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Lehigh Valley Startups Receive Funding From Ben Franklin Technology Partners

By Colin McEvoy on July 21, 2017

Orbweaver Sourcing and Sunbound Technolog have successfully graduated from the Ben Franklin TechVentures business incubator.

Ben Franklin TechVentures is a business incubator operated by BFTP/NEP on Lehigh University’s Mountaintop Campus.

Two Lehigh Valley startup companies have received a combined total of $200,000 from the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/NEP) this week.

Dellicker Strategies, a Heidelberg Township-based software company, and OrthoForge, a Bethlehem-based medical device company, each received $100,000 in the forms of loans with warrants.

The loans are part of a $397,543 investment in Pennsylvania companies announced this week by Ben Franklin, which is focused on developing and growing early-stage technology companies, and helping established manufacturers creatively apply new technologies.

Dellicker Strategies provides support for sales and marketing efforts, and ongoing software enhancements at this producer of a software platform that facilitates personalized learning strategies for K-12 classrooms.

The DSdirect app being developed by Dellicker Strategies. (courtesy photo)

The DSdirect app being developed by Dellicker Strategies. (courtesy photo)

The technology, called DSdirect, helps educators deliver student-centric instruction through effective professional development and integrated program management, thereby improving learning in K-12 schools while saving costs.

“We are very grateful for this partnership with Ben Franklin and the people of Pennsylvania,” said Kevin Dellicker, owner and manager of Dellicker Strategies. “This funding commitment will help us deliver improved services and scalability to our customers across the nation from right here in the Lehigh Valley.”

OrthoForge is a medical device company focused on orthopedics and the real-time monitoring of bone growth. It develops and delivers orthopedic stimulation and quantitative real time data regarding fracture healing as well as stimulating bone growth at the targeted area.

This allows orthopedists to streamline their fracture healing treatment algorithm in a more cost-effective manner and potentially improve outcomes. The company’s seeks to promote personalized medicine and better the patient experience in a cost effective manner.

“We are very excited to be part of the BFTP/NEP family,” said Jim Fries, CEO of OrthoForge. “It is a true milestone achievement for us to be located in the Lehigh Valley. We look forward to growing our company under the guidance of the Ben Franklin team.”

Fries said the funding will help the company accelerate its engineering and design phase, and take its validated prototype towards its go to market version.

OrthoForge is based out of Ben Franklin TechVentures, a business incubator operated by BFTP/NEP on Lehigh University’s Mountaintop Campus. TechVentures is currently home to 41 firms currently employing about 170 people, and since 1983 has graduated 64 successful companies, together creating more than 6,400 jobs.

BFTP/NEP also announced $12,500 in funding for Freshpet, Inc., which makes all-natural refrigerated food for cats and dogs. The funding will help complete the analysis of process, product, and environmental data in order to determine key yield influencers in Freshpet’s proprietary process for manufacturing food.

Since beginning operation, BFTP/NEP has helped to create 17,415 new jobs for Pennsylvania workers and to retain 27,384 existing jobs, to start 492 new companies, and to develop 1,591 new products and processes.

Since 2007, BFTP/NEP clients have generated $1.4623 billion in follow-on funding. The Pennsylvania Ben Franklin Technology Partners network has returned $3.60 to the state treasury for every $1.00 invested in the program.

Ben Franklin Technology Partners is an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and is funded by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority.

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