Ben Franklin to Invest $287,964 in Regional Economic Development

June 6, 2016

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BETHLEHEM, PA–(Marketwired – June 06, 2016) – The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s (BFTP/NEP) Board of Directors has approved the investment of $200,000 in support of 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:

  1. developing and growing early-stage technology-oriented companies,
  2. helping established manufacturers creatively apply new technology and business practices to achieve industry leadership, and
  3. promoting an innovative community-wide infrastructure that fosters a favorable business environment for high-growth companies.

Since beginning operation, BFTP/NEP has helped to create 16,986 new jobs for Pennsylvania workers and to retain 23,761 existing jobs, to start 482 new companies, and to develop 1,433 new products and processes. BFTP/NEP clients have generated $1.424 billion in follow-on funding. 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, manages, and is headquartered in Ben Franklin TechVentures®, an award-winning business incubator/post-incubator facility on Lehigh University’s campus in Bethlehem, PA. BFTP/NEP also manages the Bloomsburg Regional Technology Center in Bloomsburg.

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

PROVA Systems & Technologies, Inc. ( Carbondale, Lackawanna County
Ben Franklin Investment: $75,000
Accelerate revenue growth for PROVA™ Systems’ Fleet Genius®, a fleet management software system for small- and medium-sized enterprises. PROVA’s software collects, monitors, and analyzes the performance of vehicles and drivers, allowing enhanced and proactive fleet management. The investment will facilitate stronger inventory positions to address backlog and further enhance product features including support for WiFi and GPS capabilities. Fleet Genius can reduce fleet operation costs by more than 60% versus current technology.

Select Products Holdings, LLC (, Vandling, Lackawanna County
Ben Franklin Investment: $100,000
Implement production and support sales and marketing at this manufacturer of paper products including paper towels, napkins, and facial and bathroom tissue. The company’s new 160,000-square-foot building will integrate patented paper conversion machinery and produce proprietary novel products, as well as engage in contract manufacturing.

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

PhytogenX, Inc. ( Morgantown, Berks County
Ben Franklin Investment: $12,964
University Partner: Northampton Community College’s Emerging Technology Applications Center
Analyze and select a new boiler and heat exchanger system to increase processing capacity at this contract manufacturer for the skincare industry. The enhancements will support growing batch production levels and provide ample heated deionized water, which is a major ingredient in many PhytogenX products. Achieving efficiencies in these areas will greatly enhance throughput.

Applied Separations, Inc. (, Allentown, Lehigh County
College Partner: Lafayette College
Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000
Develop and implement a new process for dry dyeing textiles for B-to-B sales to clothing manufacturers and textile companies in cooperation with business partner, the Halide Group. Current practices utilize large amounts of energy and water. With the developing worldwide water shortage, the industry is actively seeking means to significantly lessen 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.

Effort Foundry, Inc. (, Bath, Northampton County
University Partner: Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center
Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000
Implement improved production methods and upgrade manufacturing tracking processes at this supplier of high-integrity steel castings for the pump, power generation, and military industries. These technology upgrades will reduce costs and enhance the company’s ability to meet lead times.

FMI (, Allentown, Lehigh County
University Partner: Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center
Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000
Upgrade FMI’s Enterprise Resource Planning system to accommodate growth so the company can operate more efficiently and access new opportunities with larger customers. FMI provides contract manufacturing for its clients in the personal, home, and pet care markets. The upgrade will improve operational efficiency and provide scalability and flexibility of operation.

Pleasant Mount Welding, Inc. (, Carbondale, Lackawanna County
College Partner: Johnson College
Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000
Provide hardware and software support for manufacturing Sequencing Batch Reactors, an advanced wastewater treatment facility product that removes pollutants from wastewater. Pleasant Mount Welding is a specialty metals fabricator serving the wastewater, water treatment, and environmental industries.

Category: General