Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern PA Announces $495,000 Investment Round

The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s (BFTP/NEP) Board of Directors has approved the investment of $495,000 in support of regional economic development. Eleven companies from BFTP/NEP’s 21-county service area received funding.

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

Applied Cadence, LLC, https://www.UnisonWorkforce.com, Scranton

Ben Franklin Investment: $100,000

Develop, test, and commercialize “CareWide,” a simple and easy-to-use mobile application with an administrative web-based dashboard that allows individual homecare workers an affordable way to manage their own services, verify their time, and get paid seamlessly. The patented Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform maximizes the productivity of homecare staff and provides information and security to patients, family members, and caregivers. The company’s mission is to bridge the gap between independent workers and clients who are in need of home services, enabling aging adults to remain in their homes longer.

DetectBee, Inc., https://www.detectbee.com/, Bethlehem

Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000

Complete development of and commercialize DetectBee’s MVP Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform that allows users to detect cybersecurity vulnerabilities in both their own systems and in those of third-party systems that are tied to them via interfaces. By providing a “hacker’s eye view” of networks, DetectBee protects clients and their supply chains.

Low & Go, LLC, http://www.lowandgo.org/, Honesdale

Ben Franklin Investment: $100,000

Support marketing, and durability and safety testing to commercialize a powered wheelchair with a standard rear-wheel drive and lower center of gravity, providing “no-tip” versatility for use indoors or outdoors. The chair extends 22 inches as it lowers itself into a go-cart configuration, allowing greater versatility. The Low & Go wheelchair can travel in places that would be unattainable in other wheelchairs, including trails and woodlands, safely at speeds of up to 6½ miles per hour, and allows users to pick items up from the ground.

Huntley & Co., https://www.shuntley.com/, Easton

Ben Franklin Investment: $80,000

Secure a license for S. Huntley & Company in Pennsylvania and New Jersey as a non-bank motor vehicle financier. Also, secure dealership partners, begin building the website, and launch the monthly subscription service in support of the financing tools. The firm’s product, Toppcar.com, is an online retail and financing platform that allows the growing modern classic car enthusiast segment of consumers and dealers to buy and finance cars completely online.

Thread Bioscience, https://threadb.com/, Ben Franklin TechVentures, Bethlehem

Ben Franklin investment: $50,000

Commercialize a patented diagnostic test, CultureStat, for urinary tract infections (UTIs), which is faster, more accurate, and at lower cost than current tests. CultureStat can be used at the Point of Care to reduce frequently misdiagnosed UTIs and improperly prescribed antibiotics. With an estimated 150 million UTIs annually, it is the most common infection among women and the second-leading cause of infection overall, accounting for $6 billion in health care expenditures.

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

Bosch Rexroth Corporation, www.boschrexroth-us.com, Bethlehem

Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000

University Partner: Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center

Develop and implement a simulation-based scheduling software for the company’s CNC machine scheduling system to improve throughput and reduce lead time, providing greater capacity. Bosch Rexroth manufactures motion control equipment, including hydraulic and pneumatic components.

Gillette Industrial Services, Inc., https://dgindustrialservices.com/, Bangor

Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000

University Partner: Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center

Complete facility layout plans of the company’s new campus to facilitate growth and prepare for ISO Quality System Certification. D. Gillette Industrial Services designs, fabricates, and repairs maintenance equipment for the U.S. military and industrial clients.

Heyco Metals, Inc., www.heycometals.com, Reading

Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000

University Partner: Alvernia University’s O’Pake Institute

Implement a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system to improve supply chain and customer service, and support growth. Heyco Metals is a precision mill that manufactures high-quality, thin-gauge, copper, copper alloy, and stainless-steel strip products to exacting specifications for the automotive, aerospace, connector, and consumer electronics industries.

Joe Jurgielewicz & Son, LTD, https://www.tastyduck.com/, Hamburg

Ben Franklin Investment: $15,000

University Partner: Alvernia University’s O’Pake Institute

Develop a plant layout for a new facility, and an overall manufacturing site master plan to increase capacity and optimize production. Joe Jurgielewicz & Son is a duck production operation that supplies restaurants, food services, and institutions in the U.S. The firm is vertically integrated from breeding to delivery and employs environmentally friendly, sustainable farming practices.

 LifeAire Systems, LLC, www.lifeaire.com, Allentown

Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000

University Partner: Lehigh University

Develop additional applications for LifeAire Systems’ technology. LifeAire discovers, develops, manufactures, and commercializes revolutionary air purification systems for the healthcare industry. The systems are clinically proven and proprietary, and effectively eliminate viable and chemical pathogens on a single pass, with no harmful byproducts or ozone produced.

S&W Metal Products, LLC, https://swmetalproducts.com/, Gilbertsville

Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000

University Partner: Alvernia University’s O’Pake Institute

Model the existing production facility to optimize process flows and accommodate the acquisition of new equipment. Develop a strategic facility master plan in support of the company’s long-term growth objectives. S&W Metal Products is a full-service sheet metal fabrication shop, manufacturing a wide range of recurring and custom precision-engineered 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 PDCED 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, less expensively, and faster;
  3. promoting an innovative community-wide infrastructure that supports Pennsylvania’s business technology ecosystem.

Since beginning operations in 1983, BFTP/NEP has typically been among the top 5% of the most active investors in the U.S. and has helped to create 19,740 new jobs for Pennsylvania workers and to retain 49,864 existing jobs, to start 531 new companies, and to develop 2,296 new products and processes. Since 2007, BFTP/NEP clients have generated more than $1.6 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 37 years of experience and two international awards for excellence in business incubation, BFTP/NEP leads a 14-member business incubator network that is among the largest in the nation.

Tags: Venture Capital, Economic Development, Technology Investments