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Ben Franklin’s Spring 2023 TechCelerator Winners Announced!

On Tuesday, June 13, 2023, Ben Franklin Technology Partners, in partnership with Invent Penn State, hosted a virtual pitch event for their TechCelerator Startup Boot Camp. Eight entrepreneurial teams presented their business startup ideas to a panel of judges, friends, family, and other community members for a chance to win money to help launch their business. The judges awarded two prizes, while the event participants awarded one additional prize as a “People’s Choice Award.”

Out of the eight entrepreneurial teams, two were awarded prize money. They include:

First Place of $20,000: Fresh Start Wellness (Karen Johnson, Mill Hall)

Fresh Start Wellness is a portable lightweight leg press machine that weighs 14.9 lbs. It can be used sitting in a chair or lying in bed. It is not proof of concept; it is proof of design. It can press in increments of 20 lbs. to 100 lbs. We know that studies over the past 50 years have documented the benefits of strength training. It builds muscle mass, improves bone density, improves balance, and increases circulation and flexibility.

Second Place of $10,000, and the People’s Choice of $1,000: Del Sol Designs (Tammy Del Sol)

Del Sol Designs Believes that utilizing an instrument that eliminates the culprit, in this case the pinch grip, is the only sure way to slow down and possibly eliminate the Musculoskeletal Disorders issues that millions of practitioners around the world suffer from on a daily basis.

The other entrepreneurial teams who participated in the TechCelerator include:

Electromembrane (Arash Emdadi, State College) The company is proposing an electro-membrane technology to recover and recapture the ammonia in wastewater streams. Ammonia will be used to produce fertilizer, the main resource for plant growth. The proposed system will separate ammonium ions from the waste stream by applying membranes and selective separation methods. The system will separate ammonia from other wastewater components using a multistep separation process.

OK2StandUP (Eunice Yang, Bedford) Their patent-pending technology is a solution to the complex issue of senior falls, without the need for cameras or costly hardware installations. Their solution consists of a wearable monitor and app.

Advance Tooling (Jason White, Larry Zinn, Newville) Creating a universal die platform with two modules that have the ability to run a variety of different gauge and width materials. It can also run different complexities of parts. The customer would only have to purchase internal tooling that is distinct to their part.

Nuclear Applications (Eric Schwarz, Lancaster) Construct and operate a new Flow Loop at Penn State’s reactor. NuclearATC would contract RSEC to operate the reactor to irradiate the samples; NuclearATC would operate the Flow Loop and handle all other operations and maintenance of the Loop.

Noerr Trucking (Scott Noerr) MVP will create a prefetch database of (eventually) more than 500,000 sources using a customized algorithm to search, schedule, bid, book, and plan routes for trucking companies. In addition – the full product should also include additional industry solutions such as fuel cards, factoring, tracking, compliance, insurance, lending, leasing … the list goes on.

Caregiver’s Artbox (Julie Mader, Smethport) Sold as a subscription service to support individuals working in a homecare setting as well as care communities; the CAREGIVER’S ARTBOX will deliver engaging art lessons, quality supplies and clearly written support materials to engage lifelong learners so they may experience the joy of making art.

About the Ben Franklin TechCelerator

The 10-week virtual business “boot camp” is designed to assist inventors, students, faculty, and very early-stage entrepreneurs in converting their business ideas into operating ventures. The program helps entrepreneurs explore the likelihood of success, discuss business models and financials with experts, expand their network, engage with other entrepreneurs, and develop a pitch deck for funding opportunities. Over the past ten years, the program has helped create dozens of new tech startups.