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Ben Franklin to Invest $251,800 in the Regional Economy

by Ben Franklin Technology Partners

Feb 05, 2020
Ben Franklin Technology Partners

The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s (BFTP/NEP) Board of Directors has approved the investment of $251,800 in support of regional economic development. Clients are early-stage, technology-based firms and seven established manufacturers in BFTP/NEP’s 21-county service area.

BFTP/NEP announces the following early-stage company investments.

Gilson Snow, Inc., Winfield, Snyder County
Ben Franklin Investment: $100,000
Enhance production capabilities and expand marketing efforts at this manufacturer of innovative snowboards and skis. Applying aeronautical engineering concepts, Gilson products have a three-dimensional base that offers a “Soft Edge” for a buttery and “surfy” feel not offered in traditional products. Gilson builds snowboards and skis from sustainably harvested Pennsylvania poplar and focuses on both technological innovation and aesthetic design. The company ships to customers worldwide.

Seven established manufacturers in BFTP/NEP’s 21-county service area are applying new technology to help them succeed globally by producing better, at a lower cost, and/or faster. Ben Franklin provides 1:1 matching funding to established manufacturers for work with a college or university partner on technology-based innovation.

American Polarizers, Inc., Reading, Berks County
Ben Franklin investment: $24,800
University Partner: The Emerging Technology Applications Center at Northampton Community College
Complete development of a process for vacuum lamination of circularly polarized films. This will allow American Polarizers to expand product offerings and attract new customers, and improve production processes for current products. American Polarizers manufactures polarized and non-polarized optical products, primarily for the aerospace, electronics, photographic, animated display, consumer, and scientific instrumentation industries.

carbonLITE, Reading, Berks County
University Partner: Lehigh University’s Center for Supply Chain Research
Develop and document standardized work processes in a new plastic resin manufacturing facility in Reading to optimize efficiency, equipment utilization, and product quality. CarbonLITE converts used plastic bottles into resin pellets for bottling companies to utilize in producing new bottles.

Gateway Ticketing Systems, Gilbertsville, Berks County
Ben Franklin investment: $25,000
University Partner: Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center
Identify and implement best practices for this producer of high-speed, access control, admission control, and ticketing software. Gateway’s software is used internationally at zoos, water parks, museums, amusement parks, aquariums, ferries, and at other attractions. The work will help Gateway streamline business processes, innovate, and continue to grow.

Polytek Development Corp., Easton, Northampton County
Ben Franklin investment $7,000
University Partner: Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center
Complete an analysis of Polytek’s tooling board manufacturing process to increase throughput and improve manufacturing efficiency. Polytek produces liquid rubbers and plastic casting resins based on polyurethane, silicone, and epoxy chemistries, which are used primarily in mold-making and casting applications.

Sealstrip Corporation, Gilbertsville, Montgomery County
Ben Franklin investment: $20,000
University Partner: Lehigh University’s Center for Supply Chain Research
Complete implementation of new features in Sealstrip’s shop floor management system that will continue to increase its Enterprise Resource Planning system efficiencies and enhance customer service. Sealstrip designs and manufactures easy-open and easy-reseal systems for flexible packaging, pressure-sensitive tapes, and related products.

Shumaker Industries, Northumberland, Northumberland County
Ben Franklin investment: $25,000
University Partner: Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center
Complete development of a closed-loop water recycling system for Shumaker’s Load-and-Go cement truck wash product. Load-and-Go greatly reduces post-loading wash-down time. The work will improve Load-and-Go, allowing it to reclaim wastewater and residual waste solids for reuse. Shumaker Industries manufactures drums and other steel accessories for concrete mixers.

Vastex International, Inc., Bethlehem, Northampton County
Ben Franklin investment: $25,000
University Partner: Lehigh University’s Center for Supply Chain Research
Complete implementation of a new Enterprise Resource Planning system for this manufacturer of precision screen printing machinery, primarily for the apparel industry. The work will improve the company’s top line growth by streamlining business processes, enhancing customer service, and growing its customer base.

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, at a lower cost, 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.

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