Bethlehem Medical Company, Yoga Mat Manufacturer Receive KIZ Grants
By Colin McEvoy on February 8, 2018
It’s been a busy year so far for the Southside Bethlehem Keystone Innovation Zone KIZ).
The KIZ, an area within the city that allows qualified startup companies to qualify for multiple financial and advisory support benefits, has announced that two companies will be receiving $15,000 each in Technology Transfer Grants.
Revivify, a medical device company, and Vidura Tech, the creators of a high-tech yoga mat, have each received the grants, which seek to aid in the commercialization of innovative technologies that possess promise for technology transfer into the marketplace.
“We are investing in two companies that center around health and wellness,” said Bethlehem Mayor Bob Donchez. “Revivify’s product will hopefully be successful and, with the anticipated decrease in recovery time, the need for medication may be lessened. And Vidura Tech is making improvements to a product for a market that is currently booming.”
This news comes just one month after 11 startups located within the Keystone Innovation Zone received a total of $442,158 in KIZ tax credits. The KIZ has invested a total of $519,408 in regional companies so far in 2017, according to the city.
The KIZ helps to foster innovation and create entrepreneurial opportunities by aligning the combined resources of educational institutions, governmental agencies, and the private sector, according to the Bethlehem Economic Development Corporation (BEDCO), which administers the zone.
Revivify has created a product that uses a unique combination of three different pain relieving modalities to provide optimal healing and decrease recovery time for a variety of joint injuries and conditions, such as osteoarthritis.
“Our goal is to serve people’s needs for pain relief with this device and give them an alternative to relying on pain medication,” said Thomas Crassas, co-founder of Revivify, who said the grant will help the company secure intellectual property, develop their prototype, and receive FDA approvals.
“It has been a blessing to have the KIZ invest in our company,” Crassas said. “Their investment has given us the opportunity to move forward with securing a patent and working on the commercialization of the product. Their support has been critical in the progress of our company.”
Vidura Tech is a product development company that has created a product called the Connct, a device that augments a regular yoga mat by providing active alignment and balance cues to the user with visual, audio, and tactile feedback.
Rob Lombino, CEO of Vidura Tech, said this award will help the company with the commercialization of their product by launching the Connct and building a marketing campaign.
“This is an amazing opportunity for our startup,” Lombino said. “What began as a grad school project has become a real company with enough funding to launch here in the Lehigh Valley. We are so thankful to be a part of the KIZ and look forward to the start of a successful business relationship.”
During its annual update event on Nov. 21, it was announced that since the the Southside Bethlehem KIZ was formed in 2004, it has resulted in 444 new jobs, $7.8 million in investment, 141 products new products developed, and nearly $1.2 million in technology transfer grants awarded.
The KIZ program provides tax credits for companies that have been in operation for less than eight years, whose gross revenues have increased over the previous year, are located in a KIZ, and are operating within a targeted industry sector such as information technology or advanced manufacturing/diversified materials.
Financial resources provided by the KIZ provides include technology transfer grants up to $15,000 per project, student internship grants of up to $3,750 per intern, and KIZ tax credits up to $100,000 annually, and Technical Entrepreneurship Capstone Program Grants up to $5,000.
For more information, visit the Southside Bethlehem KIZ’s website or contact the Asher Schiavone, Bethlehem’s Economic Development Coordinator, via email or via phone at 610-865-4347.
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