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ERIE, PA – Five years ago, Ben Franklin’s Erie Innovation Fund, a partnership with the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority, made its first investment in an Erie-based startup, Conduit Technology. The money was used to help develop software that enabled the automation of what had historically been a paper-laden process. Prior to Jim Noland and his team developing Conduit Office, those companies that offered home health care equipment, like wheelchairs, had to generate and collect by hand all the clinical documentation needed in order to be paid by the insurance companies for the medical devices and services they sold. That documentation collection process was a cumbersome, multi-step process that involved many different medical professional entities, required highly-trained employees, and left no uniform way to way to track the documentation.

Conduit Technology created an innovative, web-based tool that works directly with clinicians to automate this critical process, reducing costs, collecting all the documents needed, and managing the back office workflow. Housed for the past few years in the Erie Technology Incubator on the campus of Gannon University, Conduit’s continued growth trajectory first attracted the attention of a Venture Capital Group out of Harrisburg, PA, Penn Venture Partners (PVP). The funding they put in to Conduit was one of the first venture capital investments made in the Erie area and helped the company grow and hire at a critical time. By 2014, Conduit employed ten full-time professionals.

Fast forward to June 2017. Brightree LLC, the leading provider of cloud-based software to improve business and clinical performance, announced its acquisition of Conduit Technology. The company’s flagship product, Conduit Office is the engine behind Brightree’s solution called MyForms. The two entities are no strangers to each other, first meeting back in 2014 and forming a strategic relationship which resulted in the introduction of a product which is now used by more than 200 organizations and 7,000 users.

Jim Noland, commented, “I met Ben Franklin and the Erie Innovation Fund at a critical time in the development of my business. Without their funding, half of which was matched by ECGRA, I would not have been able to hire the talent I needed, much less develop a software solution that would attract the attention of an industry leader such as Brightree. I’m excited about what the future holds, and where it may lead me, but also grateful for the support I was able to get right here locally. I’ve always known that when I cashed out, the money I paid back to the Erie Innovation Fund would stay here, in Erie, PA, to help seed the next entrepreneur with a great idea.”

About the Erie Innovation Fund: 

Established by ECGRA and Ben Franklin as a public-private partnership, the Erie Innovation Fund provides local entrepreneurs and small, established manufacturers with access to capital to develop new products, start new tech-based companies, or gain access to a new market. To date, more than a dozen company projects have received investments from the Erie Innovation Fund, which was originally seeded with $1.2 million from ECGRA and an additional $500,000 in 2017. Both sums were matched 1:1 by Ben Franklin.

About Ben Franklin Technology Partners

Ben Franklin Technology Partners/CNP, an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and funded by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority, provides investment capital and operational assistance to emerging tech-based companies and small, existing manufacturers for the purpose of creating and retaining jobs in Pennsylvania.  Contact the Erie office of Ben Franklin in Knowledge Park at (814) 898-6650 or see our website at

 About the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority

An impact investor, ECGRA’s mission is to elevate Erie County by galvanizing non-profits and small businesses toward economic and community development. Since February 2008, ECGRA has invested more than $35 million in Erie County. Learn more at,, or call 814-897-2690. ECGRA PR CONTACT: Amanda Burlingham – 814-504-3037,