Three Lehigh Valley Businesses Are Among ‘Pennsylvania Companies to Watch in 2015’
By Colin McEvoy on February 3, 2015
Lehigh Valley companies and entrepreneurs are continuing to receive statewide attention, as three Lehigh Valley businesses have made Keystone Edge’s list of “18 Pennsylvania Companies to Watch in 2015.”
The list included Colony Meadery, an Allentown-based producer of mead, the alcohol drink also known as “honey wine;” LifeAire Systems, which designs and builds air purification systems for In Vetro Fertilization; and Skaffl, a Bethlehem company that developed a mobile iPad app for teachers.
The Lehigh Valley was the only Pennsylvania region outside Philadelphia and Pittsburgh with three companies featured in the Keystone Edge article, which highlighted “everything from ambitious startups with global ambitions to family businesses that contribute mightily to quality of life in their communities.”
The Colony Meadery, which operates out of the Allentown Economic Development Corporation’s Bridgeworks Enterprise Center, is the region’s first producer of the honey-fermented beverage. After just over a year in operation, sales have run 100 percent ahead of projections, and as a result the company is undertaking renovations that will triple its capacity and renovate its tasting room.
“[This] will allow us to triple our capacity and renovate our tasting room in the coming months, as well as install [specialized brewing equipment] for carbonating mead,” co-founder Greg Heller-LaBelle told Keystone Edge.
The Upper Macungie Township-based LifeAire Systems was founded by Dr. Katy Worrilow, who spent over a decade researching the best environment to support the growth of the human embryo in In Vetro Fertilization programs. That research led to the design of a comprehensive air purification system that not only serves IVF patients, but also helps protect premature newborn infants, pediatric intensive care patients, surgical patients and others.
“As a scientist, I am driven by data and am most comfortable beginning any process with substantial data points,” Worrilow previously told LVEDC. “Once we had substantial proof of technology and overwhelming clinical data, we launched our business to share our technology with our colleagues helping those couples hoping to have a family.”
Skaffl was created by Rita Chesterton, whose iPad app won first place in the 2012 Startup Weekend Lehigh Valley at the Ben Franklin TechVentures in Bethlehem. It lets teachers distribute, collect, grade and return their students’ homework, and students can write or draw on their tablet and receive feedback in real time from their teachers.
Chesterton told EdTech Times she conceived the idea while working as an instructional technology specialist, when she met several teachers who wished to distribute and assess assignments on their iPads: “It was exceedingly difficult. Every file type and every app required its own workflow. I knew that there had to be an easier way, but I couldn’t find one, so I decided that I would create one.”
Keystone Edge is an online magazine that covers businesses and economic growth in Pennsylvania, with a particular focus on the entrepreneurial ecosystems and the people and companies driving the state forward, as well as the best places to live, work and play, according to its website.
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