Ben Franklin Northeast to Invest $220,000 in PA Companies

December 20, 2018

BETHLEHEM, Pa., Dec. 20, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania ’s (BFTP/NEP) Board of Directors has approved the investment of $220,000 in support of regional economic development. BFTP/NEP announces the following early-stage company investments that are provided in the form of loans with warrants.

Ethnic Beauty Store, LLC, http://gamefacegrooming.com, East Stroudsburg University Innovation Center, East StroudsburgBen Franklin Investment: $65,000Expand retail distribution of Ethnic Beauty Store’s proprietary Game Face Grooming product line and boost corresponding marketing efforts. The line is currently comprised of four extra-large-sized wipes, targeted to men who are seeking skincare products that are simple to use. The wipes are fully biodegradable/compostable, have 98.5% natural ingredients, and are made in the U.S.

Skillion, LLC, http://www.skillionbikes.com, Ben Franklin TechVentures, BethlehemBen Franklin Investment: $40,000Complete development of Skillion’s mobile app for remotely monitoring and controlling an electronic bike (e-bike) to prevent theft and/or manage e-bike rentals. Both the American and European e-bike markets are expected to grow significantly over the next five years, particularly in urban centers, creating the need for technology to support the sector.

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

C. F. Martin & Company, Inc., www.martinguitar.com, NazarethBen Franklin Investment: $25,000 University Partner: Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems CenterImprove the accuracy of sales forecasting by applying advanced analytics to internal sales data and integrating external econometric, manufacturing, and government research. C. F. Martin designs and manufactures premium stringed musical instruments and musical instrument strings. Enhanced demand forecasting will lead to increased sales and improved operational planning.

East Coast Erosion Control, www.eastcoasterosion.com, BernsvilleBen Franklin Investment: $25,000University Partner: Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems CenterImprove back-end processes to enhance customer delivery performance, reduce cost-of-goods sold, increase efficiency, and maximize production capacity at this manufacturer of erosion control products, turf reinforcement mats, and hydro-mulches for the construction industry. East Coast Erosion is one of the largest producers of erosion blankets and other erosion products in the U.S. This upgrade will provide a competitive advantage and facilitate continued growth.

Lamtec Corporation, www.lamtec.com, Mt. BethelBen Franklin Investment: $25,000 University Partner: Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems CenterComplete the design of a new material handling system and take necessary steps to improve the company’s manufacturing changeover process. Lamtec is a global supplier of insulation vapor retarders and facings to leading manufacturers, laminators, and fabricators of fiberglass, rock wool, foam board, and tape.

Material Solution Services, http://www.coregrouppa.com/, NorthamptonBen Franklin Investment: $25,000University Partner: Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems CenterComplete the formulation of new composite materials that can be used for general fill in land development, construction material, and mine reclamation. The composites will recycle various waste products in conjunction with a binding agent to reclaim abandoned sites for safe and productive reuse.

Mt. Everetts Frozen Creations, www.mteveretts.com, Wilkes-BarreBen Franklin Investment: $15,000 University Partner: Wilkes UniversityComplete the design and layout of new manufacturing space for the production of proprietary new Italian ice, ice cream, and other frozen desserts. The design plan will address current and future capacity requirements.

About the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern PennsylvaniaThe 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:

1. developing and growing early-stage technology-oriented companies; 2. supporting established manufacturers as they creatively apply new technology to help them succeed globally by producing better, cheaper, and faster; 3. promoting an innovative community-wide infrastructure that supports Pennsylvania’s business technology ecosystem.

Since beginning operations in 1983, 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.

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 in Bloomsburg. Applying more than 30 years of experience and two international awards for excellence in business incubation, BFTP/NEP leads a 13-member business incubator network that is among the largest in the nation.

Contact: Laura S. EpplerChief Marketing OfficerBen Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania610-758-5237 leppler@nep.benfranklin.org

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