Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania has approved $315,000 in loans and grants for eight startup companies and manufacturers, the organization announced Wednesday.
Several of the recipients are based in the Lehigh Valley:
--Cerora Inc. of Bethlehem was awarded $50,000 to re-engineer software and hardware and to commercialize the Cerora brain wave sensor, a portable electroencephalogram that measures and records the electrical activity of the brain. The sensor can lead to more rapid diagnoses, which can lead to early intervention with improved outcomes and cost savings for patients with concussions, Alzheimer's disease and other brain conditions.
--EggZack of Bethlehem, maker of marketing software for small- to medium-sized retailers, restaurants and other companies, received $48,000 to improve its sales process. The software requires a single entry to update a client's website and other marketing functions.
--Consolidated Storage Companies of Tatamy, maker of storage systems and tool chests, received $25,000 to collaborate with Lehigh University's Enterprise Systems Center on a plant-wide production analysis to optimize productivity and plan for growth.
--EchoTech Marine of Allentown received $23,000. It will work with the Enterprise Systems Center to implement a new resource planning system that will accommodate expansion while maintaining quality. EcoTech's patented VorTech propeller pump is located outside of hobby reef aquariums, providing better heat control and flow.
Ben Franklin Technology Partners is a state-funded program that provides assistance primarily to startups. It announces six to eight rounds of funding each year.
The organization, based at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, also provides operating funds for a network of business incubators that nurture fledgling companies by providing low-cost office and laboratory space and other assistance.
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