Ben Franklin Approves $2M for 10 Early Stage Companies


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Companies approved for funding:


Atrin Pharmaceutical – Bucks County

Atrin-Pharmaceuticals---Logo-250Atrin Pharmaceuticals is a dynamic biopharmaceutical firm focused on the discovery and development of proprietary medications. Atrin centers its research on modalities which treat cancers lacking effective therapies. This technology will advance drug development for the treatment of solid tumors currently having limited or ineffective therapies, including breast, pancreatic, lung, ovarian, and colon cancers.

Atrin’s bioresearch has identified a fundamental series of proteins specifically active in cancer cells and critical for their survival. By inhibiting the activity of these proteins, especially a specific protein known as ATR, cancer cells die without harming normal cells. This pioneering scientific work has been published in highly respected peer reviewed journals and cited by numerous independent investigators.

Atrin’s medicinal chemists currently utilize a structure-based design approach in order to improve the potency, specificity, and selectivity of their lead small molecules.

To leverage Atrin’s expertise and growth, its scientists have invented, developed, optimized, and validated the proprietary Atrize™ platform. Atrize™ is highly specific cell-based screening methodology, is tailored to identify compounds that are effective in inhibiting the viability of cancer cells without adversely affecting healthy normal cells. The Atrize™ screen is designed to detect DNA synthesis abnormalities induced by drug treatment interactions with common cancer-associated mutations. The Atrize™ screen does not focus on a single pathway, but rather categorizes compounds into multiple functional groups that impact the cell cycle in a manner that is selective for cancer-associated mutations. This approach will result in the discovery of a wider array of compounds that will serve as selective treatments for a spectrum of cancers.

Atrin is led by an experienced Board of Directors and management team as well as by an active Scientific Advisory Board composed of highly respected research scientists and physicians in the field of Oncology. Oren Gilad PhD, Co-founder, President and CEO; Dr. Rifat Pamukcu, Dr. Jay Rosan, Marc Duey, M.Sc, MBA.; Benjamin R. Cowen, PhD, MBA; Renold Capocasale (Board of Directors); Kevin D. Smith, Ph.D., Co-founder; Eric J. Brown, Ph.D.; Ian A. Blair, Ph.D., Jeffery Winkler, Ph.D., (Scientific Advisors).


Decision Simulation – Chester County

decision-simulationDecision Simulation combines its simulation expertise and its novel simulation platform to help organizations improve outcomes through more objective and relevant assessments and with more engaging and effective training activities.

DecisionSim™ is a simulation-based learning platform that enhances decision-making by allowing organizations to easily create assessment, education, and training programs that deliver insights and improve outcomes through “real world” engagement.

Leveraging adult learning and gaming concepts, DecisionSim allows custom learning experiences to be developed while evaluating the decisions of learners. Learners benefit from the realistic and engaging simulations that have multiple outcomes based upon decisions made, resulting in improved decision-making skills and increased retention. DecisionSim collects valuable objective behavioral data to allow for a greater understanding of the learners’ decision-making.

DecisionSim has been adopted by organizations around the world, including the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as leading healthcare systems, professional societies, continuing medical education providers, and academic institutions as well as corporate training organizations.

Bob Yayac, CEO and Co-Founder, brings more than 30 years’ experience in leadership roles in all aspects of business development. J.B. McGee, MD, Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board and Co-Founder, provides guidance with regard to simulation and eLearning. Jeff Zack, Vice President of Operations, works closely with clients to ensure that they are receiving the maximum value from DecisionSim. René Smith, Vice President of Technology, is responsible for the direction and development of technology, keenly focused on providing successful, data-driven outcomes for clients.


H20 Degree – Bucks County

H20-Degree---Logo-250H2Odegree (H2O) has been a manufacturer of wireless sensors and Software as a Service (SaaS) that provides solutions for measuring, controlling & billing utility cost in apartments, allowing landlords to improve their overall financial performance since 2007. The company is headquartered in Bensalem, PA.

The company’s target market historically has been multi-family housing including apartments, condos, HUD housing, military housing, student housing, etc. H2O customers have used the products and services for tenant billing and energy conservation related to water, electric, gas, btus and thermostat controls. In addition, H2O has the unique ability to provide point of use water submetering that enables daily leak detection reports that identify both the leak and its size through H2O’s daily reports to the property. H2O has over 38,000 sensors installed in 13,000 apartments in over 130 properties throughout North America.

H2O Degree is led by Rick Whiffen, CEO & Founder; and Don Millstein, President.


Milkcrate – Philadelphia County

Milkcrate-logo-250MilkCrate engages and rewards users who want to live their values by providing sponsored civic and commercial opportunities to live more sustainably. Our app provides a central digital hub for municipalities, businesses and organizations to reach conscientious consumers with providing relevant and tailored information. Through strategic partnerships with local municipalities and organizations, MilkCrate is positioned to be the go-to resource for sustainable living nationwide.

MilkCrate is led by Morgan Berman, CEO; and Jason Cox, CTO.


Pico – Philadelphia County

pico-logoPico is the first real time engagement tool for brands. It allows brands to engage with their fans during their events through the fans` pictures. All the fans` pictures are automatically being uploaded to the brand’s Facebook Page. Using Pico’s auto tagging abilities – a real bond between the fan and brand is created.

Pico is led by Asaf Nevo, Co-Founder and CEO; Aviv Paz, Co-Founder and CTO; and Roi Mozer, Co-Founder and CMO.


PrescribeWell – Bucks County

prescribewell-logo-250PrescribeWell is a new powerful Platform as a Service offering that enables physicians/HCPs and integrated health systems to seamlessly implement a turnkey, self-branded prevention/wellness and obesity intervention business in their existing practice. Our professional customers license our “white label” solution as their own, enabling them to generate significant new revenue streams that leverage the changes in healthcare reimbursement policy for physicians in preventive medicine.

PrescribeWell, Inc. is led by Susan Schramm-Apple, Founder and CEO; Dr. Mervyn Turner, Chairman of the Board; Amir Jafri, COO; Shahid Shah, CTO; and David Lopez,Esq., and C.P.A., CFO & General Counsel.


Ristcall – Philadelphia County

ristcall-final-logo-250RistCall helps hospitals and skilled nursing facilities to improve patient safety and satisfaction scores by updating traditional wall mounted nurse call buttons with wearable technology devices. RistCall currently focuses on reducing patient falls and improving HCAHPS / patient satisfaction survey results.

RistCall is led by an interdisciplinary team with deep expertise in technology-driven healthcare quality improvement practices, with vast industrial and academic experience in developing senior care products and assistive devices. The company is led by Srinath Vaddepally, CEO & Founder; Ameya Bhat, VP of Product & Marketing; and Yicheng, VP of Hardware engineering.


Textizen – Philadelphia County

textizen-logoTextizen was founded in 2013 and provides mobile technologies for public engagement. Textizen makes it easy for government, organizations and companies to connect with people on the device they use most — the mobile phone. The platform sends, receives, and analyzes text-messages. Administrators can click one button instead of making 10 or 10,000 phone calls, and use real-time dashboards to inform policy changes or deliver better customer service.

Textizen is led by Michelle Lee, CEO; Serena Wales, CTO; and Alexander Yule, COO.


Towerview Health – Philadelphia County

TowerView-Health-200TowerView Health helps chronically ill patients manage complex medication regimens. Patients using TowerView’s service receive pre-filled medication trays that insert into a connected pillbox, facilitating complex regimens with preformed ease akin to a single-serve coffee machine. The connected pillbox senses when patients forget medication doses and sends automated text message or phone reminders to patients and their loved ones. TowerView Health is the first company to combine novel pharmacy packaging, hardware, software, and automated reminders to make the entire medication process easier for high risk patients. The company is currently piloting with UPenn Medicine and Independence Blue Cross.

TowerView Health is led by Rahul Jain, CEO; Hareesh Ganesan, CFO; and Nikolaos Valilis, CMO.


Viridity Energy – Philadelphia County

viridity_logo_smallViridity Energy, a leading software technology company focused on total energy management, has a software and technology platform that allows Commercial and Industrial users to identify inherent load flexibility in their operations and monetize it. Viridity Energy’s enabling software turns energy profiles into financial returns. Our mission is to transform how energy customers interact proactively and productively with the electric grid. Through our ability to access more energy markets and savings opportunities than anyone in the business, our customers achieve optimal bottom line results while improving the reliability and stability of the electric grid.

The company is led by Dan Leff, Executive Chairman; Mack Treece, COO & CFO; John McGee, CTO; Eric Alam, EVP Sales; and Allen Freifeld, SVP Law and Public Policy.