News & Events

Ben Franklin Announces Two Winners of BIG IDEA Business Plan Contest!

Two startups that entered the BIG IDEA Business Plan Contest have each won $25,000 cash prizes from Ben Franklin Technology Partners.

The first winner, Nina Jenkins with Penn State University’s Department of Entomology and her business partner, Giovani Bellicanta, have developed a patent-pending, non-toxic, bio-pesticide that successfully removes and further prevents bed bug infestations in homes and hotel rooms.

Their company, ConidioTec, offers a natural, urban pest control product that with just one application, becomes an effective barrier for up to four months.  Current treatments typically require up to three applications and have no guarantee against re-infestation. It’s currently expected that the pesticide will be available for sale in 2015.  Ms. Jenkins received her check and prize package at the 2014 CBICC Awards Gala held at the State Theatre on the evening of March 13, 2014.

The second winner located in Adams County, PA, GoGreenIT, offers a new, mobile-based platform solution that will significantly reduce the paperwork for the 70,000 Pennsylvania employees that work for 3,500 home and community-based human service agencies in the Commonwealth. The company’s patent-pending innovation replaces the current paper-based system which is cumbersome and creates the opportunity for billing errors, lost documentation and a high level of employee frustration. Nicholas Mudgett, the director of GoGreenIT commented, “Our product specifically accommodates human service agencies by providing a HIPPA compliant electronic filing and data analyzing system that automatically interfaces with state billing systems and payroll companies.”  For more information, click on

In addition to the cash, this year’s BIG IDEA competition offered a prize package including:

  • One-year of virtually managed business services offered by Netrepid
  • The opportunity to participate in a BF TechCelerator Boot Camp for Startups
  • Assistance from the Innovation Partnership in preparing a proposal to receive a federal research (SBIR) grant
  • Access to all Ben Franklin’s business support services at no charge

Stephen Brawley, CEO of Ben Franklin Technology Partners, commented, “Encouraging and investing in entrepreneurship is the core of Ben Franklin’s mission. We are proud of all the participants who had the energy and guts to take the first step toward starting their own business.  We applaud all the finalists and heartily congratulate ConidioTec and GoGreenIT.”