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Ben Franklin to Invest $392,200 in the Regional Economy

by Ben Franking Technology Partners of NE PA

Jul 16, 2019
Ben Franklin Technology Partners

The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s (BFTP/NEP) Board of Directors has approved the investment of $392,200 in support of regional economic development. Clients are early-stage, technology-based firms and established manufacturers in BFTP/NEP’s 21-county service area.

Investments are identified as continuation projects indicate that the client achieved pre-determined milestones and is receiving more funding to accomplish additional project work. BFTP/NEP announces the following early-stage company investments, which are provided in the form of loans with warrants.

Heudia Health, LLC, East Stroudsburg, Monroe County
Ben Franklin investment: continuation project $50,000
Expand business development initiatives, complete software enhancements, and optimize inbound sales processes for multiple markets. Heudia Health is a technology-driven healthcare company that empowers individuals to live healthier, more productive lives using a cloud-based, network-forming framework designed to connect low-income individuals with the optimum set of attainable health, social service, education, and economic services.

Med-Con Technologies, LLC, Ben Franklin TechVentures, Bethlehem, Northampton County
Ben Franklin investment: $100,000
Begin commercializing a digital mobile solution for increasing patient adherence to medication and enhancing clinical oversight, particularly in pharmaceutical clinical trials and consumer product studies. Compliance is critical to the accuracy of clinical trials in evaluating drug safety and efficacy, which is required by the US Food and Drug Administration for commercialization. The new web-based digital solution will complement Med-Con’s patented tab-based label solution that has been successfully implemented in clinical trials in more than 30 countries.

Skillion, Inc., Ben Franklin TechVentures, Bethlehem, Northampton County
Ben Franklin investment: continuation project $100,000
Complete development of Skillion’s mobile app and Internet of Things (IoT) device for remotely monitoring and controlling micro-mobility products such as electronic bikes (e-bikes) to provide safety, prevent theft, and/or manage rentals. Both the American and European micro-mobility markets are expected to grow significantly over the next five years, particularly in urban centers, creating the need for technology to support the sector.

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

Adelphia Seafood, West Lawn, Berks County
Ben Franklin investment: $7,000
University Partner: Lehigh University’s Center for Supply Chain Research
Complete facility improvements in the production and packaging areas at this processor, packager, and distributor of fresh and frozen seafood to modernize and increase efficiency. Customers are grocery stores and other retailers, restaurants, food service companies, and direct consumers.

Blaschak Coal Corporation, Mahanoy City, Schuylkill County
Ben Franklin investment: continuation $25,000
University Partner: Lehigh University’s Energy Research Center
Develop a process to efficiently extract Rare Earth Elements (REE) and Critical Materials/Minerals (CM) from anthracite-based resources at this producer of anthracite coal. REEs and CMs have a wide variety of applications in electronic, optical, and magnetic devices. Currently, China produces nearly all REEs and CMs, and there is great demand for domestic suppliers.

Freshpet, Inc., Bethlehem, Northampton County
Ben Franklin investment: continuation $25,000
University Partner: Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center
Complete revisions of standard operating procedures and training manuals, and apply advanced analytical techniques for correlating customer data with production information in order to improve product and customer satisfaction. Freshpet has a proprietary process for manufacturing food for dogs and cats, and the products are all natural and refrigerated.

M.J. Reider Associates, Inc., Reading, Berks County
Ben Franklin investment: $17,600
University Partner: Lehigh University’s Center for Supply Chain Research
Support the company with process enhancements to improve efficiencies. M.J. Reider is a private contract laboratory that provides analytic testing support for drinking water, non-potable water, and solid or chemical matter. The firm is growing due to an increased emphasis on monitoring drinking water.

Prizer-Painter Stove Works, Inc., Blandon, Berks County
Ben Franklin investment: $17,600
University Partner: Lehigh University’s Center for Supply Chain Research
Complete improvements in the firm’s Enterprise Resource Planning system to accommodate growth and maximize efficiency at this manufacturer of high-end residential kitchen appliances for the brand BlueStar and Big Chill. Innovation and customization of products is one of Prizer-Painter’s distinctive competencies, and requires effective supply chain management.

Reitnouer, Inc., Birdsboro, Berks County
Ben Franklin investment: $25,000
University Partner: Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center
Complete planning and development of a new facility for this manufacturer of aluminum flatbed and drop deck trailers. Reitnouer utilizes an innovative approach in building the structures that improves product strength and durability, and the firm has been a leader in the industry for more than 20 years. Optimizing processes, and production in a single facility will support company growth.

United Gilsonite Laboratories, Scranton, Lackawanna County
Ben Franklin investment: $25,000
University Partner: Wilkes University
Complete process improvements at this producer of innovative wood and masonry finishing products. United Gilsonite Laboratories manufactures industry-leading masonry waterproofing products and wood stains that are used in homes and other buildings.

About the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania:

The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/NEP) creates and retains highly paid, sustainable jobs by investing in and linking companies with experts, universities, follow-on funding, and other resources to help them prosper through innovation. It is part of a four-center economic development initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and is funded by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority.

BFTP/NEP’s strategy encompasses three key areas:

  1. developing and growing early-stage technology-oriented companies;
    2. supporting established manufacturers as they creatively apply new technology to help them succeed globally by producing better, cheaper, and faster;
    3. promoting an innovative community-wide infrastructure that supports Pennsylvania’s business technology ecosystem.

Since beginning operations in 1983, BFTP/NEP has helped to create 18,536 new jobs for Pennsylvania workers and to retain 37,328 existing jobs, to start 520 new companies, and to develop 1,935 new products and processes. Since 2007, BFTP/NEP clients have generated $1.5597 billion in follow-on funding. The Pennsylvania Ben Franklin Technology Partners network has returned $3.90 to the state treasury for every $1.00 invested in the program.

BFTP/NEP owns, manages, and is headquartered in Ben Franklin TechVentures®​, an award-winning business incubator/post-incubator facility on Lehigh University’s campus in Bethlehem. BFTP/NEP also owns and manages the Bloomsburg Regional Technology Center. Applying more than 35 years of experience and two international awards for excellence in business incubation, BFTP/NEP leads a 13-member business incubator network that is among the largest in the nation.

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