative facility design, and environmentally sustainable growing practices will provide naturally ripened fresh produce to local stores with significant improvements in product taste and nutrition. The market for fresh, local food is growing rapidly. The U.S. now imports 65% of all fresh produce and Virterras is part of a growing trend to bringing back local agriculture and jobs to PA.

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

B. Braun Medical, Inc., Allentown - $50,000
With Lehigh University's Enterprise Systems Center, conduct a baseline energy assessment and a carbon footprint analysis at this manufacturer and distributor of disposable medical devices that distributes worldwide. This aligns with the company's commitment to sustainable manufacturing processes while also reducing costs and increasing market competitiveness. The overall goal is reducing energy use by at least 10%.

Custom Processing Services, Inc., Reading - $15,000
With Lehigh University's Enterprise Systems Center, create new processes to manage internal logistics and minimize material handling costs during Custom Processing Service's projected continued growth. CPS provides sophisticated air-jet milling, micronizing, blending, and testing of powered materials on a contract and toll basis.

A. Rifkin Company, Wilkes-Barre - $17,100
With Lehigh University's Enterprise Systems Center, improve the cutting operation process and develop labor costs for the company's newly acquired Hope Uniform product line, which is relocating from New Jersey. Rifkin is the leading manufacturer of commercial and financial security bags, and is expanding into specialty apparel.

Simplex Industries, Inc., Scranton - $25,000
With Lehigh University's Enterprise Systems Center, map and analyze the designs of current processes to improve factory automation, material handling, storage, and inventory control. Simplex is a regional leader in high quality modular construction, and is positioning itself as an industry-leading builder of energy efficient homes. The company built a prototype Net Zero home that is both environmentally conscientious and economically prudent for homeowners.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Laura S. Eppler
    Director of Marketing
    Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania
    610-758-5237
    leppler@nep.benfranklin.org