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Ben Franklin Technology Partners to invest $2.3 million during first quarter 2024

Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania (Ben Franklin Northeast) approved $2.3 million in investments for the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2024.

Ten innovative companies, including eight startups and two manufacturers, received funding.

There will be $610,000 in investments made to the following early-stage companies:

iDEAL Semiconductor Ben Franklin TechVentures, Bethlehem, Northampton County, $500,000 Investment: iDEAL Semiconductor develops silicon-based, power semiconductors that handle higher voltages increasingly demanded by servers, AI computers, and electric vehicles. The investment supports staff expansion and product manufacturing.

Learnics Easton, Northampton County, $100,000 Investment: Learnics is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that provides an analytics dashboard allowing teachers to see individual and class-wide data and gives students the ability to record and submit a record of their online activity for specific assignments. The investment supports staff expansion and sales development.

Life’s Little Help Desk (dba Task Monsters), Dunmore, Lackawanna County, $10,000 Investment: Task Monsters is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that supports consumers completing Do-It-Yourself (DIY) projects and navigating contractor negotiations by connecting them with subject matter experts in real time. The investment supports the development of a marketing strategy.

There will be $1.65 million in early-stage company investments as part of the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). These projects were financed, in part, from Pennsylvania Small Business Credit Initiative funds from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Community and Economic Development:

GaudiumAI (dba GoCharlie.ai) Allentown, Lehigh County, $500,000 Investment: GoCharlie.ai is commercializing artificial intelligence (AI) applications for small and medium businesses to allow for the automated creation of customized marketing content. The investment supports product development and marketing efforts.

Mussel Polymers Ben Franklin TechVentures, Bethlehem, Northampton County, $500,000 Investment: Mussel Polymers develops water-resistant/waterproof adhesives that mimic the chemistry used by mussels for a variety of applications where adherence in wet conditions is required. Products are used for a range of industries, including coral reef restoration, defense and aerospace, biomedical and dental and industrial. The investment supports scaling manufacturing of products.

ChannelApe Scranton, Lackawanna County, $250,000 Investment: ChannelApe is a cloud-based inventory management platform designed to help small to large businesses create product listings and manage stock levels across various channels. The investment supports sales engineering, partnerships and product marketing.

Gilson Snow Selinsgrove, Snyder County, $250,000 Investment: Gilson Snow designs and manufactures innovative snowboards and skis that utilize a patented three-dimensional (3D) base. The investment supports hiring staff, scaling manufacturing capabilities and expanding marketing efforts.

Nlyten (dba Guide) Scranton Enterprise Center, Scranton, Lackawanna County. $150,000 Investment: Guide is a mobile app that provides features leading to sustainable mental and emotional wellness for the first responder and veteran communities. The award-winning solution provides anonymous, 24/7 access to micro-learning course modules, small group support and wellness practices using relatable language, images and videos developed with veterans and first responders in mind. The investment supports staff expansion and the development of app product enhancements.

There will be $50,000 invested in the following manufacturers, provided in 1:1 matching funding for work with a college or university partner:

Levan Machine & Truck Equipment Fleetwood, Berks County. $25,000 Investment: Levan Machine & Truck Equipment is a commercial and fleet truck upfitter with a CNC machine shop division that specializes in manufacturing and repair machining. They also offer welding and fabrication, and truck and trailer repair and maintenance services. The company was founded in 1936 and continues to serve national and international customers. The investment supports an operations analysis to identify opportunities for process improvement and growth. Levan Machine & Truck Equipment will partner with Alvernia University on the project.

Universal Compressed Air Center Valley, Lehigh County, $25,000 Investment:

Universal Compressed Air (UCA) manufactures compressed air systems for industry. The investment will support the development and implementation of a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) to increase efficiency and customer service. UCA will partner with Lehigh University on the project.

For 40 years, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania (Ben Franklin Northeast) has been building an ecosystem that fosters innovation and entrepreneurial success by providing investment capital and business support services to technology startups and established manufacturers.

Among the most active seed stage investors in the country, Ben Franklin Northeast invests in and supports companies to create and retain highly paid, sustainable jobs, accelerate technology-based economic growth in northeastern Pennsylvania, and advance technologies that improve the human condition.

Information: nep.benfranklin.org