| Follow Us:

Innovation & Job News

2108 Articles | Page: | Show All

Homes get smarter, Malvern's Zonoff gets bigger

Malvern's fast-growing Zonoff has expanded into new 35,000-square-foot headquarters. The fresh digs come on the heels of a $31.8 million funding round for the company, which provides a comprehensive software platform for "smart homes."

Zonoff’s software platform enables partners such as electronic device makers, service providers and retailers to deliver new products and services to the consumer mass market to remotely monitor and control thermostats, lights, security systems, etc. The new two-floor space is triple the size of their previous office, and includes a sophisticated demo suite where clients can gain hands-on experience and test smart-home products and services. 

As with all good tech companies, the space also includes open collaborative workspaces, private conference rooms, kitchen and dining areas with cafe tables and local beers on tap, and an employee game room.

"We’ve been very thoughtful in deciding where to invest resources, and we believe that our team is one of our strongest differentiating factors," said Zonoff CEO Mike Harris. "We believe that our new state-of-the-art office and demo center will provide our employees with an environment and culture that will motivate them to deliver on our extremely high standards for innovation and technology development."

The new space also makes it possible for Zonoff to keep hiring. The company has added to its executive team and doubled its workforce in the past year -- they now employ 70 engineers, software developers and sales, marketing and new business personnel. They expect to grow another 50 percent by the end of the year. Zonoff also has remote personnel located in California, Washington State and Germany.
 
Source: Matt Calderone and Sarah Borton, LaunchSquad for Zonoff
Writer: Elise Vider

"If not for this woman..." Science Center seeks nominations for its Innovators Walk of Fame

The University City Science Center is looking for a few good women -- three to be exact -- as honorees for its Innovators Walk of Fame.

The Philadelphia institution is reinventing the pedestrian walkway along 37th Street between Market and Chestnut as a pocket park -- the Innovators Walk of Fame will be a key element.

"With a name like Innovators Walk of Fame, we thought it was imperative to come up with something more innovative than names etched on the sidewalk," explains Science Center Spokesperson Jeanne Mell. "Instead we’re going with an arrangement of cubes with metal panels etched with the honorees’ names."

The second group of honorees, to be announced in October, will celebrate female innovators with a connection to Greater Philadelphia.

"The Innovators Walk of Fame reflects the diversity of the local, regional and global communities in which the Science Center operates and innovates," says Science Center President Stephen S. Tang. "The face of innovation is varied and diverse, and to be relevant the Innovators Walk of Fame must reflect that spectrum."

The inaugural class of honorees comprised legacy innovators in the STEAM Categories:

* Britton Chance was a leader in biochemistry and biophysics focusing on the physics of electronics and radiation, and developing noninvasive optical devices used in medicine. 

* John W. Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert, Jr. created the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC), the first general-purpose electronic digital computer, developed at the University of Pennsylvania.

* Frank Piasecki was instrumental in the U.S. helicopter industry.

* Buckminster Fuller invented the geodesic dome. 

* Mathematician John Backus assembled and led the IBM team that developed Fortran, for years one of the pre-eminent programming systems.

* Lockheed Martin encourages its 4,800 employees in New Jersey and Pennsylvania to actively interact with the next generation of engineers and technologists by serving as local school advisors, extracurricular activity mentors and career role models for students.

Nominees may be alive or dead, and are not limited by industry or type of innovation. According to the Science Center, successful nominations will complete this sentence: "If not for this woman’s innovation, the world would be a lesser place because..."

The deadline is June 15.

Source: Jeanne Mell, University City Science Center
Writer: Elise Vider

In Philadelphia, Fitly's SmartPlate uses advanced technology to keep dieters honest

Dieters rejoice. At last, a plate that can keep you honest.

Philadelphia’s Fitly has developed SmartPlate, a Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-enabled hardware device that instantly tracks and analyzes what you eat with the support of a mobile application.

The plate’s design is based on research that shows that size, color and shape all influence eating habits. According to the company's website, the average dinner plate has grown 36 percent since 1960 and bigger plates translate to bigger waistlines. Similarly, studies have shown that darker plates make it harder to determine a proper portion, encouraging overeating. The SmartPlate is shaped as a "squircle," to give the illusion of a bigger surface while providing a 10-inch diameter white surface -- ideal for healthy portions.

SmartPlate has built-in advanced object recognition and weight sensors, providing an automated reading of what a user is eating. It comes with an Android or iOS app that integrates with most wearable devices and food journaling apps.

The plate also comes with a microwaveable lid and in a variety of colors.

Anthony Ortiz founded Fitly, aimed at weight management and control of diabetes, in 2011. The company has established itself through its mobile/web app as a delivery service for fresh ingredients and recipes based on the user’s personalized healthy meal selections. Fitly is a 2013 DreamIt Health graduate. 

The company launched SmartPlate, its first product, earlier this month at Collision Conference in Las Vegas and is now in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign where it hopes to raise $100,000 to start production. They hope to begin shipping next year.

Source: Fitly
Writer: Elise Vider

Erie's AcousticSheep offers a BIG IDEA for a good night's sleep

In 2007, Dr. Wei-Shin Lai suffered the occupational hazard of a family doctor -- difficulty falling back to sleep after late-night patient phone calls. Her husband suggested that she listen to something to relax, but headphones or ear buds were uncomfortable in bed. The solution was ultra-thin, high-quality speakers stuffed with soft fleece into a headband.

That low-tech solution became the basis for high-tech SleepPhones, a headphone in a patented headband design, billed as "pajamas for your ears" by Lai’s company AcousticSheep. Now Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Central and Northern Pennsylvania (BFTP/CNP) has named the Erie-based company winner of the 2015 BIG IDEA contest. 

AcousticSheep won a prize package that includes $50,000 in cash, a $25,000 research grant, priority access to a $100,000 low-interest loan, 60 hours of project time at the NW Industrial Resource Center, an apprentice to assist in prototype development or pre-commercialization services, and guidance from Ben Franklin’s eMarketing Learning Center and the Innovation Partnership

SleepPhones are a strong seller at Amazon and other online retailers. Now the company is developing software and phone apps to work with its products.

"We have an idea that will transform SleepPhones from being headphones that help you sleep better to a community partnering to improve sleep throughout the entire world," said Lai in a statement. "Winning this amazing prize will allow us to create a new technology to eliminate sleepless nights cheaply, and completely drug-free, for everyone."

Spokeswoman Jennifer Brownlee adds that AcousticSheep is working on incorporating induction charging to its wireless Bluetooth headphones; they will be launching a Kickstarter campaign in July. 
 
Source: Jennifer Brownlee, AcousticSheep; BFTP/CNP
Writer: Elise Vider
 

14 next-gen innovators are finalists in 2015 Shale Gas Innovation Contest

Fourteen companies -- the next generation of energy innovators -- are competing for four berths as winner of the 2015 Shale Gas Innovation Contest. The Shale Gas Innovation & Commercialization Center will announce the winners -- each receives a check for $25,000 -- at a free event on May 12. 

The finalists are 9three Solutions, a West Virginia company that provides inline security devices connected via a centralized private cloud routing server, enabling companies to secure various types of hardware including critical industrial control systems.

Appalachian Drilling Services in Beech Creek is a company whose products include spill-proof, skid-mounted, rig-friendly waste storage units. 

EthosGen of Wilkes-Barre has developed an engine that converts waste heat to electricity. 

Fairmont Brine Processing in West Virginia provides an evaporation and crystallization process that fully treats wastewater, extracting reusable byproducts. 

Fiber Innovation Technologies offers a paper mill by-product known as Short Paper Fiber for use as a solidification agent in drilling operations. 

FMW Rubber Products in West Virginia makes portable water storage and distribution systems that utilize reusable bladders up to 250,000 gallons and mobile collapsible pipeline systems.

H Quest Vanguard of Pittsburgh enables manufacture of a synthetic crude oil through co-processing natural gas with a variety of hydrocarbons and biomass.

HalenHardy in Bellwood is developer of products -- including GritGrab Anti-Slip Surfacing -- made of fiberglass reinforced plastic that provides a surface that helps dramatically improve traction for workers’ boots. 

Identified Technologies of Pittsburgh makes unmanned aerial vehicle and docking systems that provide high-res optical, infrared and gas-sniffing data. They also autonomously swap/charge batteries and upload data to the cloud for access.

Next Gauge in Pittsburgh is developer of the Truck Driver Communication and Safety System (TDCS), a web-based portal to extend and enhance safety, communications and compliance of truck drivers serving shale energy sites.

Next Generation Filtration Systems in Pittsburgh makes lubricating fluids purification systems that remove particles and volatiles, and keep fluids like new for an almost limitless period of time.

PixController in Export is a maker of an ethane gas detection system that integrates a digital methane sensor with temperature and barometric pressure data and provides data access via a low-power, battery-operated, wireless monitoring backbone.

Source: SGICC
Writer: Elise Vider

Calling all Makers: NextFab opens second location in Philadelphia

 NextFab, a "gym for innovators" that provides members access to a variety of fabrication tools, celebrated the grand opening of its second location on Friday. The new outpost is on the first floor of Impact Hub Philadelphia, a socially-minded co-working space in the Fishtown neighborhood.

While the pairing of a business space with a workshop may seem odd to some, the match was well-made. The lovingly restored building at N. 4th and Thompson Streets was formerly occupied by 3rd Ward, a Brooklyn-founded (and now defunct) maker space.

"We learned that 3rd Ward had left a fair amount of equipment and some spaces fit out as workshops, and that Impact Hub was pondering what to do with them," explains Evan Malone, president of NextFab. "Our working together seemed to be a logical solution."

In addition to taking over unused space and equipment, Malone is also excited to be close to where people live and work -- there is a large community of artists, designers and tinkerers in the Fishtown, Northern Liberties and Kensington communities.

"It's not as large as our Wash Avenue location, but it provides well-rounded wood and metal shops, and a very quiet and comfortable CAD and electronics lab," enthuses Malone. "We are most excited that North 4th has NextFab's first shop dedicated to jewelry making and we have a professional jewelry designer on staff."
 
Keep an eye on the NextFab website for special offers throughout the month in celebration of the new space and for partnership projects with Impact Hub later this year.

Writer: Hailey Blessing
Source: Evan Malone, NextFab

Lone Star Western Beef relocates to Greater Reading

Lone Star Western Beef has moved north from West Virginia to a new plant in Muhlenberg Township.

Company founder J.P. Bachman says the beef-jerky maker "chose Reading for a multitude of reasons, including reasonably priced real estate, easy access to a large portion of the U.S. population and a large workforce, to name a few."

According to Bachman, the company searched for a new location for nearly three years after reaching production capacity at its West Virginia plant. The new 9,000-square-foot facility, located in an existing building, had most of the necessary infrastructure, "so in terms of fit-out, only processing rooms were required to meet USDA standards which kept our cost fairly low," he explains. 

Bachman, an avid outdoorsman and chef who made a mean venison jerky, founded Lone Star 18 years ago thanks to the persistent encouragement of friends and family. The company’s products are made without MSG, nitrites or preservatives and are "packed with protein and a flavor profile that goes on for days," according to its website.

Today, Lone Star products are sold online, at the plant and at over 10,000 retail locations around the country. The company employs 14 and expects to add 21 jobs at the new plant.

"We plan to continue to expand as much as possible," insists Bachman. "That being said, we are a family-owned company so our growth has to be done with purpose and in small steps. We just added two new…smokehouses that significantly increase our capacity and with them we plan to expand our existing product line."

Source: J.P. Bachman, Lone Star Western Beef
Writer: Elise Vider

Bellefonte's growing SilcoTek pays it forward to BFTP/CNP

In the corporate equivalent of paying it forward, SilcoTek, a Bellefonte-based, high-tech maker of silicon coatings, has made an early repayment of its $300,000-plus investment from Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Central and Northern Pennsylvania, allowing the organization to re-invest in three more startups.

Paul Silvis launched the company in 2009 as a spinoff of Restek Corporation, which makes chromatography products.

"During the early days of the company, it was Ben Franklin’s funding that kept us afloat," recalls Silvis. "We knew that SilcoTek would grow tremendously, but that it would take time. Ben Franklin’s investment bought us that time."

He was right: The company has grown dramatically, opening a new 38,000-square foot facility in 2013 (with room for expansion), introducing new products, acquiring patents and employing 40. By 2020, Silvis aims to acquire 100 patents on coating technologies, add 100 off-site processing oven installations and generate $100 million in sales.

SilcoTek spokesman Luke Patterson attributes the growth to its staff.

"It required a lot of faith from a variety of people to start SilcoTek and keep us afloat when we first started," he says. "Ultimately, we found a select group of financiers who believed in us and had a core group of employees with a vision for SilcoTek’s success. Since then, it’s been our strategic decisions led by smart people -- followed by excellent execution by the company as a whole -- that have contributed most to our growth." 
 
The company’s chemical-vapor-deposited (CVD) coatings involve placing parts in a large convection oven and using a mixture of gases to create a reaction that coats parts at the molecular level. Applications include analytical chemistry labs, oil and gas drilling and refineries, semiconductor manufacturing systems, and the automotive and aerospace industries.
 
Source: Luke Patterson, SilcoTek and BFTP/CNP
Writer: Elise Vider 
 

BFTP/SEP invests $2 million in 10 promising Greater Philadelphia companies

Ten early-stage companies in Greater Philadelphia are at work on innovative projects, and they're getting a boost from $2 million in new investments from Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania

Atrin Pharmaceutical is a Bucks County biopharmaceutical firm that centers its research on the treatment of cancers lacking effective therapies. Its technology will advance drug development for the treatment of solid tumors including breast, pancreatic, lung, ovarian and colon cancers.

Decision Simulation in Chester County is the creator of DecisionSim, a simulation-based learning platform that enhances decision-making by allowing organizations to easily create assessment, education and training programs. Leveraging adult learning and gaming concepts, DecisionSim allows custom learning experiences to be developed while evaluating the decisions of learners, and collects valuable objective behavioral data to allow for a greater understanding of decision-making.

H2Odegree (H2O) in Bucks County is a manufacturer of wireless sensors and Software as a Service (SaaS) that provides solutions for measuring, controlling and billing utility costs in apartments, allowing landlords to improve their overall financial performance. The company’s target market is multi-family housing customers who use the company’s products and services for tenant billing and energy conservation related to water, electric, gas, btus and thermostat controls. H2O has over 38,000 sensors installed in 13,000 apartments in over 130 properties throughout North America.

MilkCrate in Philadelphia engages and rewards users who want to live their values by providing sponsored civic and commercial opportunities related to sustainably. Its app serves as a central digital hub for municipalities, businesses and organizations to reach conscientious consumers with relevant and tailored information.

Philadelphia’s Pico is a real-time engagement tool for brands, allowing them to engage with fans during events through the fans' pictures. All fans' pictures are automatically uploaded to the brand’s Facebook Page. Using Pico’s auto-tagging abilities, a real bond between the fan and brand is created.

In Bucks County, PrescribeWell is a new Platform-as-a-Service that enables physicians, healthcare providers and integrated health systems to seamlessly implement a turnkey, self-branded prevention, wellness and obesity intervention business in their existing practice. Customers license the company’s "white label" solution as their own, enabling them to generate significant new revenue streams that leverage the changes in healthcare reimbursement policy for physicians in preventive medicine.

In Philadelphia, RistCall helps hospitals and skilled nursing facilities improve patient safety and satisfaction scores by updating traditional wall-mounted nurse-call buttons with wearable technology devices. RistCall currently focuses on reducing patient falls and improving hospital/patient satisfaction.

Philadelphia’s Textizen provides mobile technologies for public engagement. The company makes it easy for government, organizations and companies to connect with people on the device they use most -- their mobile phone. The platform sends, receives and analyzes text messages. Administrators can click one button instead of making 10 or 10,000 phone calls, and use real-time dashboards to inform policy changes or deliver better customer service.

TowerView Health in Philadelphia helps chronically ill patients manage complex medication regimens. Patients using TowerView’s service receive pre-filled medication trays that insert into a connected pillbox, facilitating complex regimens with preformed ease -- its akin to a single-serve coffee machine. The connected pillbox senses when patients forget medication doses and sends automated text message or phone reminders to patients and their loved ones.

Viridity Energy in Philadelphia, a software technology company focused on total energy management, has a software and technology platform that allows commercial and industrial users to identify inherent load flexibility in their operations and monetize it. The company says its"“software turns energy profiles into financial returns"” transforming how energy customers interact proactively and productively with the electric grid.

Source: BFTP/SEP
Writer: Elise Vider

From Harrisburg and Philly, news from the craft beer boom

From across the Commonwealth comes big news on the brewing front.

In Harrisburg, Zeroday Brewing Company cut the ribbon on its new space in the Midtown neighborhood. Husband-and-wife team Theo and Brandalynn Armstrong (Theo is the brewer; Brandalynn handles the business side) say the name Zeroday pays homage to a hiking term: it refers to a day spent exploring a town, off the trail.

"We want Harrisburg to be a zero day town," explains Theo. "It’s a place worth stopping and exploring."

The Armstrongs kicked off the project in 2013 with an official brand launch, corresponding crowdfunding campaign and guerilla-style pop-up events that allowed them to introduce community members and beer lovers to their suds.

On tap for opening day: Firstborn, a dry stout; Wits End, a Belgian Witbier; Cheap Date, an American Blonde ale; Dolce Vita, a Chocolate Hazelnut Sweet Stout; and Zeroday IPA, along with a menu of light fare.

According to Brandalynn, they're committed to utilizing Pennsylvania vendors for food and other products. As weather permits, the brewery plans to partner with area food trucks to provide additional selections during weekend hours. 

Meanwhile in Philadelphia, the University of the Sciences announced the launch of a Brewing Science Certificate for the fall semester.

The university says the program is an acknowledgement of the beer boom: America’s breweries account for over 110,000 jobs. According to the Brewers Association, about 1.5 breweries open every day in the U.S., with more than 150 in the mid-Atlantic region alone. In 2014, production of craft brews grew 18 percent by volume and 22 percent by sales.

The best positions in this growth industry often require formal training in brewing science. The post-baccalaureate, 18-credit certificate program delves deep into the biology, chemistry, physics and math of creating the perfect pint. The program can be completed full-time in one year, or part time in two, followed by an internship with a local brewery partner.

"Demand has never been greater for trained professionals with a passion for this extraordinary work," insists Dr. Peter B. Berget, chair of the Department of Biological Sciences at USciences.

Source: Brandalynn Armstrong, Zeroday Brewing Company and the University of the Sciences.
Writer: Elise Vider

Drexel and TechGirlz partner to teach game design to young women

Girls just want to have…parity in the tech world.

With the aim of addressing gender inequality in the sector, Drexel University’s Entrepreneurial Game Studio is working with the Philadelphia nonprofit TechGirlz to create a virtual game design class that will be made available, free-of-charge, to schools and students nationwide.

This set of self-contained, online instructional videos and educational materials will guide middle school and high-school-age students – and their teachers – through a basic game design curriculum. 
 
"Our goal is to give young women a little taste of game design," explains Frank Lee, an associate professor in Westphal College of Media Arts & Design and founder of the Entrepreneurial Game Studio. "Many of them are already playing video games, but we’re hoping our workshops will inspire them to ask questions about how they’re made, and think about how they could make them better. We want to make a program that is useful and engaging enough that students will get enough basic coding knowledge to make a simple game."

"Our goal for this program is to make sure girls understand what technology is all about and how they can be part of it," adds Tracey Welson Rossman, founder of TechGirlz. "This particular program is targeted to increase the number of girls who understand how cool creating games can be."

Participants in TechGirlz’ ongoing workshops and summer programs are currently testing the game design curriculum for an anticipated fall launch. According to Welson Rossman, the nonprofit is also planning to expand its workshop offerings nationwide. 

Source: Tracey Welson Rossman, TechGirlz and Drexel University
Writer: Elise Vider
 

TechCelerator @ State College wins $500K federal grant to turn ideas into businesses

As anyone who's ever tried to launch a tech startup knows, it takes a lot more than a good idea.

Penn State recently received a $500,000 federal grant to address just that challenge. The funds will advance the development of TechCelerator @ State College, a pre-accelerator specifically designed to allow technologists to explore entrepreneurship and commercialization pathways and arrive at educated go/no-go decisions. This program will not only result in $30 million in economic benefits, but will also catalyze a replicable rural innovation strategy.

"The TechCelerator Program, which has already produced dozens of success stories, provides an array of pre-launch business and market research services -- or Boot Camps -- designed to assist university researchers, grad students and local tech-entrepreneurs in converting their ideas into business realities," explained Stephen Brawley, president and CEO of Ben Franklin Technology Partners. "Our goal was to stimulate and ‘accelerate’ a sustainable, entrepreneurial pipeline and the model works." 

The grants from the U.S. Department of Commerce Regional Innovation Strategies program are part of a new initiative designed to advance innovation and capacity-building activities in regions across the country. TechCelerator @ State College is among the first 26 recipients.

"This region is fortunate to have a variety of assets, most notably in intellectual property creation from the cutting edge research conducted at the university," said Heather Fennessey, director of Penn State’s Small Business Development Center. "Penn State's research expenditures have increased by nearly $500 million in the past 20 years. The opportunity for our potential economic growth, which can result from this increase in university-based research, is exciting."

Source: Ben Franklin Technology Partners
Writer: Elise Vider
 

In Coplay, Baseball Info Systems brings technology to America's pastime

Baseball season is underway and Baseball Info Solutions (BIS) is in full swing.

Based in Coplay, BIS uses advanced technology to supply its clients -- 22 of the 30 Major League Baseball teams, plus sports agents, media (including ESPN), fantasy services, game companies and individual baseball junkies -- with intensive data and analytics.

The company's video scouts watch every baseball game twice to deliver customized data: hitting, pitching and fielding statistics; historical information; and analytics – defensive analysis of every player in the major leagues, tools to optimize infield and outfield defensive positioning, analysis of base running tendencies, etc. -- in multiple formats and in real time.

"We pride ourselves on being ahead of the curve on sabermetric [the mathematical and statistical analysis of baseball records] topics such as defensive metrics and, more recently, the rise of shift usage in baseball," explains BIS President Ben Jedlovec. (The shift is a realignment of infielders, intended to driver batters batty.)

"Each client uses the data a little differently," he adds, "from on-the-field players and coaches to front office personnel to individuals looking to get a leg up in their fantasy leagues."

The company’s roots go back to the mid-'80s, when owner John Dewan partnered with legendary baseball statistician Bill James on Project Scoresheet.

"Soon, that partnership progressed to STATS, Inc., where John became owner and CEO," says Jedlovec. "At STATS, John, Bill and others built a sports data collection company that revolutionized the sports industry. Shortly after John left STATS in 2001, he co-founded Baseball Info Solutions to take baseball data and analytics to the next level."

Today the company employs 17 full-timers -- many are former pro and collegiate ball players -- along with research, programming and database management experts, plus a number of seasonal video scouts.

"We're always looking for smart, tech-minded baseball fanatics to join our team," enthuses ?Jedlovec.

Source: Ben Jedlovec, Baseball Info Solutions
Writer: Elise Vider
 

Three tech startups get growing with help from BFTP/CNP

Three tech startups have received investments from Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Central and Northern Pennsylvania

Located in Harrisburg, Hatchback, Inc. has developed a B2B platform that integrates with mobile apps, allowing marketers to collect, target and engage with audiences based on their actual travel patterns. The company offers retailers, restaurants, etc., the ability to engage with consumers, creating sales opportunities that would otherwise likely not exist.   

"Power players like Google and Facebook rely on manual check-ins at Point A and Point B to learn about users," explains the company’s website. "Hatchback persistently gathers information about users' travel patterns to understand their tendencies, whereabouts and habits as consumers. In other words, Hatchback captures the invaluable moments happening between Point A and Point B that the 'big guys' simply don't access."

Atoptix, located in State College, is developing a smart-phone integrated health sensor. It offers individuals the ability to track and monitor their health and wellness by accurately measuring the levels of various tissue components such as hemoglobin, oxygen and glucose. The patented miniature optical spectrometer technology allows for completely non-invasive, real-time monitoring and early warning for health concerns such as anemia, diabetes, inflammation and even cancer. 

"Atoptix was formed to turn exciting technology developed by researchers at Penn State University into solutions that can have a meaningful and marketable impact outside of the research laboratory," says the company's website; the enterprise was recently awarded an SBIR Phase 1 grant by the National Institutes of Health.

In Boalsburg, Sensor Networks has developed a safe, patented digital solution for measuring and monitoring wall thickness in pipes, tanks, vessels and heat exchangers. This technology replaces the need to send technicians into physical locations such as refineries, chemical plants, rail and tank trucks, storage tanks and offshore drilling platforms. In February, the company was awarded a $50,000 grant from Ben Franklin’s Shale Gas Innovation and Commercialization Center. 

Source: BFTP/CNP
Writer: Elise Vider
 

Toothbrushes, Textiles, Technology: BFTP/NEP invests in 10 diverse companies

Three early-stage companies and seven established manufacturers in northeastern Pennsylvania are beneficiaries of the latest round of investments from Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/NEP). Those investments total $316,000.
 
Loans were provided to the following early-stage companies:
 
Bison Analytics, LLC, Lewisburg, was awarded $52,500 to complete development of and provide marketing support to their consolidation, planning and business intelligence software, targeted to small businesses that use QuickBooks
 
Colymer Industries, LLC, located at Ben Franklin TechVentures in Bethlehem, earned $50,000 to implement a marketing and sales strategy to commercialize a new proprietary, non-asphalt roofing and waterproofing material called Tarzanite.
 
Four Hound Solutions, LLC, Wilkes-Barre, received a loan of $25,000 to develop and submit a provisional patent and revise their business plan; the company produces software solutions for automated test equipment. 
 
BFTP/NEP will also provide matching funds for these technology-based manufacturing/university partnerships.
 
Applied Separations, Inc., Allentown, and Lafayette College received $50,000 to develop and implement a new process and deploy equipment for the waterless dyeing of textiles. They hope to tap into business-to-business sales to clothing manufacturers and textile companies.
 
Bio Med Sciences, Inc., Allentown, and Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center earned $25,000 to complete implementation of a new Enterprise Resource Planning system. The company produces innovative and specialized materials for burn and wound care, and aesthetic skin care. 

Effort Foundry, Inc., Bath, and Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center received $25,000 to implement improved production methods and product tracking capabilities at this supplier of high-integrity steel parts for the pump, power generation, and military industries.
 
Hydro Recovery LP, Blossburg, and Pennsylvania State University were awarded $25,000 to further develop and optimize the economic extraction of useful materials from residual "frac" water used in natural gas wells.
 
Pleasant Mount Welding, Inc., Carbondale, and Johnson College received $20,100 to develop manufacturing capability and produce aluminum I-bar and rectangular bar grating products to better serve customers, increase profit margin and create additional market opportunities. 

Radius Toothbrush, Kutztown, and Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center earned $18,500 to complete facility assessment and planning to accommodate future growth at this manufacturer of innovative, high-performance, ergonomic toothbrushes.
 
Rea.deeming Beauty, Inc., Bethlehem, and Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center were awarded $25,000 to streamline current manufacturing and shipping procedures by designing and implementing new automation techniques at this manufacturer of elliptical-shaped makeup applicators. 

Source: BFTP/NEP
Writer: Elise Vider
 
2108 Articles | Page: | Show All
Signup for Email Alerts