Ben Franklin to invest $136,000 in Northeastern PA economic development

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BEN FRANKLIN TECHNOLOGY PARTNERS is a partner in Keystone Edge. They will be sharing insights from their leadership and news from their portfolio companies in the Ben Franklin On: section. 

The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania‘s (BFTP/NEP) Board of Directors has approved an investment of $136,000 to support 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.

To achieve this goal, Ben Franklin staff concentrate their efforts on three key areas: developing and growing early-stage technology-based 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 create 16,986 new jobs for Pennsylvania workers, retain 23,761 existing jobs, start 482 new companies, and develop 1,433 new products and processes. Clients have generated $1.424 billion in follow-on funding since 2007. The Pennsylvania Ben Franklin Technology Partners network has returned $3.60 to the state treasury for every $1.00 invested in the program. Ben Franklin Technology Partners is an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and is funded by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority.

BFTP/NEP owns and manages Ben Franklin TechVentures on Lehigh University’s campus in Bethlehem, and the Bloomsburg Regional Technology Center in Bloomsburg. Applying more than 30 years of experience, BFTP/NEP leads a 14-member northeastern Pennsylvania business incubator network.

Ben Franklin announces the following early-stage investments that are provided in the form of loans with warrants.

eCO2Dye, LLC, Allentown, Lehigh County

Ben Franklin Investment: $26,000

The company will commercialize a new process for the waterless dyeing of fabrics, threads, and yarns for B-to-B sales to clothing manufacturers and textile companies. Current practices utilize large amounts of energy and water. With the developing worldwide water shortage, the industry is actively seeking methods to significantly decrease its water usage. Using supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO2) in a proprietary way, the new process eliminates water use as well as substantially reduces energy consumption, drying time, amount of dye used and waste.

Indoor Sky, LLC, Williamsport, Lycoming County

Ben Franklin Investment: $35,000

The investment will help this manufacturer of innovative interior shading for windows and skylights create and execute sales/marketing strategies and goals as well as develop a financial model. Indoor Sky’s Dayliter Shading System increases the amount of diffused sunlight in a room while still blocking the glare and harmful effects of direct sunlight. Effective management of usable daylight improves patient outcomes, worker productivity, student focus and the attendance and moods of indoor inhabitants, as well as substantially reduces energy consumption in buildings.

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

Bazzini LLC, Allentown, Lehigh County

University Partner: Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center

Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000

This producer of nuts, dried fruits and confections aims to streamline the nut production line, reduce waste, and increase productivity. They also plan to identify further cost saving opportunities and process improvements in the manufacturing facility that will allow the company to compete more effectively and support continued growth.

Brentwood Industries, Inc., Reading, Berks County

University Partner: Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center

Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000

Brentwood produces custom thermoformed plastic solutions for a wide variety of consumer, manufacturing, and environmental applications. Their goal is to complete manufacturing process improvements in scheduling, capacity, and plant layout as well as efficiency and yield in order to support Brentwood’s new contract in the transportation industry.

Penn-Troy Manufacturing, Inc., Troy, Bradford County

College Partner: Pennsylvania College of Technology

Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000

Penn-Troy manufactures wastewater treatment valves and crankcase explosion relief valves for the water processing and large engine industries. The company will earn two key certifications for its mud valves and a certification for its new pressure relief valve. These credentials endorse the products’ safety and will allow the company to increase sales and compete more effectively internationally.

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Region: Northeast

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