News Column

Ben Franklin funds technology startups

July 17, 2014

By Sam Kennedy, The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.)

July 17--Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania has approved $600,000 in loans and grants for 10 companies and manufacturers, the organization announced Monday.

Seven recipients awarded loans are based in the Lehigh Valley.

-- Cerora Inc. of Bethlehem was awarded $150,000. The company has created 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.

-- Map Decisions of Bethlehem received $100,000. It is developing infrastructure asset and work management software, including a cloud-based mobile platform designed for state and local governments, utilities, oil and gas, transportation and construction industries.

-- Orbweaver Sourcing of Bethlehem got $25,000 to complete a bill-of-material authoring tool as a module in cloud-based software for electronic circuit board manufacturers.

-- Pivitec of Bethlehem got $21,100 to continue work on audio streaming and distribution products.

-- Skaffl of Allentown got $25,000. It is developing a mobile application through which teachers and students can exchange class materials, assignments, completed homework, assessments and grades.

-- XiGo Nanotools of Bethlehem got $50,000. It makes patented products that rapidly measure the wetted surface area of nanoparticles and droplets using magnetic resonance technology.

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, provides operating funds for a network of business incubators that nurture fledgling companies by providing low-cost office and laboratory space and other assistance.

It also supports technology development at mature companies through matching grants coupled with college and university partners.

Georg Fischer Harvel LLC of Easton was awarded $10,000 to work with Lehigh University's Enterprise Systems to complete a sustainability analysis to reduce energy consumption by at least 20 percent. GFH is an international leader in thermoplastic extrusion, primarily manufacturing PVC and CPVC piping.



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Source: Morning Call (Allentown, PA)

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