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Ben Franklin Tech Partners gives $4.4m to Philly-area tech firms

Ben Franklin Technology Partners, Pennsylvania's state-backed investment firm focused on early-stage companies, is giving $4.4 million to 21 start-ups.


Ben Franklin Technology Partners, Pennsylvania's state-backed investment firm focused on early-stage companies around Philadelphia, has split its latest $4.4 million among these 21 start-ups:

RistCall, Philadelphia: Smart watches for "nurse-patient communications." Founder and CEO Srinath Vaddepally, cofounder and product vice president Ameya Bhat, cofounder and tech VP Yicheng Bai.

Strados Labs, Philadelphia: "Patent-pending wearable smart sensors that automatically monitor and log wheezing, coughing, and shallow breathing patterns in real time." CEO Nick Delmonico, chief engineer Yu Kan Au, chief of data science Tanziyah Muqeem.

RideKleen, Bucks County: mobile car wash and fleet cleaning for ride hailing and card sharing. With branches in New York, Pittsburgh, Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco soon. Founder and CEO Pratik Patel, chief financial officer/strategy Mars Shah.

ImmERge Labs, Philadelphia: VR/AR "applications that integrate a physical mannequin with highly realistic, multi-sensory simulations that technically, emotionally, and mentally prepare one to render life-saving interventions."  Founder Marion Leary, CEO Matthew Grabowsky, chief technology officer Det Ansinn.

NeedsList, Philadelphia: "A marketplace for humanitarian aid" that helps displaced people in "purchasing supplies directly from local suppliers, donating funds, and completing tasks." Founder and CEO Tasha Freidus; cofounder and chief operating officer Amanda Levinson.

RoundTrip, Philadelphia: "Web-based portal and mobile platform that connects patients with on-demand, non-emergency medical transportation." Founder and CEO Mark Switaj; chief information officer Ankit Mathur; corporate administrator Angela Damiano; executive vice president of operations Brendan McNiff.

NeuroFlow, Philadelphia: "Analyzes real-time biometric data for mental health and enhanced performance applications." Co-founder and CEO Christopher Molaro; co-founder and COO Adam Pardes.

Allevi, Philadelphia (formerly BioBots): 3-D printers to produce human tissues and "one-day organs for both pharmaceutical and clinical use." Founder and CEO Ricky Solorzano, COO Madeline Winter.

Source Digital, Montgomery County: "A data-driven, cloud-based engagement platform" for "smartphone, tablet, computer and TV." CEO Hank Frecon, CTO Patrick Greene, chief product officer Michael Phillips.

Cagent Vascular, Delaware County: makes the Serranator, "an angioplasty balloon which incorporates serration technology" to treat peripheral artery disease.  Co-founder and CEO Carol A. Burns; Co-founder and CTO Robert Giasolli; co-founder and chief medical officer Peter Schneider.

Stel Life Inc., Philadelphia: "Connecting Bluetooth vitals devices to health records without complex setup, WiFi, or mobile applications" through the Stel Gateway, compatible with "blood pressure cuffs, scales, glucose meters, and activity trackers." CEO Sid Kandan; CTO Jon Pry; Carlos Roque (design and operations).

Guiding Technologies Corp., Philadelphia: For autism, with National Science Foundation support, the firm "has developed a software platform called GAINS which incorporates artificial intelligence" to "track student performance in real-time to guide instructors." Founder and CEO John Nosek; CTO Tom Gradel.

XeroThera, Montgomery County: XeroSyn, a 510(k) product, is a synthetic graft microparticle that can deliver antibiotics to surgical infection sites. A biomaterial, it can be "mixed in minutes, at the time of surgery, with any antibiotic of choice," and released over two weeks. Also developing "XeroDuo, an injectable nanoparticle" that treats resistant infections, and "XeroMicron thin films on implants for local antibiotic delivery." CEO Paul Ducheyne; director Ed Ruzinsky; VP for research and development Sanjib Bhattacharyya.

Red Queen Gaming, Philadelphia: "Red Queen provides a software development kit, tool hosting, graphical components, marketing, distribution, and out-of-the-box integration" for the video gamer marketplace. Plus "advanced tools."  CEO Alex Gilbert; CTO Dan DuLeone; COO Bill Smith.

TemitroniK, Bucks County: "A spinoff of iMet Corp.," TemitronkK offers "the most flexible LED board, IoT control, and turnkey solutions provider to the lighting industry." President and founder Tom Krol.

Switchboard Live, Philadelphia: Has "developed a [software-as-a-service]-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." See #howyoudolive. Founder and CEO Rudiger  Ellis; chief development officer Jason Cotte; CTO Josh Sachs.

Buyside, Chester County: Collects real estate brokerage data "in real time, transforming it into actionable insights and intelligent marketing tools that generate seller leads, win more listings, and close more transactions in-house."   Laura Scott, Alissa Harper.

Piano Software Inc., Philadelphia: "Digital content monetization and audience intelligence platform" including "subscription commerce engine Piano VX, customer experience tool kit Piano Composer, and  user management system Piano ID" for clients including NBCUniversal, Business Insider, Bloomberg, AOL, Gatehouse, the Economist, Hearst,  Digiday, Postmedia Network, Condé Nast, Grupo Abril, and over 1,300 others. CEO Trevor Kaufman; COO Kweli Washington; CTO Tim Dirrenberger.

HGE Health, Philadelphia: Developed care standards "built upon clinical protocols developed by physician Gerard J. Criner and his colleagues at the Temple Lung Center and the department of thoracic medicine and surgery" to "deliver better care faster" and secure " improved outcomes at a much lower cost. " CEO Michael J. Markus; founder and chairman Gerard J. Criner.

Oncora Medical, Philadelphia: Web-based software "to enable data-driven, personalized radiation therapy" for radiation oncology patients. CEO David Lindsay; CTO Chris Berlind.

Advanced Absorbent Technologies LLC, Chester County:  Developing disposable absorbent materials based on "a new absorbent core formulation and design that eliminates the need for fiberized wood pulp." CEO Joe Howard.