Ben Franklin announces $275K in regional investments

Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania announced that it recently invested $275,000 with five companies in the region.

It made an early-stage company loan of $100,000 to Raven Biomaterials LLC in TechVentures in Bethlehem. The company will use the funds to further develop new magnetic beads that are used to separate biological components at a significantly lower cost than current methods. The beads can be used in cancer treatment, patient monitoring, gene therapy and scientific research.

It also made a $100,000 loan to Mussel Polymers Inc. of TechVentures in Bethlehem. The company will use the funds to streamline production processes using Poly(catechol-sterene) to develop new adhesives and adhesive primers that have better performance when used underwater or on wet surfaces.

Ben Franklin provided $25,000 in matching funds to American Polarizers Inc. of Reading. The company is partnering with Northampton Community College’s Emerging Technology Application Center to develop a processing method for a circular polarizer lens and expand the company’s product line to include small lenses and small-batch custom laminations. American Polarizers manufactures optical products that are used for scientific and medical instruments.

It made a $25,000 matching grant to BRD Noise and Vibration Control Inc. of Wind Gap. The company will partner with Lehigh University to incorporate new scanning and modeling techniques to make the process for assessing noise and vibration control projects more efficient. BRD specializes in HVAC acoustic design and manufacturing to help contractors keep mechanical equipment quiet.

Ben Franklin also made a $25,000 matching grant to GENTEX Corp. in Lackawana County. GENTEX will be working with Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center to optimize the Manufacturing Resource Planning tool and inventory management system to increase production efficiencies. GENTEX is a manufacturer of personal protection and situational awareness products for military, emergency response and industrial personnel. The company’s products include helmets, respiratory protection, communication equipment and advanced optics.