Technology partners

Ben Franklin Technology Partners will invest $252,500 in the regional economy

The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeast PennsylvaniaThe Board of Directors of approved the investment of $252,500 to support regional economic development. A total of five companies from the 21 counties served by Ben Franklin Technology Partners received funding in the latest round announced this week.

One of the selected companies is Cast-Rite Metal Co., of Exeter Township, Berks County, which will receive an investment from Ben Franklin of $2,500. College Partner: Northampton Community College Emerging Technology Applications Center. The funding will be used to conduct an energy assessment of Cast-Rite Metal Foundry to reduce energy costs, reduce the environmental footprint and drive continuous improvement and profitability for this aluminum sand casting producer. The company uses diversified casting processes and only certified aluminum alloys. Customers include commercial original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in the food processing, transportation, medical/pharmaceutical, utility, telecommunications, lighting and other industries.

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

Two other ventures with college or university partners receiving funding include:

BRD Noise and vibration control inc., Wind Gap, County of Northampton; Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000 — continuation project. Academic Partner: Lehigh University Supply Chain Research Center. The funding will be used to develop and implement project management tools, templates and metrics to improve productivity and efficiency, and improve customer service and on-time delivery. BRD Noise and Vibration Control specializes in HVAC acoustic design and manufacturing to assist architects; mechanical, electrical and plumbing professionals; acoustic consultants; and design/build contractors in specifying cost-effective approaches to keeping mechanical equipment quiet.

Dynalene Inc., Whitehall, Lehigh County; Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000 — continuation project. Academic Partner: Lehigh University Supply Chain Research Center. The funding will be used to improve manufacturing processes in the production of deionizing filter cartridges, which are used in automotive fuel cells. Dynalene will increase efficiency, improve production output and continuously monitor quality to establish itself as a high-volume supplier to automakers. Dynalene develops, manufactures and distributes innovative industrial heat transfer fluids and related accessories.

Ben Franklin Partners also announced investments in early-stage companies, which are provided in the form of loans with warrants. Investments have been awarded to:

GUIDE, Scranton Enterprise Center, Scranton, Lackawanna County; Ben Franklin investment: $100,000. The funding will be used to complete the development of a new version of GUIDE’s mobile app and market the app to organizations including midsize businesses, first responders and veterans groups. GUIDE provides a software-as-a-service mobile app for wellness and mental health.

Terra Health Coaching, Bethlehem, County of Northampton; Ben Franklin Investment: $100,000 – continuation project. The funding will be used to complete construction of the company’s mobile app, release a desktop version that meets HIPAA compliance standards, and support marketing to direct primary care clinics. Terra Health Coaching is a solution for employers, physicians and individuals who wish to minimize the risk of chronic disease and its associated costs while optimizing the impact on health and the environment. The platform provides specialist support and helps clients improve their physical and mental health with Lifestyle Medicine.

Investments identified as a continuation project indicate that the client has reached predetermined milestones and is receiving more funding to complete additional project work.

Ben Franklin Technology Partners in Northeastern Pennsylvania create and retain sustainable, high-paying jobs by investing in businesses and connecting them to experts, universities, follow-on funding, and other resources for helping to thrive 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.