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Ben Franklin announces nearly $700K in regional tech investments

Zukay Live Foods of Berks County will receive $100,000 from Ben Franklin Technology Partners to continue commercialization efforts. (Contributed)
Zukay Live Foods of Berks County will receive $100,000 from Ben Franklin Technology Partners to continue commercialization efforts. (Contributed)

Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania has announced the investment of $695,000 in upstart technology companies and existing manufacturers in the region.

It has provided loans to the following early-stage companies:

Firecracker Health of Bethlehem will receive $100,000 to help it develop its consumer-facing software that manages virtual care for this digital health company.

Mystic Mountaintop LLC of Kunkletown will receive $65,000 to develop and fabricate a market-ready, proprietary, "smart" LED lighting system for the middle- to low-end entertainment industry.

Ophidion of Bethlehem will receive $100,000 towards pre-clinical study of its work towards treating Huntington’s disease.

Snowvation Inc. of Bethlehem will receive $100,000 to expand resources and staffing for this producer of an activity booking and management platform for the mountain destination industry. The investment will allow the company to scale to more than 50 resorts globally, launch a summer platform, and grow into the southern hemisphere and Europe.

Zukay Live Foods LLC of Elverson will receive $100,000 to continue commercialization efforts for the Jacob's Raw product line at this manufacturer of raw, fermented, vegan, and probiotic condiments and tonics.

A $100,000 investment also went to a Union County upstart, Play Impossible for the development of subscription-based games.

A Lackawanna County business, Sustainable Energy Management Systems, received $80,000 to enhance sales efforts for its patented Reflective Solar Tracker.

Ben Franklin also announced 1:1 matching grants to manufacturers and their university partners for systems improvements.

Material Solution Services of Northampton will receive $25,000 to work with the Lehigh University Enterprise Center to complete 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.

Blaschak Coal Corp., of Mahanoy City will receive $25,000 to work with Lehigh University’s Energy Research Center Develop a process to efficiently extract Rare Earth Elements from anthracite mine water sources at this producer of anthracite coal.

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