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Ben Franklin to Invest $136,000 in Regional Economic Development

The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s (BFTP/NEP) Board of Directors has approved the investment of $136,000 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-based 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 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 and two international awards for excellence in business incubation, BFTP/NEP leads a 14-member northeastern Pennsylvania business incubator network.

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

eCO2Dye, LLC, (www.eco2dye.com), Allentown, Lehigh County
Ben Franklin Investment: $26,000
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 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.

Indoor Sky, LLC, (www.indoor-sky.com), Williamsport, Lycoming County
Ben Franklin Investment: $35,000
Create and execute sales/marketing strategies and goals as well as develop a financial model for this manufacturer of innovative interior shading for windows and skylights. 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 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.

Bazzini LLC, (http://bazzininuts.com/), Allentown, Lehigh County
University Partner: Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center
Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000
Streamline the nut production line, reduce waste, and increase productivity at this producer of nuts, dried fruits and confections. Identify further cost saving opportunities and process improvements in the manufacturing facility that will allow the company to compete more effectively and support the company’s continued growth.

Brentwood Industries, Inc., (www.brentwoodindustries.com), Reading, Berks County
University Partner: Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center
Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000
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. Brentwood produces custom thermoformed plastic solutions for a wide variety of consumer, manufacturing, and environmental applications.

Penn-Troy Manufacturing, Inc.,(http://www.penntroy.com/) Troy, Bradford County
College Partner: Pennsylvania College of Technology
Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000
Complete work to earn two key certifications for Penn-Troy's mud valves and a certification for its new pressure relief valve. Penn-Troy manufactures wastewater treatment valves and crankcase explosion relief valves for the water processing and large engine industries. These credentials endorse the products’ safety and will allow the company to increase sales and compete more effectively internationally.

Since beginning operation in 1983, 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. Since 2007, 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.

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 owns and manages the Bloomsburg Regional Technology Center in Bloomsburg. Applying more than 30 years of experience and two international awards for excellence in business incubation, BFTP/NEP leads a 14-member northeastern Pennsylvania business incubator network.

Laura Eppler
Director of Marketing
Ben Franklin Technology Partners
116 Research Drive
Bethlehem, PA 18015-4731

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