Ben Franklin’s investment in Sensor Networks, Inc. (SNI), will pay off in more ways than one. A seed investment of $300,000 was awarded to the company in 2014 to further develop ultrasonic non-destructive testing sensors and systems, which enable remote corrosion monitoring, off-site visual inspection and loose-parts retrieval.
Despite the recent challenges of operating in a COVID-impacted world, the company, which has been consistently experiencing significant growth over the past several years, asked to repay the balance on their Ben Franklin investment early, allowing the program to re-allocate those much-needed dollars to additional startup opportunities in the region.
Along with Ben Franklin and local officials, the company is holding a virtual celebration today to acknowledge its achievement.
Sensor Networks, Inc. employs nearly 75 globally, many of whom were hired as a result of the layoffs at GE in Lewistown. Collectively, they represent several hundred years of experience in the field of non-destructive testing.
“The Sensor Networks team has grown and brings together the very best minds in the business to deliver smarter solutions with a personalized approach for the world’s critical asset-management applications. Without Ben Franklin’s unwavering faith in our company, as well as their financial support, we would not have grown so quickly or been able to create employment opportunities for more than 65 people in our area. We’re proud to be a Ben Franklin portfolio company and pleased that our payback of their investment can be used to help other emerging tech startups in the area,” said Dr. James Barshinger, co-founder and chief technology officer.
Stephen Brawley, president and CEO of Ben Franklin, commented, “The company’s decision to pay us back early couldn’t have come at a better time. We will be able to quickly redeploy those dollars into other opportunities that we hope will be just as successful. Having a company in our community and our portfolio that has created so many high-paying employment opportunities speaks volumes about the skills and dedication of the senior managers - not to mention the value their products bring to their customers.”