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