Benjamin Franklin Technology Partners: state-backed fund invests $1.5M in Philly-area startups - Technical.ly Philly

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Nov. 28, 2012 9:30 am

Benjamin Franklin Technology Partners: state-backed fund invests $1.5M in Philly-area startups

The state-backed Benjamin Franklin Technology Partners recently announced $1,535,000 in investments in eight Philly-region startups.

The state-backed Benjamin Franklin Technology Partners recently announced $1,535,000 in investments in eight Philly-region startups.

Find the whole list, with investment amounts and company descriptions from the release below.


Alencon Systems, Inc. – Plymouth Meeting – Montgomery County

Approved Investment: $400,000

Dedicated to making clean energy truly competitive with today’s conventional energy generation methods, Alencon designs alternative energy conversion and harvesting systems.

Alencon’s systems are both highly modular and scalable, and are capable of generating up to 100MW of power. The technology succeeds by incorporating economies of scale and higher levels of reliability.

The company is led by John Bunce, CEO; and Oleg Fishman, Ph.D., Founder & President.

Clutch Holdings, LLC – Lafayette Hill – Montgomery County

Approved Investment: $200,000

Clutch Holdings has created a mobile phone application, “Clutch,” that stores the individual’s store loyalty information, such as points and gift cards, so that they no longer need to carry around cumbersome plastic cards for each store.

The app allows customers to more easily manage, redeem, purchase and manage their assets, as well as buy gift cards for others. Merchants are able to research consumer behavior, better communicate with and market to their customers, and reduce the cost of producing and distributing cards.

Clutch is led by Ned Moore, CEO; Andy O’Dell, Founder & CCO; and Dan Guy, Co-Founder & CTO.

Digital Life Technologies – Bala Cynwyd – Montgomery County

Approved Investment: $225,000

Digital Life Technologies has created the GoNowâ„¢ eWallet Card, which can be programmed to become any credit, debit, gift or loyalty card in an eWallet, thus eliminating the need to carry multiple plastic payment cards. The card is programed by an eWallet on any smartphone and works at 100% of ATM’s and POS terminals, both contactless and magnetic stripe.

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The GoNowâ„¢ has a secure element that stores data in the card itself, and can be used instead of, or in addition to, the secure element in a phone or the Cloud. The card allows banks, technology companies and others launching eWallets to overcome key obstacles that have slowed adoption in the U.S. market, including scarcity of contactless payment terminals and control of secure data.

The company is led by Doug Spodak, Founder, President & CEO; Ron Fridman, CTO & SVP – Operations; and Joe O’Neill, VP – Business Development.

Finpago (Does business as EasyCopay) – Villanova – Delaware County

Approved Investment: $75,000 (Ben Franklin previously invested $100,000)

EasyCopay allows customers to quickly, efficiently and automatically pay for all of their out-of-pocket costs for prescriptions.

Customers enter their preferred card of choice for payment at EasyCopay’s website, where payment information is stored safely and securely. The company then automatically charges the card on file when a customer’s prescription is filled by his or her pharmacy, so they may pick it up without waiting to pay.

Finpago is led by Fred Hawkins, Founder & CEO; and Pamela Bufe, VP – Pharmacy Sales.

Power & Energy Inc. – Ivyland – Bucks County

Approved Investment: $250,000 (Ben Franklin previously invested $130,000)

Power & Energy manufactures ultra-high purity hydrogen purifiers that are used in semiconductor fabrication processes for LED lights, power semiconductors, solar panels and fuel cells.

The company has also developed a new hydrogen analyzer technology and a high efficiency steam reformer that converts natural gas and liquid fuels like gasoline, diesel, propane and ethanol into a stream of pure hydrogen gas, with less than 100 parts per billion of carbon monoxide, to cleanly power fuel cells.

The company is led by Dr. Peter Bossard, CEO & CTO; and Noel Leeson, President & COO.

Snipi, Inc. (Does business as Sidecar Technologies) – Philadelphia [find our previous coverage here]

Approved Investment: $110,000 (Ben Franklin previously invested $275,000)

Snipi has created an online marketing platform called Sidecar, which allows retailers to engage their customers through each phase of the purchase cycle – acquisition, conversion and retention. The company combines services that would traditionally need to be met by four different types of vendors, to offer paid search, comparison shopping, on-site personalization and personalized email.

Because Sidecar is data-driven and fully automated, client companies enjoy a more efficient and cost-effective marketing solution.

The company is led by Andre Golsorkhi, CEO & Founder; Mark Adelman, Director of Product Development; and Dave Galgon, Director of Operations.

Vistar Media, Inc. – Philadelphia [find our previous coverage here]

Approved Investment: $200,000
Vistar has created the first ad server and real-time ad exchange platform for digital place-based media (Digital Out of Home, or DOOH media) that markets directly to consumers where they live, work and play—such as in malls, doctor’s offices, elevators, gyms, airports, taxis, etc.

The technology is based on screens that present engaging, digitally-delivered video that entertains and informs customers as they go about their daily routines.

Vistar’s technology also provides clients with real-time reporting and campaign analytics, so that they can measure the effectiveness of their marketing strategies.

The company is led by Jeremy Ozen, President; Michael Provenzano, Founder; and Mark Chadwick, Co-founder and CTO.

WizeHive, Inc. – Bryn Mawr – Montgomery County [find our previous coverage here]

Approved Investment: $75,000 (Ben Franklin previously invested $400,000)

WizeHize is an online Software as a Service (SaaS) platform where people can upload, share and collaborate on information such as files, tasks and ideas, to facilitate communication among many sources and users.

Used by organizations such as universities, businesses and marketing agencies, WizeHive helps them improve their bottom line by improving online engagement with customers and prospects, and automate antiquated business processes otherwise being handled manually, through email chains, or cumbersome back end systems.

The company is led by Michael Levinson, Founder & CEO. Levinson is also a Founding Partner of Dreamit Ventures, a successful entrepreneurial accelerator for IT enterprises. Ben Franklin is a founding sponsor and institutional investor in Dreamit. Other WizeHive leaders include Alan (Mike) Carson, Founder & CTO; Jeff Thomas, VP – Sales & Marketing; and Claudia Piccirilli, COO.

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