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Ben Franklin to Invest $559,802 in Regional Economic Development - Ben Franklin announces its lastest early-stage and established manufacturer company investments - BenFranklin.org
Ben Franklin to Invest $559,802 in Regional Economic Development

 

PRZOOM - /newswire/ - Bethlehem, PA, United States, 2012/08/06 - Ben Franklin announces its lastest early-stage and established manufacturer company investments - BenFranklin.org.

   
 
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The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s (BFTP/NEP) Board of Directors has approved the investment of $559,802 in support of regional economic development. BFTP/NEP’s goal is to help lead northeastern Pennsylvania to a better economic future by building partnerships that develop and apply technology for competitive advantage.

Ben Franklin announces the following early-stage company investments. Ben Franklin investments (benfranklin.org) are provided to early-stage clients in the form of loans.

A Sound Strategy, Inc., East Stroudsburg, Monroe County
Ben Franklin Investment: $30,000
Build the infrastructure to roll out a national sales effort to promote A Sound Strategy’s software-as-a service products that help customers utilize web-based platforms to increase sales and enhance efficiency. Small- and medium-sized businesses sometimes underutilize online tools because of the cost and difficulty in implementing and maintaining them. ASSi’s siteMaster® platform helps companies manage their web content, memberships, events, and e-commerce. The company’s newest product, touchFolio™, allows client companies to develop and manage a mobile application on touchscreen mobile phones and tablets. Clients use the app as a sales tool to showcase products and services easily and at a lower cost, allowing them to compete with larger enterprises.

Cernostics, Inc., Danville, Montour County
Ben Franklin Investment: $100,000
Validate a diagnostic and prognostic test that predicts the risk of developing esophageal cancer in patients with Barrett's Esophagus. The test employs a "spatial systems biology approach" to anatomic pathological testing, in contrast with the current pathology testing that is a largely manual and subjective process. Cernostics will continue to develop this molecular diagnostic test with biopsy specimens and clinical data from Geisinger Health System, Danville, in order to select and refine biomarkers and complete software development. Additional clinical validation studies will lead to commercialization of the test via Cernostics' clinical reference laboratory.

Micro Interventional Devices, Inc., Ben Franklin TechVentures, Bethlehem, Northampton County
Ben Franklin Investment: $100,000
Develop a new, minimally invasive structural heart repair product called Permaseal™, and begin commercializing it. Micro Interventional designs, develops and commercializes proprietary technologies targeting unmet needs in the treatment of structural heart disease. The Permaseal closure device is intended to close myocardial punctures, incisions, and otomies in structural heart repair procedures. This product will serve the large market of surgical patients who are currently unable to undergo high-risk procedures, particularly for the increasingly popular Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation procedure (TAVI).

OPTiMO Information Technology, LLC, Bloomsburg, Columbia County
Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000
Establish and expand OPTiMO’s digital forensics suite of information technology products and services through the addition of business development and sales resources and implementation of a new marketing strategy. OPTiMO delivers enterprise-level information technology products and services to federal government and commercial clients. Products include software related to the Digital Forensics, e-Discovery, and Litigation Support industries.

Pivitec, LLC, Bethlehem, Northampton County
Ben Franklin Investment: $70,000
Complete design and begin commercialization of five hardware products and one software control application for this developer of audio streaming and distribution products. Modern performances in theaters and houses of worship require a variety of approaches to provide performers the ability to hear their own performances as well as cues. Wired systems currently in use require extensive cabling, limiting performers’ movements, and have limited audio source reception. Pivitec uses wireless mobile devices as interactive controllers for its network devices to address problems in live professional audio products.

Walton Motivation, Inc., Allentown, Lehigh County
Ben Franklin Investment: $20,000
Support sales and marketing efforts at this producer of a cloud-based employee recognition and reward system. Walton provides a web-based application, Recognition PRO™, which allows company managers to more systematically and cost-effectively reward employees in ways that are most meaningful and motivating to them, thereby improving employee morale. The application is built on and incorporates the exclusively licensed content of Dr. Bob Nelson, NY Times best-selling author of 1001 Ways to Reward Employees.

Ben Franklin announces the following established manufacturer company investments. Ben Franklin provides a 1:1 matching grant for work with a college or university partner on technology-based manufacturing innovation in established manufacturers.

Crispin Valve, Berwick, Columbia County
University Partner: Bloomsburg University
Ben Franklin Investment: $18,302
Install and implement an Enterprise Resource Planning system at this manufacturer of butterfly valves for the municipal water industry. This software package will increase internal process efficiencies through the production and collection of accurate data metrics. Once implemented, the company will better understand and control shop operations and turnaround times to compete even more effectively.

Fidelity Technologies Corporation, Reading, Berks County
College Partner: Northampton Community College’s Emerging Technology Applications Center
Ben Franklin Investment: $50,000
Develop a new power distribution and illumination system at this manufacturer of electronic, electromechanical, computer products, systems, and services primarily for the U.S. Department of Defense. This system will incorporate smart grid technology and be used in modular power distribution units for military field applications.

Georg Fischer Harvel, LLC, Easton, Northampton County
University Partner: Lehigh University
Ben Franklin Investment: $50,000
Complete a sustainability analysis to reduce energy consumption by more than 20%. GFH is an international leader in thermoplastic extrusion, primarily manufacturing PVC and CPVC piping for a diverse set of customers. Energy costs are a top manufacturing expense, so a cost savings in this area will yield a significant competitive advantage.

Longo's Bakery Inc., Hazleton, Luzerne County
University Partner: Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center
Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000
Establish and implement an Enterprise Resource Planning system at this producer and distributor of pizza, shells, tomato sauce, and doughballs throughout several states. This software package will establish an information technology infrastructure that is necessary for the company to continue its growth. The system will help Longo’s to enhance manufacturing control and improve profitability.

Medico Industries, Inc., Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County
College Partner: Northampton Community College’s Emerging Technology Applications Center
Ben Franklin Investment: $26,500
Assess current energy usage procedures at this manufacturer of machined metal components for the automotive, energy, and defense industries. Identify the amount of potential savings in the procurement of energy, use of equipment, and improved efficiency of energy resources. Further, identify other opportunities to improve productivity, reduce waste, and increase process throughput to enhance Medico’s competitiveness in the market.

Sharp Corporation, Allentown, Lehigh County
University Partner: Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center
Ben Franklin Investment: $45,000
Conduct a plant-wide analysis with the goal of reducing energy consumption by at least 10% at this provider of contract packaging services for pharmaceutical companies.

 
 
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Ben Franklin to Invest $559,802 in Regional Economic Development

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Contact: Laura Eppler - BenFranklin.org 
610-758-5200 leppler[.]nep.benfranklin.org
 
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IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Issuance, publication or distribution of this press release in certain jurisdictions could be subject to restrictions. The recipient of this press release is responsible for using this press release and the information herein in accordance with the applicable rules and regulations in the particular jurisdiction. This press release does not constitute an offer or an offering to acquire or subscribe for any Ben Franklin Technology Partners NEP securities in any jurisdiction including any other companies listed or named in this release.

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