Finalists Announced in Ben Franklin Big Idea Contest
Find out who's in the running for this year's Ben Franklin Technology Partners Big Idea Contest.
While this may come as exciting news for some (particularly for the finalists in question) many of you may not know what exactly the contest at hand means for Pennsylvania natives. Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Central and Northern Pennsylvania is an organization that for 30 some years has been committed to fostering innovation and economic growth throughout Pennsylvania. In particular, Ben Franklin Technology Partners have looked to expand interest in and development of tech sectors in cities statewide, and in doing so have provided support for countless businesses and entrepreneurs.
In accordance with these goals, the Ben Franklin Big Idea Contest offers a funding opportunity for small tech companies by way of a $200,000 award package. According to the organization's website, the package includes an Innovation Adoption Grant to work with a PA-based research university, a $100,000 low-interest loan from BFTP, a one-year pass for BFTP eMarketing Learning Center seminars, a free consult from Innovation Partnership, 60 hours of Innovation Engineering project time from the NW Industrial Resource Center, and access to an Advanced Manufacturing Apprentice to assist in prototype development or pre-commercialization services.
In other words, this award is sort of a big deal for up and coming Pennsylvania tech companies.
That being said, it is with great excitement that Ben Franklin Technology Partners have announced the finalists for this year's contest: Wei-Shin Lai with Acoustic Sheep, LLC,
Zak Stahlsmith with ApexDrop Influence Marketing, Duane Clement with Data Inventions, Todd Scalise with Higherglyphics, Mary Jo Light with Integrated Machine Company, Fred Zeyfang with Plastic Innovations and Technologies, and Harb Nayar with TAT Technologies.
Though these candidates still have to prepare for their final presentations in mid-April, the staff here at the Reader would like to extend our congratulations. While the tech sectors of many cities across Pennsylvania may be lagging behind other parts of the country, it's good to see an organization promote innovation and economic expansion in our region. Even more so it's reassuring that such a great many businesses have committed to competing for this prize, and stand to benefit not only themselves, but our state at large.