Midstate tech companies snag startup funding

A state-backed investment group poured more than $800,000 this month into a variety of startups, including three in the midstate that are developing technology to reduce crime, repair fractured ribs and detect traumatic brain injury in athletes.

The funding comes from Centre County-based Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Central and Northern Pennsylvania, which invested $835,129 in 10 Pennslvania-based companies.

The three beneficiaries in Central Pennsylvania are Crimewatch Technologies Inc., SIG Medical Corp. and Reflexion Interactive Technologies LLC.

Carlisle-based Crimewatch Technologies has developed a network that allows law enforcement organizations to collect, analyze and distribute information about crime using social media sites, mobile apps and crime maps and touchscreen kiosks.

Another company, Hummelstown-based SIG Medical in Dauphin County, is manufacturing a medical device that repairs fractured ribs through minimally invasive surgery.

Reflexion Interactive Technologies in Lancaster County is testing a software platform that allows rapid screenings of athletes to detect traumatic brain injury. Reflexion is collaborating with Penn State University’s kinesiology center in State College.

Crimewatch received $75,000, SIG $125,000 and Reflexion $17,629.

Companies apply for funding from Ben Franklin with the understanding that they will repay the money. The repaid money eventually goes to the next startup, according to Ben Franklin spokeswoman Liz Wilson.

Ben Franklin’s staff and board of directors review the applications. They’re looking not only for innovation, but also for strong management teams, strong business plans and intentions to create jobs in Pennsylvania.

In addition to money, selected businesses also receive support services from a network of business professionals at Ben Franklin. The organizations hosts a semiannual tech-focused business startup boot camp led by business experts.

“These folks have expertise in areas such as marketing, marketing research, strategic planning, accounting/cost accounting, human resource laws and best practices, financial analysis, et cetera,” Wilson said.

Lenay Ruhl

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