The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s (BFTP/NEP) Board of Directors approved the investment of $304,100 in support of regional economic development. The investments are with three early-stage technology companies, two established manufacturers, and one special initiative.
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. To achieve this goal, Ben Franklin staff concentrate their efforts on three key areas:
• developing early-stage technology-oriented companies;
• helping established manufacturers creatively apply new technology and business practices to achieve industry leadership; and
• promoting an innovative community-wide infrastructure that fosters a favorable business environment for high-growth companies.
Since beginning operation, BFTP/NEP has helped to create 14,301 new jobs for Pennsylvania workers and to retain 21,236 existing jobs, to start 408 new companies, and to develop 948 new products and processes. The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania (benfranklin.org) is headquartered on the campus of Lehigh University and operates Ben Franklin TechVentures, an award-winning business incubator/post-incubator facility, in Bethlehem.
Ben Franklin announces the following early-stage company investments:
• Lazarus Therapeutics, Bethlehem, Northampton County
Ben Franklin Investment: $100,000
Conduct further pre-clinical testing for a new drug candidate for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. This is being completed in preparation for an Investigational New Drug filing. The company will also research the application of this medication to other traumatic or degenerative neurologic conditions.
• LMC Software Solutions, Morgantown, Berks County
Ben Franklin Investment: $100,000
Assist LMC Software Solutions in the launch of its new software platform that supports information technology staff dealing with problems within their companies. 24/7 monitoring and log trails are built in, providing complete audit and compliance functions. Called Enterprise Technical Support Center(ETSC), this platform improves productivity and service availability at a reduced cost.
• Viddler, Inc., Ben Franklin TechVentures, Bethlehem, Northampton County
Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000
Continue commercializing Viddler's on-line video enhancement, distribution, and sharing platform which consumer and commercial customers use to engage their clients and build their brand recognition on-line. Viddler offers the only platform that allows in-line text or video commenting, which has been proven to increase the amount and duration of a video’s viewership. Further develop the current version for business and serious videographers.
Ben Franklin announces the following established manufacturer company investments.
• Ashland Foundry and Machine Works, Ashland, Schuylkill County
College Partner: Northampton Community College’s Emerging Technology Applications Center
Ben Franklin Investment: $32,850
Assess Ashland’s current energy consumption to identify ways to reduce usage and energy inefficiencies, and thereby decrease operating costs. Ashland manufactures pump components from high alloy castings.
• Hitachi Metals, Lawrenceville, Tioga County
Ben Franklin Investment: $36,250
University Partner: The Pennsylvania State University
Develop a collagen-based core binder system that can displace the phenolic urethane and resin binders now used at this ductile iron caster. This binder system will reduce emissions and energy consumption, allowing the foundry to increase production and profits.
Ben Franklin announces the following special initiative investment.
• Pennsylvania College of Technology Thermoforming Center, Williamsport, Lycoming County
Ben Franklin Investment: $10,000
College Partner: Pennsylvania College of Technology
Building on the success of two Plastics Centers of Excellence at the Pennsylvania College of Technology, develop a Thermoforming Center of Excellence. The Center is developing relationship networks among companies and academic institutions in the thermoforming industry, and assessing educational needs in industry.