Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania Approves $1.4M for Nine Early-Stage Companies

Ben Franklin Technology Partners
of Southeastern Pennsylvania Approves $1.4M
for Nine Early-Stage Companies

PHILADELPHIA, PA ( – Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/SEP) recently approved $1,430,000 in funding for nine early-stage companies, including six IT companies, two life sciences companies and one alternative energy company.

Companies approved for funding:

HealthQx, LLC – Wayne – Delaware County
Approved Investment: $150,000

HealthQx, a healthcare technology company, wants to turn Americans into more informed consumers of healthcare services, and facilitate cooperation between payers and providers.

HealthQx uses its software and data analytics to develop a system for the fair and objective benchmarking of payers and providers throughout America. The goal is to achieve better healthcare outcomes at a reduced per capita cost.

The company is led by Mark McAdoo, CEO; and Bill Conlan, Founder/COO.

iMomentous, Inc. – Horsham – Montgomery County
Approved Investment: $250,000

iMomentous delivers a highly scalable mobile technology platform that enables companies to recruit, retain and engage their talent. The company’s technology provides a more intuitive and convenient way of interacting with prospective and existing employees. The system is capable of facilitating job applications, employee referrals, employee communications and collaboration.

iMomentous can customize the system to fit specific needs for clients, who are able to optimize their corporate career site and integrate messaging, video, social media or aid in profile management, content management and track analytics.

The company is led by Mahe Byireddy, Co-founder & CEO; Hari Bayireddy, Co-founder & COO; and Michael Shenkman, VP Finance.

MBF Therapeutics, Inc. – Ambler – Montgomery County
Approved Investment: $50,000 (Ben Franklin previously invested $16,500 in Technology Commercialization Funding)

A veterinary oncology company, MBFT is advancing the quality of cancer care for companion animals with innovative and humane therapies for the treatment of dogs and cats with cancer. They are developing targeted immunotherapies and small molecule drugs that specifically disrupt tumor cell metabolism and stimulate potent, systemic immune responses without affecting normal, healthy cells and organs.

The availability of effective cancer treatments is one of the most significant unmet needs in veterinary medicine today. MBFT’s state-of-the-art oncology products are intended to meet the growing demand for effective cancer treatments, which address not only symptoms but also the underlying disease.

MBFT is led by Thomas Tillett, President & CEO; Travis Meredith, DVM, MBA, Diplomate ACT – Founding Partner; and Lorraine H. Keller, Ph.D. – EVP Technology, Founding Partner.

Miria Systems, Inc. – Norristown – Montgomery County
Approved Investment: $200,000

Miria Systems is a provider of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solutions and Energy/Environmental Management applications via cloud computing. In addition to ECM, Miria delivers Engineering Document Management, Accounts Payable Management, and Data Capture Management Software Solutions to Fortune 1000 firms in engineering, general business, and energy/environmental industries.

These services assist companies and clients with complex content and business process requirements where document conversion, workflow, media management, indexing, versioning and revision management are critical to their business needs.

The company is led by Martian W. Michael, CEO; Ronald Siena, President, IBM Solutions Group; and Robert Vogel, COO and VP of Technical Services.

QLIDA Diagnostics – Philadelphia
Approved Investment: $250,000 (Ben Franklin previously invested $250,000)

QLIDA develops next-generation biomarker diagnostic tests. The company’s proprietary platform can be used for diagnosis of life-threatening diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease, through the use of a nanotechnology-based protein detection.

QLIDA has been collaborating with Drexel University to develop its proprietary test, Quantum-dot Linked Immuno-Detection Assay (QLIDA), to create a quantitative biomarker detection platform, enabling early detection of proteins associated with disease. The company is currently developing an ultrasensitive test for cardiovascular disease to be used in point of care testing.

QLIDA is led by Michael Boyce-Jacino, Ph.D., CEO, previously founding CEO of BioNanomatrix, Inc (now BioNano Genomics), and Michael Neidrauer., PhD, CSO.

Rumble News Ltd – Philadelphia
Approved Investment: $150,000

Rumble’s technology platform is designed to give newspaper publishers a rapid, low-risk, scalable solution to reach, engage and monetize mobile consumers and extend the brand relationship.

The company provides a solution for both the design and activation of a newspaper mobile app and integrates a consumer dashboard. The goal is to seamlessly transform content for consumption over mobile devices so newspapers can start building their mobile audience within hours.

Rumble is a graduate of the Project Liberty Digital Incubator. Project Liberty, funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, is operated by Ben Franklin and hosted by Interstate General Media. Project Liberty stimulates the establishment and growth of digital media startup companies in the Philadelphia region.

Rumble is led by Al Axoulay, Co-founder and CEO; Uyen Tieu, Co-founder and CRO; Itai Cohen, Co-founder and COO; and Kostya Volkov VP R&D.

Solar Grid Storage – Philadelphia
Approved Investment: $250,000

Solar Grid Storage’s mission is to assemble, deliver and finance a solar photovoltaic (PV) energy storage system as an integral component of solar plants placed behind the meter for commercial and industrial hosts.

Current PV energy storage is relatively nascent, but is gaining attention and acceptance for a variety of reasons, including its potential for high efficiency. The company’s first project is a battery installation at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.

The company is led by Thomas Leyden, CEO; Chris Cook, President & General Counsel; Don Bradley, Founder & SVP of Business Development; Luis Ortiz, Executive Vice President & CTO; and Dan Dobbs, Co-founder & CFO.

tapCLIQ (Transout, Inc.) – Philadephia
Approved Investment: $100,000

tapCLIQ, developed by Transout, is a user engagement and advertising platform for mobile devices that offers contextual interaction at moments when the user is most receptive. Their ad solutions offer the easiest engagement for end users, and provide insightful experiences for advertisers and publishers.

User engagement and advertising on mobile devices is generally characterized as inconvenient and even annoying. tapCLIQ is changing that for both consumers and advertisers.

tapCLIQ is a current Project Liberty Digital Incubator client. Project Liberty, funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, is operated by Ben Franklin and hosted by Interstate General Media. Project Liberty stimulates the establishment and growth of digital media startup companies in the Philadelphia region.

The company is led by Chirantan Bhatt, Founder & CEO.

Zaahah (StartUp Productions LLC) – Philadelphia
Approved Investment: $30,000

Zaahah, developed by StartUp Productions, instantly connects users with shared interests. It allows users to create separate profiles for different interests (i.e. business, personal, academic, etc.) and connect with others searching for the same topics. Zaahah also includes features such as chat and private email addresses.

Zaahah includes a toolbar (Firefox) and website (; is HTML 5 compliant and works on tablets.

Zaahah is a graduate of the Project Liberty Digital Incubator. Project Liberty, funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, is operated by Ben Franklin and hosted by Interstate General Media. Project Liberty stimulates the establishment and growth of digital media startup companies in the Philadelphia region.

The company is led by James Sisneros, Founder & CEO; Beinvenido David, Chief Architect & Developer; and Jamie Jay Hall, Lead – User Experience and Design.

About Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern PA

Celebrating our 30th Anniversary, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania is a national, award winning organization for Stimulating Entrepreneurial Potential, through entrepreneurship, technology and innovation. Ben Franklin grows technology companies and partnerships through Capital, Knowledge and Networks that help innovative enterprises compete in the global marketplace, generating wealth and supporting regional economic growth. Ben Franklin has invested more than $165 million to grow more than 1,750 regional enterprises, across all areas of technology. It has launched university/industry partnerships that accelerate scientific discoveries to commercialization. The Ben Franklin Technology Partners is an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and is funded by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority.

For additional information, please visit,
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SAP HANA consultant John Appleby, UK-based Bluefin Solutions set up shop in Philadelphia

Tom Paine

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John Appleby has crossed the Big Pond and settled outside Philadelphia.

Appleby is with Bluefin Solutions (not to be confused with the Bluefin just reported by the Business Insider to have been acquired by Twitter), a large UK-based SAP consulting firm with close to 200 employees, as its Global Head of SAP HANA. He is also among a distinguished group known as SAP Mentors, of which there are approximately 100, representing those considered by their peers to be the top experts in the field.
John Appleby

A native of London who has spent considerable time over here in the past, Appleby is now making a permanent move to establish a beachhead for Bluefin in the US, particularly for its growing HANA practice. HANA, which has been considered variously as an acronym for HAsso's New Architecture (a reference to SAP founder Hasso Plattner) or High Performance ANalytic Appliance, though neither is a formal name, is SAP's in-Memory processing platform which is said to accelerate the speed at which some tasks can be completed by 100 to 1,000 times. It achieves this by largeley replacing the tme-consuming swapping of data from in and out of disk drives to the use of large amounts of random access memory to keep more data within the core CPU during processing. While other vendors use in-Memory to varying degrees, probably no other has an architecture that deploys in-Memory on such a scale, and SAP has made it clear it will become the foundation for its entire range of product offerings. SAP said that revenue from HANA, which first shipped in late 2010, reached $532.5 million in 2012.

For now, Bluefin is focusing primarily on converting customer data warehouses using SAP NetWeaver BW to HANA, Appleby told me in a phone interview. SAP announced at the beginning of this year that its flagship Business Suite ERP (enterprise resource planning) software is now able to run on top of HANA, although it will still be in beta until some time later in the year. Appleby says there might be some significant developments concerning ERP on HANA at SAP's SAPPHIRE NOW conference in May. While ERP, with its emphasis on transaction processing, doesn't gain as much speed from HANA as data retrieval and analytical functions, a key benefit it gains is in breaking down the wall between analytics and and transaction processing that typifies most database architectures. Another hope for SAP is to displace arch-rival Oracle as the provider of the underlying database on top of which SAP ERP often runs.

Appleby says Bluefin has a small base in the US now with "a few people working on projects", but he hopes that will increase significantly over the year and produce a few million dollars in billings. As Bluefin adds people in the US, some will be located in the Philly area but others will be based elsewhere. He said he chose Philly (rather than say Palo Alto) because Newtown Square is home base for SAP's "go-to-market" sales and customer service teams, because of the proximinity of potential customers, and because he finds it generally to be a more well-grounded and balanced place than Silicon Valley. Also, its difficult to keep in touch with colleagues back in Europe from the west coast hours.

Ask what he likes about Philadelphia, he mentions its tremendous culinary tradition ("a well kept secret") and likes the fact that one can travel to a lot of places quickly from there. What he doesn't like is the history of corruption in the city (though he quickly adds that he has met Mayor Nutter and thinks there are signs of progress under his leadership) and its infrastructure problems.


Daily Links 2/5/2013: Dell agrees to be taken private for $24.4 billion

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Dell deal is done (Fortune: Term Sheet)

Dell to go private in landmark $24.4 billion deal (Reuters)

Dell Boomi Talks Middleware, Wipro Partnership (Channelnomics)

Dell integrates Compellent SAN in SAP HANA hardware package (SearchStorage)

Bonnie Hammer to lead NBCUniversal cable entertainment channels (LA Times: Company Town)

NBC content to stream in 1,200 Phila. taxis (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Lazarus: We Believe Sochi Olympics Will Be Profitable
NBC to kick off coverage of 2014 Games the night before the Opening Ceremony
(Broadcasting & Cable)

iPipeline Acquires XRAE business (Business Wire)

SAP's maintenance hike: Beginning of a boil the frog approach? (ZDNet)

Philadelphia Technology Park Partners with Comcast Business Services To Expand Network Connectivity in Philadelphia Navy Yard (Business Wire)