A new approach to back pain, high-tech grocery coupons and an advanced communications network for first responders are among the projects underway at 11 early-stage companies in the Philadelphia region. Those enterprises recently received more than $2 million in funding from Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/SEP).
Biomeme, Inc., Philadelphia: $400,000
Biomeme's technology transforms a user’s smartphone into a mobile lab for advanced DNA diagnostics and real-time disease surveillance. The cutting-edge platform requires no lab equipment or special experience to use. As reported in last week's Keystone Edge, Biomeme is resident at NextFab Studio in Philadelphia and is the first company to utilize Ben Franklin’s new partnership with NextFab for rapid prototyping with advanced manufacturing technologies.
CloudMine, Philadelphia: $100,000 (Ben Franklin previously invested $200,000)
CloudMine offers a technology platform that reduces the total cost and effort of building, deploying and maintaining mobile applications and websites by over 60 percent.
gatherDocs, LLC, Philadelphia: $100,000
gatherDocs’s applicant tracking system allows the retail and service industries to recruit, screen and hire employees. Features include an intuitive interface that lets employers create and distribute job posts in minutes, as well as a database that allows for efficient management and evaluation of a large number of applicants.
Gentis, Inc., Wayne: $250,000 (Ben Franklin previously invested $500,000)
Gentis is a developer of minimally invasive, biomaterials-based products intended to treat the early-stage degeneration of the spine, which causes back pain. The company's first patented product, DiscCell, is a breakthrough injectable biomaterial. Gentis commenced human trials on DiscCell outside the U.S. in 2010, and plans to file with the FDA in the near future to allow for the initiation of a pivotal trial in the U.S.
Optofluidics, Inc., Philadelphia: $50,000 through the Technology Commercialization Fund (Ben Franklin previously invested $50,000 through The Nanotechnology Institute™)
Optofluidics created a scientific instrument called the NanoTweezer system that turns microscopes into nanoparticle analysis engines. The NanoTweezer enables rapid characterization and imaging of submicron particles, including protein aggregates and inorganic nanomaterials, and helps scientists unveil key particle parameters including nanoparticle shape and coating quality.
Rajant Corporation, Malvern: $200,000 in SBA Intermediary Loan Program Investment (Ben Franklin previously invested $200,000)
Rajant has pioneered a reliable, scalable and readily deployed Kinetic Mesh network technology that provides round-the-clock communications in demanding environments such as mining, military, oil and gas, first responders and telecommunications.
SnipSnap App, LLC, Philadelphia: $150,000 (Ben Franklin previously invested $200,000)
SnipSnap has developed an app to scan, save and redeem printed coupons on a mobile phone. The technology allows users to organize their coupons, maximize their savings and be reminded to use their coupons before they expire. By the end of 2013, a little over a year and a half since launch, SnipSnap had grown to 2.5 million users on iOS and Android. Those users snipped 40 million coupons and saved $150 million. SnipSnap also distributes targeted coupons on behalf of retailers.
United Preference: $200,000
United Preference offers an incentive-based administration and data analytics platform to health plans and employers in order to implement, manage and monitor health and wellness incentive programs.
VUID, LLC, Philadelphia: $50,000
VUID has created a patent-pending, mobile ID, two-factor authentication system, which people can use to log in securely to products on their mobile devices. Launch of Spotlight, VUID’s social media app, is imminent.
X-Nav Technologies, LLC, Lansdale: $450,000
X-Nav Technologies is a medical device company that develops surgical solutions for the dental market, advancing patient care while improving doctor productivity.
Zuppler Online Food Order, Conshohocken: $125,000
Zuppler’s food portal allows restaurants to post menus, manage takeout and delivery orders, and promote themselves online and through social media and popular dining guides.
Writer: Elise Vider