Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania announced last week that it had invested a total of $2.4 million in nine early-stage technology companies.

"These investments continue to demonstrate the diversity of technological opportunities across our region," said RoseAnn B. Rosenthal, the economic-development agency's chief executive officer.

The largest investment, $500,000, went to Light-Pod Inc. of Montgomery County, which has developed a way to produce low-energy, low-heat lighting as bright as incandescent bulbs using light-emitting diodes. It has produced a version that meets U.S. Navy requirements for operating in environments where vibration, shock and harmonics could cause damage.

The next largest, $350,000, went to Hx Technologies Inc. of Philadelphia, which helps health-care payers manage redundant diagnostic costs by archiving digital images, with secure links to hospitals and physicians.

Voice Star Inc. got $300,000 to continue development of a system that tracks and analyzes calls between customers and advertisers to measure return on the funds spent.

Three companies got $250,000 each: Freedom Sciences L.L.C. of Philadelphia, to keep working on products that help people in wheelchairs get in and out of vehicles; SkillSurvey Inc. of Chester County, which has a patented automated reference-checking system to aid hiring decisions; and InfraScan Inc. of Philadelphia, which has developed a hand-held diagnostic-imaging unit.

Two companies got $200,000 each: Fund Publishing of Philadelphia, which has licensed software for work related to mutual-fund compliance documents; and EyeIC L.L.C. of Montgomery County, which is in clinical trials on its advanced ophthalmology and optometry image and data processing.

Parsortix Inc. of Philadelphia got $150,000 for work on noninvasive prenatal diagnostics.