2022 BIG IDEA Contest

Win up to $25,000 Cash!

Ben Franklin Technology Partners, an award winning tech-based economic development program, is looking for innovators with BIG IDEAS who are developing new products or processes in the agriculture (AG) and food/beverage industries. Examples might include a new take on drone or smart farming, soil and crop health, pest management, AG machinery and automation, robotic solutions, sensor applications, dairy management, innovative food and beverage products, packaging, processing and supply chain solutions, and more!

Apply by 5 p.m. on August 29, 2022

The winner will receive:

  1. Up to $25,000 in cash
  2. An opportunity to pitch the business concept for a $10,000 seed grant
  3. A guaranteed spot in a business accelerator program
  4. Business mentoring and support from Ben Franklin Technology Partners
  5. A six-month, free subscription to Sparktoro.com – Audience Research at Your Fingertips
    SparkToro makes audience research easy. With a quick search, you can uncover attributes about any online audience—websites they visit, social accounts they follow, podcasts they listen to, topics they discuss—and apply these to be more targeted and effective in your marketing.

You qualify to apply if: 

  • You are located in Ben Franklin’s central and northern 32- county footprint
  • You have not previously received Ben Franklin funding or a cash prize from another BIG IDEA contest
  • You plan to commercialize your innovation

Contest Rules & Regulations

Contest FAQs

We are looking for scalable, innovative or technology-focused food and bev solutions, rather than traditional food service or service industry businesses. If you are offering something highly unique, innovative and scalable, however, feel free to apply.

We are looking for scalable, innovative or technology-focused agriculture solutions, rather than traditional farming. If you are offering something highly unique, innovative and scalable, however, feel free to apply.

Examples include but are not limited to: agricultural innovations and processes to improve farming, harvesting, processing, meat and dairy production, crop health, climate and sustainability, and supply chain; disruptive food or beverage products and innovation to improve food/beverage production, analysis, processing, packaging, sustainability, and supply chain.

We welcome innovators with business ideas to apply. You do not have to have registered your business to apply, but you do need to plan to register to do business in Pennsylvania.

While cohorts range in size, there are usually 6-8 finalists selected per contest.

  • Attend program’s pitch training program
  • Complete investment summary (2-page business summary—template provided to finalists)
  • Create social media teaser to promote your company for the People’s Choice Award (template provided to finalists)
  • Complete at least 1:1 coaching session with Ben Franklin staff
  • Present pitch deck at final event

We suggest allotting 5-6 hours per week to complete program materials and prepare for the final pitch competition

The contest awards up to $25,000

Attendees at the final pitch competition vote live to award this $2500 prize to their chosen finalist.