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Ben Franklin Northeast to Invest $535,000 in Pennsylvania Companies

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BETHLEHEM, Pa., July 25, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania's (BFTP/NEP) Board of Directors has approved the investment of $535,000 in support of regional economic development.

BFTP/NEP's goal is to help lead northeastern Pennsylvania to a better economic future by building partnerships that develop and apply technology for competitive advantage. To achieve this goal, Ben Franklin staff concentrate their efforts on three key areas:

  1. developing and growing early-stage technology-oriented companies,
  2. helping established manufacturers creatively apply new technology and business practices to achieve industry leadership, and
  3. promoting an innovative community-wide infrastructure that fosters a favorable business environment for high-growth companies.

Since beginning operation, BFTP/NEP has helped to create 18,056 new jobs for Pennsylvania workers and to retain 31,840 existing jobs, to start 511 new companies, and to develop 1,733 new products and processes. Since 2007, BFTP/NEP clients have generated $1.5 billion in follow-on funding. The Pennsylvania Ben Franklin Technology Partners network has returned $3.60 to the state treasury for every $1.00 invested in the program. Ben Franklin Technology Partners is an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and is funded by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority.

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, PA. BFTP/NEP also manages the Bloomsburg Regional Technology Center in Bloomsburg.

Ben Franklin announces the following early-stage company investments that are provided in the form of loans with warrants.

Applied Cadence, Scranton
Ben Franklin Investment: $35,000
Fund the patent process, conduct marketing and branding work, and support the migration to cloud services at this provider of a remote home healthcare monitoring system. The platform maximizes the safety of patients and the productivity of home care personnel by utilizing a proprietary device and app that allow caregivers and managers to confirm times and locations of services provided.

Carenade Health, www.carenade.com, Bethlehem
Ben Franklin Investment: $100,000
Develop marketing and customer support for the product's beta launch, and implement ongoing software enhancements to Carenade's online marketplace for in-home healthcare services. Families often find it difficult to find the best home health agency for their loved ones. Carenade is creating an online tool through which consumers can compare prices, read reviews, and purchase in-home healthcare services for themselves or their loved ones.

ConnexiCore, LLC, www.connexicore.com, Milford
Ben Franklin Investment: $100,000
Support marketing and sales efforts by refining the quote-to-order process and expanding the number of pilots at this provider of drone flight services. Using its proprietary cloud-based Software-as-a-Service flight management platform for drone flight pilots, ConnexiCore will initially target the architectural, engineering, and construction industries.

Gilson Snowboard & Ski Cowww.GilsonSnow.com, Winfield
Ben Franklin Investment: $80,000
Complete manufacturing improvements, and expand sales and marketing efforts at this manufacturer of innovative snowboards and skis. Applying aeronautical engineering concepts, Gilson products have a three-dimensional base that offer a "Soft Edge" for a buttery or "surfy" feel not offered in traditional products. The proprietary design accelerates the learning curve for beginners and stores more energy for the "pop" that is sought by experienced users.

Salt Water Solutions, LLC, www.saltwatersolutionsllc.com, Mansfield
Ben Franklin Investment: $100,000
Begin construction of a recovery plant in Mansfield that utilizes a proprietary process that substantially reduces the amount of solid waste in natural gas fracking and production wastewater. The process extracts usable products from the water, thereby lessening the environmental impact and reducing the hauling and disposal costs to the gas producer.

UBMe, Inc., http://www.ubme.com, Bethlehem
Ben Franklin Investment: $35,000
Launch a multi-faceted marketing campaign to promote UBMe's proprietary mobile application. Operating in the hyperlocal business-to-consumer industry category, the app helps businesses in dense market areas provide targeted and real-time interaction directly and immediately to local residents.

Ben Franklin announces the following established manufacturer company investments. BFTP/NEP provides 1:1 matching funding for work with a college or university partner on technology-based manufacturing innovation in established manufacturers.

FMI, www.fragrancemfg.com, Allentown
Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000
University Partner: Lehigh University's Enterprise Systems Center
Upgrade FMI's Enterprise Resource Planning system to accommodate growth so the company can operate more efficiently and serve larger customers. FMI provides contract manufacturing for a wide range of clients in the skin care, personal care, hair care, and pet care markets. Its materials are sold throughout the world and comprise products in most major domestic retailers.

Tower Products, Inc., www.towerproducts.com, Palmer Township
Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000
University Partner: Lehigh University's Enterprise Systems Center
Complete implementation of a new Enterprise Resource Planning system to meet customer requirements more efficiently at this manufacturer of environmentally sensitive offset and flexographic pressroom chemistry products.

U.S. Metal Powders, Inc., www.usmetalpowders.com, Palmerton
Ben Franklin Investment: $10,000
University Partner: Lehigh University's Enterprise Systems Center
Complete R&D work to develop aluminum alloy powders for new applications at this producer of metal powders. U.S. Metal Powders, Inc./Ampal, Inc., is well-known for its product quality and diversity, and is optimizing its high strength alloy powder portfolio to expand its marketability and gain a competitive edge in Additive Manufacturing.

WorldKlass Technologies, www.worldklass.com, Allentown
Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000
University Partner: Lehigh University
Complete a statistical analysis of the performance of a proprietary and patented device that improves fuel efficiency and reduces exhaust emissions for diesel engine powered vehicles, such as refrigerated trailers, trucks, buses, and locomotives. The device also reduces maintenance costs in these applications.

Contact: Laura S. Eppler
Chief Marketing Officer
Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania
610-758-5237
leppler@nep.benfranklin.org

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