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Ben Franklin Technology Partners to Invest $1,127,100 in Early-Stage Technology Firms

BETHLEHEM, PA -- (Marketwired) -- 08/13/14 -- The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/NEP) board approved the investment of $1,127,100 in regional companies. BFTP/NEP is an award-winning, state-funded economic development organization that links early-stage technology firms and established manufacturers with experts, universities, funding, and other resources to help them prosper through innovation. BFTP is an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and is funded by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority.

Since beginning operation, BFTP/NEP has helped to create 16,214 new jobs for Pennsylvania workers and to retain 22,155 existing jobs, to start 458 new companies, and to develop 1,279 new products and processes. Ben Franklin has returned $3.60 to Pennsylvania for every $1.00 invested in the program.

BFTP/NEP will invest in early-stage technology firms through loans:

Cerora Inc., Ben Franklin TechVentures, Bethlehem
Ben Franklin Investment: $150,000
Develop and commercialize the company's first product, Cerora Qumpass™, a cloud-based software as a service medical-grade, neurodiagnostic solution. The company's MindReader™ is a portable electroencephalogram (EEG) brain wave biosensor that measures the electrical activity of the brain. It combines cutting-edge advancements in EEG design with cognitive and voice-based data streams, all integrated with software to provide real-time, objective neurodiagnostic information in the field. The rapid diagnosis of brain disease and injuries can lead to early and effective intervention with resulting cost savings, improved clinical outcomes, and increased patient satisfaction for people with concussions/traumatic brain injury, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and other neurologic and psychiatric conditions. There are currently no affordable, portable, and accurate neuro-diagnostics available to physicians, nurses, first responders, and trainers for use in real time.

CEWA Technologies, Wyomissing - $350,000
Complete design, construct, and test prototypes of a new kind of point-concentrated solar power dish that will deliver power for industrial and institutional applications at a lower cost due to its innovative shape and construction. The dish is capable of providing thermal power for power generation, desalination, and process heat applications at a cost comparable to fossil fuel-based sources of energy without government subsidy. Such cost competitiveness is novel in solar power dishes, and critical to the growth of this alternative energy source.

Colymer Industries, Bethlehem - $50,000
Implement a marketing and sales strategy to commercialize a new, proprietary, non-asphalt roofing and waterproofing material called Tarzanite. An improved coal tar formulation, Tarzanite is not water-soluble and is environmentally beneficial. The material is expected to outlast traditional asphalt-based materials by a factor of four.

Good Vittles, Hamburg - $56,000
Complete the development and implementation of Good Vittles' exclusive technology to support its e-commerce marketplace for specialty foods. Specialty foods are certified or unique, ethnic or regional, produced in a specific way or with certain ingredients, and/or in limited supply. Good Vittles provides two e-commerce portals as direct distribution channels that connect food suppliers with professional chefs and individual consumers. Suppliers will use the company's proprietary packing process to maintain food freshness using cost-effective shipping methods.

Map Decisions, LLC, Bethlehem - $100,000
Provide sales, marketing, product development, and customer service support. Map Decisions produces infrastructure asset and work management software and provides field mapping and data management services. The company's secure, cloud-based mobile platform is designed for state and local governments, utilities, oil and gas, transportation, and construction industries. Map Decisions helps organizations increase operational efficiency, improve customer service, reduce compliance risks and decrease operational costs.

Orbweaver Sourcing, LLC, Bethlehem - $25,000
Complete development of a bill-of-material authoring tool as a module in a cloud-based software solution for electronic circuit board manufacturers. Current sourcing and procurement models in the electronics manufacturing industry are highly inefficient. Orbweaver's software platform will allow for more well-negotiated terms with suppliers, thereby reducing costs and increasing productivity for clients.

Pivitec, LLC, Bethlehem - $21,100
Continue commercialization and enhancement of hardware and software products for this developer of audio streaming and distribution products. Live performances in theaters and houses of worship require a variety of approaches to provide performers the ability to hear their own performances as well as cues. Wired systems currently in use require extensive cabling, limiting performers' movements, and have limited audio source reception. Pivitec uses wireless mobile devices as interactive controllers for its network devices to address these problems.

PROVA Systems and Technologies, Inc., Carbondale - $40,000
Support the commercialization of PROVA™ Systems' Fleet Genius® PRO, a fleet management software system for small- and medium-sized enterprises. The software integrates PROVA's plug-and-play fleet management monitor that links with its cloud-based SAAS application to collect, monitor, and analyze the performance of vehicles and drivers. PROVA's system enables proactive management of vehicles using data derived from their usage patterns and collected from on-board computers. Fleet Genius PRO can reduce fleet operations costs by more than 60% versus current technology, and, in many instances, pays for itself in less than a year.

SeKur Technology, Inc., Allentown - $10,000
Complete a sales and marketing strategy to launch a proprietary licensing, encryption, and storage solution to secure all types of digital media, including pdf documents, e-books, and audio/video files. The owner of the media can encrypt, track, and control the distribution of any file, on- or off-line, preventing unauthorized transfer or download.

Skaffl, LLC, Allentown - $25,000
Complete development of Skaffl, a new mobile application through which teachers and students can exchange class materials, assignments, completed homework, assessments, and grades. This digital application addresses the growing use of tablets in K-12 classrooms and the needs of teachers as they develop tools and curricula to enhance real-time educational interaction. There are no other applications that address these needs comprehensively while also being simple to use for students, teachers, and administrators.

Susquehanna Mining Solutions, Shavertown - $150,000
Design, construct, and begin operation of a four-million-gallon-per-day pilot facility for the recovery of minerals and clean-up of water from acid mine drainage. The company's process produces clean water and harvests iron oxide, while utilizing accessible geothermal energy as the power source for material processing operations. Once completed, the patented technology will be commercialized for large-scale use.

U.S. Specialty Formulations, LLC, Bethlehem - $100,000
Complete the set-up, staffing, and cGMP-approval process for the required facility and procedures to produce sterile injectable pharmaceuticals used in the medical community. Millions of Americans require specialized and custom-compounded drugs, and the current infrastructure is insufficient infrastructure to support their therapies. As an FDA-registered outsourced manufacturer, USF will employ advanced quality and manufacturing controls to comply with new, more stringent federal quality standards.

XiGo Nanotools, Bethlehem - $50,000
Complete software enhancements to allow expanded sales at this manufacturer of patented products that rapidly measure the wetted surface area of nanoparticles and droplets using magnetic resonance technology. Nano-particles are minute; they typically have diameters that are 1/1,000th the diameter of a human hair. Nanoparticle properties are key predictors of material performance in many industrial applications, including energy, electronics, ceramics, and pharmaceuticals, and currently there are no other efficient measurement methods. XiGo's new Acorn Drop is a product extension of the company's initial product, the Acorn Area™, and measures the drop size of emulsions.

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