The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania's (BFTP/NEP) Board of Directors has approved the investment of $209,800 in support of regional economic development. Five 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.
Ben Franklin Investment: $100,000
Advance product development, marketing, and sales at this Artificial Intelligence-assisted, Software-as-a-Service employer branding platform that helps companies scale organic social recruitment through recruiters, hiring leaders, and employees. Cliquify allows enterprises to connect with passive and active talent in creative ways where they engage - across social media channels. The results are increased engagement by 6x and reducing time and cost to recruit by 79%. Data shows that the platform also helps to address diversity and equity gaps in recruitment.
Ben Franklin Investment: $60,000
Continue to develop and add functions to a web-browser plug-in that allows K-12 students to submit their browsing histories and time spent on assignments, and teachers to analyze the data to support them and improve teaching. The tool will integrate into current learning platforms and will provide teachers with an individual and class wide analytics dashboard. Launch and commercialize the software to initial school users and begin to scale to additional customers.
Ben Franklin provides 1:1 matching funding for work with a college or university partner on technology-based innovation in established manufacturers. The investments identified as a continuation project indicates that the client achieved pre-determined milestones and is receiving more funding to accomplish additional project work.
Ben Franklin investment: $9,800
University Partner: The O'Pake Institute at Alvernia University
Facility planning and inventory gap analysis to address sales, production, and distribution needs to accommodate growth, resulting in lower costs and increased productivity. Big Barker manufactures high-quality foam beds for large dog breeds that are engineered to provide big dogs with better rest and more mobility. The beds are health and wellness products that have been validated by a clinical study performed by the University of Pennsylvania.
Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000
University Partner: Allan P. Kirby Center at Wilkes University
Automate a proprietary manufacturing process to increase capacity and throughput in order to accommodate significant growth. Noble Biomaterials, Inc. is a global leader in antimicrobial and conductivity solutions for soft surface applications. The company produces advanced material technologies designed for mission-critical applications in the performance apparel, healthcare, industrial, military and emerging wearable technology markets. Its flagship brands, X-STATIC®, Ionic+, and CIRCUITEX®, are used by hundreds of world-class licensees to provide odor elimination, infection prevention/management, biometric monitoring, and conductive protection benefits.
Ben Franklin Investment: $15,000
University Partner: Lehigh University's Center for Supply Chain Research
Implement an Enterprise Resource Planning system to improve the operational effectiveness at this manufacturer of proprietary medical respiratory equipment used in both hospital and homecare environments. The enhancements will allow the company to manufacture and fulfill orders more efficiently for sustainable growth.
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:
Since beginning operations in 1983, BFTP/NEP 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.
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