Ben Franklin Just Pumped $4.4M Into Philly Startups

The sum is the organization’s largest quarterly investment to date.

Philadelphia skyline. Aneese | iStock

Ben Franklin Technology Partners has started off the fiscal year by setting the bar high. The organization recently announced that it made investments in 25 early-stage Philly-area companies in the first quarter, for a grand total of $4.4 million. And the number is the organization’s largest quarterly investment to date.

In 2016, Ben Franklin decided to double down on Philly’s digital health sector and the commitment to these early stage companies is clear this quarter. The ten deals in the category, which amounted to $2.1 million, represent 40 percent of the quarterly investment total. While there were nine deals in the information technology sector, the sector received about half as much investment dollars as the digital health sector. The organization made six deals across health and Physical sciences industry altogether. Most of Ben Franklin’s investments this quarter were in new companies. About 24 percent of the investment went to companies that Ben Franklin had previously funded.

Read more about the companies in each sector below.

Digital Health
The startups funded in this category include:

  • Allevi
    Allevi, Inc. wants to help create an ecosystem to create 3D tissues and one-day organs for both pharmaceutical and clinical use. Their platform the Allevi 2 makes it easy for scientist to print and pattern multiple cell types into different geometries.
  • Stel Life, Inc. 
    Stel’s mission is to transform the smart vitals devices industry. As healthcare organizations adopt various Internet of Things (IoT) devices, Stel simplifies the landscape by seamlessly connecting bluetooth vitals devices to health records without complex setup, WiFi, or mobile applications.
  • Guiding Technologies Corp.
    Guiding Technologies has developed a software platform called GAINS which incorporates artificial intelligence to transform Applied Behavior Analysis instruction for treating autism. GAINS provides real-time process and decision support for instructors updated by student performance.
  • Strados Labs
    Strados Labs offers a simpler way to manage stress, anxiety, and conditions such as asthma with a patent-pending wearable smart sensors that automatically monitor and log wheezing, coughing, and shallow breathing patterns in real-time.
  • HGE Health
    HGE Health has developed a clinical services platform that enables Providers and their COPD patients to improve a patient’s quality of life and respond to early changes their day-to-day symptoms.
  • Neuroflow
    NeuroFlow is a digital health solution that analyzes real-time biometric data for mental health and enhanced performance applications.
  • Oncora Medical
    Oncora Medical develops software that is revolutionizing the way doctors treat cancer with radiation. Oncora’s vision is to enable data-driven, personalized radiation therapy by providing radiation oncologists with a web-based software platform that allows them to significantly improve the care of their patients using historical data.
  • Ristcall
    RistCall’s mission is to improve patient safety & experience by simplifying patient-nurse communication using smart watches.
  • Roundtrip
    RoundTrip provides healthcare professionals — including case managers, unit secretaries, social workers, nurses and other transport requestors — with a simple, web-based portal and mobile platform that connects patients with on-demand, non-emergency medical transportation such as medical cars, wheelchair vans, and stretcher vehicles when and where they need it.

Information Technology
Information technology was the second most popular category with nine deals worth $1.2 million total. The companies approved for funding in this sector are:

  • Buyside
    Buyside is a data science & marketing company on a mission to help real estate brokerages profit from their largest untapped asset: big data. Buyside works by capturing many different sources of data of in real time, transforming it into actionable insights and intelligent marketing tools that generate seller leads, win more listings, and close more transaction in house. Simply put, we turn big data into big profits.
  • ImmERge Labs
    ImmERge Labs uses virtual and augmented reality to re-imagine how the world prepares for emergency situations. Using disruptive technologies to improve critical skills, we transform bystanders into rescuers through applications that integrate a physical manikin with highly realistic, multi-sensory simulations that technically, emotionally, and mentally prepare one to render life-saving interventions.
  • Needslist
    NeedsList is a marketplace for humanitarian aid that allows individual and corporate donors to immediately meet the needs of displaced people worldwide by purchasing supplies directly from local suppliers, donating funds, and completing tasks. We’re bringing efficiency and transparency to humanitarian aid.
  • Piano
    Piano is the digital content monetization and audience intelligence platform for the world’s largest and most sophisticated media companies. The company’s award-winning, high-performance enterprise platform includes a subscription commerce engine (Piano VX), a customer experience toolkit (Piano Composer), and a user management system (Piano ID) that serve as a comprehensive product suite for media businesses across digital platforms.
  • RideKleen
    RideKleen is one of North America’s leaders within the mobile carwash and fleet cleaning industries.
    With its state of the art steam/eco-friendly technology, RideKleen is at the forefront of cleaning and servicing ridesharing and carsharing fleets.
  • Source Digital
    Source Digital specializes in content monetization strategies letting viewers dive deeper into their favorite programs. Source Digital’s platform offers a data driven, cloud-based engagement platform that connects a new generation of content viewers.
  • Switchboard
    Switchboard Live developed a SaaS-based platform that helps clients manage and publish live streaming video to multiple destinations such as, YouTube Live, Facebook Live, Twitch, or Twitter/Periscope simultaneously.
  • RedQueen
    Red Queen is the world’s most comprehensive marketplace for tools that enhance video gamer skills. Red Queen provides a software development kit, tool hosting, graphical components, marketing, distribution, and out-of-the-box integration with its marketplace.

Health and Physical Sciences
The Health and Physical Sciences sectors each received $550,000 in investment. The companies include:

  • Cagent Vascular (Health)
    Cagent Vascular is leading the way for next generation technology for vessel dilatation. The Serranator is the company’s first product and is an angioplasty balloon which incorporates serration technology and is designed to treat peripheral artery disease.
  • XeroThera (Health)
    XeroThera focusses on orthopedic and resistant infections. With breakthrough technology resulting from twenty years plus of fundamental research, XeroThera focuses on unmet clinical needs in major markets for which significant health care cost savings can be achieved.
  • Temitronik (Physical Sciences)
    TemitroniK, a spinoff of IMET Corporation, is the most flexible LED Board, IoT Control, and Turnkey Solutions Provider to the Lighting Industry. Using state-of-the-art automated production equipment, LED Boards of any shape, size, and flavor such as AC and DC up to 2 feet by 5 feet are assembled for incorporation into lighting fixtures.
  • Advanced Absorbent Technologies (Physical Sciences)
    Advanced Absorbent Technologies, LLC (AAT) brings cutting edge absorbent materials and designs to the disposable absorbent personal care products category targeting paradigms that limit the consumer experience.