Philadelphia Inquirer | Mike Armstrong | November 26, 2012
Eight local small businesses have something to be thankful for: a total of $1.54 million in funding through Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania.
The state-funded nonprofit organization announced last week its latest round of investments in companies that tend to be too early in their development to raise venture capital.
Clean-tech firm Alencon Systems Inc. of Plymouth Meeting was approved to receive the largest investment, $400,000. Alencon, a spinoff from Inductotherm Group, based in Rancocas, has designed inverters for use in utility-scale solar farms and wind turbines.
Broadly named Power & Energy Inc. of Ivyland will receive $250,000 to support its development as a semiconductor-assembly equipment maker. The company also is targeting alternative energy, as its equipment is used by the makers of LED lights, solar panels, and fuel cells. Founded in 1993, Power & Energy had previously received $130,000 in Ben Franklin funding.
Digital Life Technologies of Bala Cynwyd obtained approval for $225,000 to help develop its GoNow eWallet Card, which the company says can be programmed to become any credit, debit, gift, or loyalty card in an eWallet on a mobile device.
Two companies each received $200,000 investments. Clutch Holdings L.L.C. of Lafayette Hill is working on a mobile-phone application that stores shoppers’ points and gift cards from the loyalty programs that have proliferated in the retail industry. Vistar Media Inc. also deserves attention because its team includes two key employees of Invite Media, a Philadelphia-started online-advertising platform that was acquired by Google Inc. for $70 million in 2010: Michael Provenzano, a cofounder of Invite Media, and Mark Chadwick, its chief architect.
Center City firm Snipi Inc., developer of an online marketing platform, received $110,000.
Villanova company Finpago, which does business as EasyCopay, got $75,000.
And in Conshohocken, WizeHive Inc., developer of cloud-based workflow tools, also got $75,000.