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Ben Franklin Technology Partners Invests $465,000 in Regional Economic Development

By Colin McEvoy on April 20, 2022

Ben Franklin Technology Partners operates the Ben Franklin TechVentures business incubator in Bethlehem. It’s a key resource for life sciences research. (photo courtesy BFTP/NEP)

The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP_NEPA) has recently announced the investment of $465,000 in support of companies and business incubators in the Commonwealth, including several located in the Lehigh Valley.

This includes a $100,000 loan with warrants to MDS Link, Inc., a producer of an inexpensive and patented hardware/software solution, which is based in the Ben Franklin TechVentures incubator in Bethlehem.

BFTP_NEPA also provided $25,000 in 1:1 matching funding support to Dynalene Inc. of Whitehall Township, and $7,500 to the Bethlehem-based Myers Emergency Power Systems, according to the organization.

This matching funding is available for work with a college or university partner on technology-based innovation in established manufacturers. Dynalene’s partner is Lehigh University’s Center for Supply Chain Research, while Myers’ is Lehigh’s Enterprise Systems Center.

Additionally, Ben Franklin has provided $5,000 to the Bridgeworks Enterprise Center, a manufacturing business incubator operated by the Allentown Economic Development Corporation, as part of $60,000 distributed among BFTP_NEPA’s 14-member Ben Franklin Business Incubator Network.

In total, $465,000 was invested in support of 11 companies and 12 business incubators from BFTP_NEPA’s 21-county service area, which includes both Lehigh and Northampton counties.

MDS Link, Inc.’s hardware and software solution enables gigabit data transmission across existing coax cable. There is a growing market need to increase bandwidth rates in buildings like hotels and apartments that have pre-existing coax infrastructure. 

The $100,000 loan provided by BFTP_NEPA will support manufacturing and sales and marketing efforts for MDS Link, Inc. The company’s module can be installed into modern networking equipment configurations to deliver massive increases in bandwidth at a substantially lower cost than the installation of new fiber lines through buildings.

Dynalene Inc.’s $25,000 in funding will be used to conduct product validation and testing for large customer specifications for manufacturing de-ionizing filter cartridges that are used in the coolant loops of fuel cells, electric vehicle charging stations, and heat-producing electronics and computers, according to BFTP_NEPA.

Dynalene develops, manufactures, and distributes innovative industrial heat transfer fluids and related accessories. This work will allow Dynalene to improve manufacturing efficiencies and increase production yield to continue to grow in the fuel cell/automotive and electronics industry.

Myers Emergency Power Systems will use its $7,500 in funding to implement lean manufacturing processes and develop configure-to-order capabilities at this manufacturer of highly engineered emergency power backup equipment, such as emergency lighting, traffic, rail, and broadband, as well as components.

Myers provides integrated technology solutions mandated by safety codes in industries including data centers, government buildings, and healthcare centers, according to BFTP_NEPA. Work will help Myers enhance manufacturing efficiencies and lead times, allowing the company to increase sales.

BFTP_NEPA President & CEO Angelo Valletta was previously interviewed by Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation President & CEO Don Cunningham as part of LVEDC’s executive video interview series.

BFTP_NEPA previously announced that more than 7,300 jobs were created or retained in 2021 as a result of the work of the organization, according to impact surveys completed by clients who received support.

“Ben Franklin clients are an important part of the resilience northeastern Pennsylvania is exhibiting in the face of the pandemic,” said BFTP_NEPA President & CEO Angelo J. Valletta. “I commend and congratulate our clients, all of which are working to create and retain highly paid, sustainable jobs that will continue to drive economic prosperity.”

Since 1983, BFTP_NEPA has created 20,688 new jobs, retained 56,268 existing jobs, started 535 new companies, and developed 2,456 new products and processes, according to the surveys.

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