Every month, Ben Franklin Technology Partners hosts a networking luncheon at Innovation Park. The November event, held on November 16, featured an introduction by Dr. Barry Scheetz of his business, Elixsys Group, LLC. A new tenant of the Tech Center Incubator, Elixsys Group is a waste remediation technology company that is tackling the major global problem of coal fly ash.

Fly ash contains huge amounts of incredibly valuable resources, including metals and rare earth elements (REEs). Currently, the U.S. relies mainly on foreign sources for REEs, with China controlling 95% of the market. Massive ash containment areas have been building up for decades. But Elixsys has developed a patent-pending process of leaching the valuable resources from fly ash that is holistic, safe, and environmentally friendly. The technology can also be used on any other metal-containing source, like bottom ash, metal slurry, or contaminated soil.

When Rick Hall worked for a national‑based company that sold mobile LED light towers, the type used in outdoor situations like construction sites and large parking lots, he heard from frustrated customers who weren’t happy with the product—the towers weren’t durable for long‑term use and didn’t cast enough light. With a Penn State degree in agricultural and biological engineering, Hall knew there was a better way to create bright lights that not only saved money, but also reduced the harmful emissions produced from traditional lighting sources.

Find out how Hall is revolutionizing the industry.

Ben Franklin Technology Partners Hosts 11th Annual TechCelerator Pitch Event and Award Ceremony

On Tuesday, December 6, the TechCelerator at State College wrapped up its 11th session.

After 10 weeks of classes and one-on-one mentoring sessions, the five start-ups presented their business ideas to a panel of judges and their peers with the hopes of winning $10,000 to further their projects.

Newest Class of Start-up Companies Promises Big Things for the Future

Happy Valley LaunchBox held a graduation ceremony for its five Fall 2016 Accelerator Bootcamp teams on December 7. It was the third class of start-up companies to complete the 10-week program since its opening in February.

According to Lee Erickson, Chief Amplifier at LaunchBox, 32 start-up hopefuls applied for the fall program, and only five were accepted.

Find out how those teams progressed over the 10-week program and what their plans are for the future.

Chuck Hull Discusses Rapid Evolution of Additive Manufacturing

Inventor of 3-D Printing Impressed by Industry’s Growing ApplicationsFor most of 1983, Chuck Hull (now dubbed the “Father of 3-D Printing”) could be found laboring nights and weekends alone in a lab, with one goal: to accelerate prototyping from a month-long process into one that could be completed in a matter of hours. He says at that time his “interest in developing 3-D printing was driven by curiosity and practicality.”

It took almost a year, but those long nights finally paid off. When all was said and done, Hull had invented stereolithography, a process for creating three-dimensional objects, in which a computer-controlled laser beam is used to shape liquid polymers into three-dimensional objects as the polymers harden on contact with the lasers.