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Allentown cryogenic company graduates from incubator and is on its own

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Bridgeworks Enterprise Center (File photo)
Bridgeworks Enterprise Center (File photo)

ColdEdge Technologies has graduated from a startup cryogenic manufacturer to a self-sustaining company that can stand on its own.

ColdEdge completed the Bridgeworks Enterprise Center’s business incubation program in south Allentown and officials celebrated the milestone Thursday at the center, where the company is located.

The program focuses on grooming early stage manufacturing companies to profitability and sustainability through training, mentorship and consulting, said Anthony Durante, program manager at the Allentown Economic Development Corp. It takes about four to seven years to complete the program.

ColdEdge was founded in 2008 and accepted into the business incubation program that year. The company continued to grow over the years and moved three times to larger spaces in Bridgeworks.

It recently moved into a 6,200 square-foot space at Bridgeworks and will become its second anchor tenant after MTS Ventures.

“We started at zero employees and now we have six and revenue of about $2 million,” said Terry Rufer, president of ColdEdge. About half of its customers are international and its products are physicists and chemists in national laboratories, universities and institutes, such as NASA and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

“When you start, you don’t know what you’re doing. You know how to make the product,” Rufer said.

But other areas that are crucial to running a successful business – such as cash flow and the law, “all the things you don’t like to think about,” Rufer said – need to be learned, and the Bridgeworks program helps teach them.

Rufer said the flexible space offered at Bridgeworks has been essential to growing its business. As the company grew, it was a lot easier to move into a larger space across the hall than breaking a lease if it had rented a space somewhere else, he said.

Bridgeworks provides companies physical resources in the building, such as conference rooms, loading dock, pallet jacks and forklifts.

ColdEdge signed a five-year lease with Bridgeworks. As an anchor tenant, it will be a mentor to other companies.

“We know that [ColdEdge has] big plans to continue their growth, and we are pleased that they will continue that journey right here in Allentown and Bridgeworks,” said Scott Unger, executive director of AEDC.

ColdEdge is among 53 companies the Bridgeworks program helped launch in Allentown since it was established in 1989. There are 10 companies currently in the program, Durante said.

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