Ben Franklin Announces Innovation Award Winners

ben franklin

Ben Franklin Announces Innovation Award Winners

Winners to be Honored at May 9th iXchange Event

The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania has announced the winners of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Innovation Awards. Winners will be honored at the Ben Franklin iXchange event, which will be held at 5:00 PM on Tuesday, May 9th at the Zoellner Arts Center at Lehigh University, Bethlehem.

Awards will be presented to seven recipients, companies or individuals who have achieved business success through Ben Franklin funding and assistance, have helped others to achieve success, or have improved their businesses through innovation. Each award recipient exemplifies outstanding achievement in that particular category.

“Chief Troublemaker” Dustin Garis will present the keynote, Disruptive Innovation, at the annual event, which attracted more than 450 business and community leaders last year. Registration is now available at nep.benfranklin.org.

The purposes of the innovation awards are to congratulate winners on their success and achievement, to highlight the effectiveness of the Ben Franklin program, and to inform entrepreneurs and established manufacturers about the resources that are available to them in northeastern Pennsylvania. The 2017 Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania Innovation Awards winners are:

Entrepreneurial Achievement

The company that best exemplifies the quintessential entrepreneurial spirit: a combination of ingenuity, hard work, and innovation that has resulted in the creation of a successful and growing business venture.

Scott V. Dawson, President and Michael J. Dawson, Vice President
Core Business Solutions, Inc., Lewisburg

Core Business Solutions helps small companies become ISO 9001 certified as quickly and easily as possible. ISO 9001 is an internationally recognized quality management system for which certification is required of suppliers by many major purchasers. Core Business’ online approach and customized expert consulting have helped its clients achieve certification in four or fewer months with a 100% success rate. Brothers Mike and Scott Dawson co-founded Core Business Solutions and Ben Franklin provided the young company with business plan and sales process assistance, seed investments, and Solutions Network support. With updates to the ISO standards recently released, companies need to recertify, creating an even stronger demand for the company’s offerings. Core Business has been growing 30-40%, more than tripling revenue over the last three years, and now employs 18 and supports 12 service subcontractors.

Incubator Graduate

The company that best demonstrates successful Ben Franklin business incubation. The business has been operated skillfully and confidently, meeting all challenges, from the development of the product concept, execution of the business and technical plan, successful start-up and operation, to graduation from the incubator.       

Glemser Technologies Corporation, Bethlehem
Raymond G. Glemser, II, Ph.D., President

Glemser Technologies delivers life science IT and compliance solutions that bring safer pharmaceuticals to market faster and cheaper. Glemser’s content and quality management solutions, as well as consulting services, ensure a customer’s ability to meet and exceed regulatory standards. Founded in 1987 at the Ben Franklin Business Incubator, Glemser received seed capital, laboratory access, and business and commercialization assistance from Ben Franklin and Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center. Once Glemser graduated from the incubator, it established its headquarters in a restored historic Bethlehem building. It currently employs 27. Ray Glemser, President, gives back to the community, advising and mentoring Lehigh University students as well as founders of emerging software companies.

Product Innovation

The company that best demonstrates the commercialization of a unique, innovative product that creatively and effectively meets a market need.

Industrial Vision Systems, Bryn Mawr (formerly Lehigh County)
Walter B. McIlvain, President and Paul M. Bennett, Vice President

Industrial Vision Systems developed the VisionTally, a machine that utilizes digital cameras, laser line generators, laser rangefinders, and software algorithms to determine the dimensions of boards within a bundle of lumber without opening the bundle. VisionTally scans and measures bundles from both ends at once, providing actual board measurements that include wane and other defects. No board marks, special bundle preparation, nor attention from lumber personnel during the scanning process are required. VisionTally is currently the only tally system that has been certified by the National Hardwood Lumber Association. Ben Franklin investments in the company complemented substantial management capitalization. After overcoming difficult technical challenges, IVSi has grown its revenue and VisionTally has emerged as the most accurate, labor-free, and efficient end-tally system available in the marketplace.

Innovative Application of Technology

A company that strongly demonstrates a “break-the-mold” approach to integrating new or existing technology into its business.

RADIUS Corporation, Kutztown
Saskia Foley, CEO and President

RADIUS designs and manufactures premium personal care products including eco-friendly toothbrushes, molded travel cases, dental floss, and organic toothpastes. The completely solar-powered, certified woman-owned company is committed to ongoing R&D to identify innovative and sustainable manufacturing approaches to make everyday products distinctive. Its Source Toothbrush uses replacement head technology with a handle made from recycled dollar bills, paper, and wood, reducing waste by 93%. Through Ben Franklin funding and connections, RADIUS received marketing and strategy support, teamed with the Plastics Manufacturing Center at Penn College to address a breakage problem with toothbrushes, and more recently worked with Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center on facility optimization. Since last year, RADIUS has increased employment from 30 to 35 and in the past five years’ company revenue has increased by 3½ times. RADIUS will soon purchase, renovate, and relocate into a larger building to respond to burgeoning demand.

Manufacturing Achievement

The company that best exemplifies achievement in the manufacturing arena, showing a proven track record of success and an unbending commitment to achieving and maintaining excellence in manufacturing.

Simplex Industries, Inc., Scranton
Patrick Fricchione, President

Over its 45 years in business, Simplex Industries has become an industry leader in the manufacture of high-end, top-quality modular homes by incorporating innovative designs, working through complicated customized projects, and providing energy-efficient modular manufacturing. Simplex builds first homes through dream homes and commercial buildings from dormitories to hotels to light industrial facilities. Ben Franklin linked Simplex to Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center to fully integrate AutoCAD 3-D printing, develop plans to transform two plants, and address production bottlenecks. The 3-D modeling significantly reduces change orders, unexpected costs, and delays. The efficiencies achieved by this work have helped Simplex to grow and employ more than 215 people in Scranton. In response to escalating demand, the company announced plans to add 40 more jobs and increase production with a $3 million investment in the plant.

Partnership – Two Winners

Individuals whose strong vision, dedication, and commitment have helped the Ben Franklin Technology Partners accomplish its goals. This support demonstrates a sincere desire to see the region thrive.

Paul Browne, Executive Director
Carbondale Technology Transfer Center, Carbondale

Paul Browne has led the Carbondale Technology Transfer Center for more than 20 years. CTTC’s space is divided among early-stage firms in technology-oriented, light industry, light assembly, and food production sectors. In order to meet emerging needs in the region, Paul recently established an Electronics Makerspace that allows companies to rent time with pick-and-place machines, reflow ovens, and other equipment used in electronics production for prototyping and short production runs. As he has done in the past, Paul identified needs in the regional economy and found a way to secure the resources for the CTTC to address them. CTTC is a member of the Ben Franklin Business Incubator Network, which, with 15 members, is among the largest incubator networks in the nation. Ben Franklin clients Prova Systems and Crew Systems are among CTTC’s resident companies. These firms benefit from Ben Franklin investments and staff support as well as Paul’s on-site expertise in business incubation.

Mary T. Webber, President
Webber Associates, Lemoyne

Mary Webber has provided legislative advocacy to the Ben Franklin Technology Partners statewide network since the program’s inception in the mid-1980s. She is well-respected by both democrats and republicans for her in-depth institutional knowledge, her vast experience, and her calm, reasoned demeanor. As a result of her tireless efforts, the Ben Franklin program has been funded through seven administrations, from Governor Thornburgh through Governor Wolf. The momentum and institutional wisdom generated over those years have allowed the Ben Franklin Technology Partners to emerge as the internationally recognized gold standard for technology-based economic development. In addition to her consuming and successful work as a lobbyist, Mary has served generously on a number of boards and as a volunteer and mentor. As she works toward retirement, she can reflect with satisfaction on the many Pennsylvanians whose jobs exist thanks to her outstanding work.

About the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania

The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/NEP), an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and funded by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority, creates and retains highly paid, sustainable jobs by linking companies with experts, universities, funding, and other resources to help them prosper through innovation. BFTP/NEP’s strategy encompasses three key areas:

  1. developing and growing early-stage technology-based companies,
  2. helping established manufacturers creatively apply new technology and business practices to achieve industry leadership, and
  3. promoting an innovative community-wide infrastructure that fosters a favorable business environment for high-growth companies.

Since beginning operations in 1983, BFTP/NEP has helped to create 16,986 new jobs for Pennsylvania workers and to retain 23,761 existing jobs, to start 482 new companies, and to develop 1,433 new products and processes. Since 2007, BFTP/NEP clients have generated $1.424 billion in follow-on funding. The work of the Pennsylvania Ben Franklin Technology Partners network has generated $3.60 of additional state tax revenue for every $1.00 invested in the program.

BFTP/NEP owns, manages, and is headquartered in Ben Franklin TechVentures®, an award-winning business incubator/post-incubator facility on Lehigh University’s campus in Bethlehem, PA. BFTP/NEP also owns and manages the Bloomsburg Regional Technology Center in Bloomsburg. Applying more than 30 years of experience and two international awards for excellence in business incubation, BFTP/NEP leads a 15-member northeastern Pennsylvania business incubator network.

Please follow and like us: