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Press release content from Globe Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

Ben Franklin Northeast to Invest $578,000 in PA Companies

November 12, 2019 GMT

BETHLEHEM, Pa., Nov. 12, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania ’s (BFTP/NEP) Board of Directors has approved the investment of $578,000 in support of regional economic development. Clients are early-stage, technology-based firms and established manufacturers in BFTP/NEP’s 21-county service area.

BFTP/NEP announces the following early-stage company investments, which are provided in the form of loans with warrants.

Build My Team,https://buildmyteam.com/, The Stourbridge Incubator, Honesdale, PABen Franklin investment: $35,000Support marketing efforts, website development, and lead generation for this producer of software-as-a-service job placement tools. The company provides clients an automated, proven, and proprietary screening process that includes detailed profiling. The technology substantially reduces the time and effort required to identify and hire new staff and improves the chances that the new hire will succeed and stay at the organization.

CryoConcepts LP, https://cryoconcepts.com/, Bethlehem, PABen Franklin investment: $135,000Support commercialization of patented cryosurgical tools to remove warts and other benign topical skin lesions, and address cosmetic applications such as improvements in the appearance of wrinkles. Customer segments include physicians, veterinarians, aestheticians, and consumers.

Ophidion, www.ophidionbio.com, Ben Franklin TechVentures, Bethlehem, PABen Franklin investment $100,000Commercialize a new technology that enables the delivery of therapeutics, including large molecules, to the brain following systemic administration. The company is leveraging its proprietary blood-brain barrier transport technology to advance a systemically delivered gene-silencing siRNA product for the treatment of Huntington’s disease, a fatal neurodegenerative disease with no current cure. The technology may also be applicable to the delivery of other important therapeutic modalities, including oligonucleotides, peptides, and monoclonal antibodies, to the brain to treat various neurodegenerative diseases and brain cancer.

Phoenix Hockey USA, LLC, https://www.phoenixhockeyusa.com/, Tatamy, PABen Franklin investment: $25,000Increase sales through improvements in distribution, direct promotion, and e-marketing for this producer of field hockey sticks that are manufactured with a proprietary process. The technology allows the price point of US-made sticks to compete with Asian-made sticks. Also, secure the necessary materials to build inventory. Field hockey is the third most popular sport in the world.

PrintElements Corp.,https://www.printelements.com/, The Stourbridge Incubator, Honesdale, PABen Franklin investment: $100,000Further develop a print-specific platform at this provider of print and packaging services that utilizes technology and a diverse network of suppliers. PrintElements’ technology combines print-specific tools and integrated software to simplify project management, and a connected network of suppliers that enables a more efficient print supply chain. PrintElements’ Print-as-a-Service model provides the structural flexibility needed to support customers in a streamlined end-to-end experience.

Southern Safety Products, LLC, http://smokeshieldsystem.com/, Bloomsburg, PABen Franklin investment: $35,000Provide distribution and marketing support for the commercialization of a new fire safety product. Smoke Shield is an easily installed device that provides up to an hour of breathable air during a fire when a victim is unable to escape. In addition to supplying air, the device utilizes strobe lights and cellular communications to alert rescue personnel to the location of the victim.

studio BE Mindfulness, LLC, https://meetyourcenter.com/, Wilkes-Barre, PABen Franklin investment: $50,000Enhance sales and marketing efforts and improve technical tools, including an upgraded website and online instruction, for the company’s proprietary, self-led, and scientifically backed mindfulness techniques. Corporate executives, managers, and other employee participants will increase productivity, reduce stress, improve interpersonal communications, and enhance resilience through the curriculum.

Ben Franklin provides 1:1 matching funding for work with a college or university partner on technology-based innovation in established manufacturers.

Fluortek, Inc.https://www.fluortek.com/, Easton, PABen Franklin investment: $25,000University Partner: Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems CenterOptimize the usage of floor space within the company’s manufacturing facility and assess the company’s Enterprise Resource Planning system to increase production. Fluortek manufactures customized, high-precision extruded plastic tubing for the medical device industry.

Nazareth Pallet Co., Inc.https://nazpallet.com/, Northampton, PABen Franklin investment: $15,500University Partner: Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems CenterComplete a thorough analysis of company operations at this producer, customizer, recycler, and rebuilder of wooden pallets. The focus will be on improving efficiencies in process flow logistics, increasing output, and enhancing end-product quality.

PMA-13, Inc., http://www.clarkesystems.com/, Allentown, PABen Franklin investment: $25,000 University Partner: Lehigh University’s Center for Supply Chain ResearchImplement a new Enterprise Resource Planning system at this producer of signage for government organizations, hospitals, and companies. The new system will streamline and simplify processes to accommodate anticipated growth.

Process Technologies & Packaging, https://www.processtechnologies.com/, Olyphant, PABen Franklin investment: $22,500University Partner: Wilkes University Develop a layout and design for the consolidation of manufacturing and warehouse operations at this developer, manufacturer, and filler/packager of cosmetics and personal care products.

Tower Products, https://www.towerproducts.com, Easton, PABen Franklin investment: $10,000 University Partner: Lehigh University’s Center for Supply Chain ResearchComplete the addition of a new module to a recently installed Enterprise Resource Planning system to meet operational requirements more efficiently at this manufacturer of environmentally sensitive offset and flexographic pressroom chemistry products.

About the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania

The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/NEP) creates and retains highly paid, sustainable jobs by investing in and linking companies with experts, universities, follow-on funding, and other resources to help them prosper through innovation. It is part of a four-center economic development initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and is funded by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority.

BFTP/NEP’s strategy encompasses three key areas:

1. developing and growing early-stage technology-oriented companies; 2. supporting established manufacturers as they creatively apply new technology to help them succeed globally by producing better, at a lower cost, and faster; 3. promoting an innovative community-wide infrastructure that supports Pennsylvania’s business technology ecosystem.

Since beginning operations in 1983, BFTP/NEP has helped to create 18,536 new jobs for Pennsylvania workers and to retain 37,328 existing jobs, to start 520 new companies, and to develop 1,935 new products and processes. Since 2007, BFTP/NEP clients have generated $1.5597 billion in follow-on funding. The Pennsylvania Ben Franklin Technology Partners network has returned $3.90 to the state treasury for every $1.00 invested in the program.

BFTP/NEP owns, manages, and is headquartered in Ben Franklin TechVentures ®, an award-winning business incubator/post-incubator facility on Lehigh University’s campus in Bethlehem. BFTP/NEP also owns and manages the Bloomsburg Regional Technology Center. Applying more than 35 years of experience and two international awards for excellence in business incubation, BFTP/NEP leads a 13-member business incubator network that is among the largest in the nation.

Contact: Laura S. EpplerChief Marketing OfficerBen Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania610-758-5237 leppler@nep.benfranklin.org