2023-24 Catalog

Other-University Related Centers

Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania

The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/NEP) is headquartered in Ben Franklin TechVentures® on the Mountaintop campus and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lehigh. Serving a 21-county region, the Center is part of a four-member, state-funded economic development program that is an initiative of the PA Department of Community and Economic Development and is funded by The Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority. Ben Franklin frequently utilizes the faculty, students, and resources of Lehigh to accomplish its tasks.

BFTP/NEP fosters innovation to stimulate economic growth. By providing financial investments, expertise, and links to proven resources, Ben Franklin facilitates the creation of new products, sophisticated technologies, and novel processes among entrepreneurs and established companies to help them prosper. The result: the creation and retention of highly paid, sustainable regional jobs; the development of a strong, diversified, and resilient regional ecosystem, and the development and commercialization of goods and services that improve the human condition.

The goals of BFTP/NEP include helping early-stage technology-oriented firms to form and grow, helping established manufacturers to improve productivity through the application of new technologies and practices, and promoting an innovative community-wide infrastructure that fosters a favorable business environment for high-growth companies. Founded in 1983, the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania has:

  • Created and retained 76,956 jobs.
  • Established 535 new companies.
  • Commercialized and developed 2,456 new products and processes.

The Ben Franklin program is structured to help companies achieve sustainable competitive advantage. Statewide, new tax revenue generated because of Ben Franklin represents a 3.9-to-1 payback to the Commonwealth.

Assistance includes expertise, largely contributed in the northeast by the center’s association with Lehigh and other leading research universities, and funding, with investments ranging from $30,000 to $150,000 per year for up to three years. Faculty and students involved with Ben Franklin gain experience in solving real issues for working companies. Technical and business assistance services are provided on a year-round basis.

BFTP/NEP owns and operates Ben Franklin TechVentures, an award-winning business incubator and post-incubator facility. Sixty-nine successful companies have graduated from the BFTP/NEP incubator, grossing more than $1.2 billion in annual revenue last year and creating more than 6,900 jobs. Ben Franklin TechVentures is LEED Gold certified.

For more information, contact the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania,  Ben Franklin TechVentures®, 116 Research Drive, Bethlehem; 610-758-5200; www.nep.benfranklin.org; E-mail - info@nep.benfranklin.org; Twitter @BenFranklinNEP; Facebook - BenFranklinNEP; LinkedIn - Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania; Instagram @BenFranklinNEP.

Manufacturers Resource Center (MRC)

Founded in 1988 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Lehigh University, MRC is one of seven statewide Industrial Resource Centers (IRCs) established to help small and mid-size manufacturers grow and remain competitive. In 1994, MRC joined the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) which is comprised of 51 nationwide centers. MRC works with manufacturing companies by leveraging its own staff of experienced Business Development Managers with public and private sector resources. Through our assistance and work with manufacturers, we help raise the economic level of the region by creating high impact, cost-competitive manufacturers.

Due to space restrictions, MRC moved off of Lehigh's Goodman Campus to Allentown, a central location for MRC manufacturing clients.  MRC serves all of Lehigh, Northampton, Berks, Carbon and Schuylkill counties and offers services in six broad areas:

  • Technology Acceleration Services that include Technology Scouting and Technology Driven Market Intelligence (TDMI), Innovation Engineering, and Product Development.  
  • Strategic Business Growth Services and top line initiatives that include strategic planning, market opportunity research, focused lead generation, website and brand strategies, marketing/sales coaching, export services and supplier development.  
  • Operational Excellence services that include Lean, Six Sigma, Quality and Hoshin Deployment programs.  We incorporated sustainability and coaching components into our Lean training and now apply a Green lens for greater profitability and cost savings;
  • Business Performance Services to help mentor companies in financial analysis and strategies, capital sourcing and management, mergers and acquisitions, establishing visual business intelligence systems, technology and innovation strategies, “Green” and Sustainability transformations, tax credit opportunities, and other related services.
  • Leadership Development & Training that includes the Manufacturing Leadership Institute (MLI), individual Culture Assessments, CoreValue® Business Assessments, Customized Leadership Coaching, Human Resource Development and the Image of Manufacturing.  Through one-on-one coaching, strategic “doing” management and milestone development, we can help you grow your effectiveness as a leader.
  • A strategic mix of Training and Certification programs that are beneficial to any manufacturing organization.  We connect manufacturers with experienced, proven resources that specialize in Lean manufacturing training, tools, coaching and certification. We also offer our own 13-part “Lean Master Certification" program, a “train and do” curriculum that includes everything you need to prepare for and pass the SME Bronze Exam. The course curriculum includes ex-Toyota keynote instructors and other national presenters, as well.  The hands-on elements of the program are also adding to the excitement from the classes. Participants get to actually use the tools when they are taught – reinforcing the proper protocol and use in real time.  MRC also offers Six Sigma Training and Certifications, as well as coaching, mentoring and SPC-based assessments.  We also offer Quality Certifications that connect manufacturers in need of quality management process solutions with best-in-breed resources. Whether it’s ISO, AS, API, HACCP or another quality-related certification, we have the experts and connections to help you gain certification.

For further information or assistance, please contact MRC at 7200A Windsor Drive, Allentown, PA  18106.  Richard C. Hobbs is President & CEO and can be reached at (610) 628-4575 or email him at  rich.hobbs@mrcpa.org .  Please visit our website at www.mrcpa.org.

Philip Rauch Center for Business Communications (The)

621 Taylor Street; 758-4863

Matthew Gilchrist, PhD, director

The Rauch Center for Business Communication has three strategic goals.

1. Support business students as they develop the rhetorical awareness and skills necessary for successful business communication, including written, oral, and visual communication in varied contexts.

  • Collaborates to ensure student success in the Business Communication sequence required for undergraduate majors
  • Provides tutoring support for all business students through the Communication Consultants program
  • Supports students’ communication needs in extra-curricular activities, e.g. the Data Analytics Competition Team

2. Partner with College of Business faculty to design methods that use the transformative power of communication to prepare students for professional success.

  • Assists in developing assignments, syllabi, and activities that can enhance students’ exposure to and practice with business communication including writing, presentations, and digital modes
  • Promotes curricular innovations by providing strategic planning and logistical support for sustainable, high impact communication activities in and beyond the classroom

3. Combine research in emerging practices with insights from business and community leaders to

provide opportunities for innovation and leadership in business communication.

  • Develops collaborations outside the University to ensure that practice informs academic approaches to teaching and learning business communication
  • Participates in scholarship and professional organizations dedicated to business communication

For more information, write to Elizabeth Gross, Coordinator, The Philip Rauch Center for Business Communication, Lehigh University, 621 Taylor Street, Bethlehem, PA 18015-3117, or email EAG415@lehigh.edu or phone 610-758-4863.

Small Business Development Center

Brett Smith, BA, MBA, Director; Mary Syslo, BS, MHRM, Associate Director; Robert Mineo, BS, MBA, Program Director, Financing Assistance Program;  Jasmita Saini, BA, MBA, Program Director; Andrea Hampton,BA, MBA, Program Director; DJ Kormanik, BS, Consultant; Darryl Wentz, BS, Consultant, Mary Kelly Cohick, Consultant.  (https://sbdc.lehigh.edu/)

Established in 1978, the SBDC provides general management assistance to over 1,000 entrepreneurs and small businesses per year in the Lehigh Valley and surrounding areas. Primary funding for this program comes from major grants from the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Specialized Programs

The Management Assistance Program delivers general management consulting to existing small firms and startup ventures. Services are offered to retail, service, wholesale, construction and manufacturing firms. Research is offered through electronic data base research. Seminars are offered on many topics of interest to start-up and growing firms.

International Trade Development Program (ITDP)

The International Trade Development Program (ITDP) is a specialized outreach effort of the Small Business Development Center. The ITDP helps companies with exportable products to develop export marketing plans and establish direct contacts with international markets. Seminars, trade missions and research projects support the efforts of this program.

Financing Assistance Program

The Financing Assistance Program provides assistance in loan packaging and financial planning and helps clients identify appropriate financing sources. The program administers the Lehigh Valley Small Business Loan Pool and the Lehigh Valley Chapter of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Angel Network, a partnership program with the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern PA. Contracts with the Lehigh/Northampton Revolving Loan Fund, the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation and other funding agencies provide resources for this assistance.

Lehigh Valley Export Network (LEXNET)

The Lehigh Valley Export Network (LEXNET) is the regional office of the Team Pennsylvania Export Network. Throughout the year LEXNET brings PA foreign office representatives to the Lehigh Valley to meet with SBDC clients and discuss in country export assistance needs. LEXNET also assists with export finance programs such as Market Access Grants allowing small and midsized manufacturing or service companies to participate in international trade events. Specialized training events and seminars are also held throughout the year.

Business Education and Training Program (BETP)

The Business Education and Training Program of the Small Business Development Center provides specialized workshops, seminars and customized training for the small business community.

For more information, write to Brett Smith, Director, Small Business Development Center, 416 E 5th Street, Bethlehem, PA 18015

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