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Ben Franklin’s TechCelerator Announces Winners of Fall Pitch Event

Six local entrepreneurial teams completed a ten-week business startup boot camp, offered by Ben Franklin’s TechCelerator program in partnership with Invent Penn State

On Tuesday, November 29, 2022, these teams pitched their business concepts to a panel of judges to compete for a cash prize of $10,000. Audience members attending the pitch event virtually also had the chance to vote on their favorite presentation to help award a People’s Choice Award of $1,000.

We are excited to announce the following winners!

First Place: Joseph Kubalak with Teal Manufacturing took home $7,000. Teal Manufacturing’s core technology is an additive manufacturing process leveraging design optimization and industrial robotics to align composite material in full 3D such that every fiber is oriented specifically for the end-use application (e.g., along load paths).

Second Place: Kyle Husmann with Research Data Stewards took home $3,000. Researchers are already experts in their field; they shouldn’t also need to become experts in data management, sharing, and privacy along with the associated continually changing technical landscape to produce and maintain quality data products that meet the standards of their funding organizations. “Let us manage your data so you don’t have to”.

People’s Choice Award and the Heddleson Award: Shane Stoehr with Journeyman Products took home the $1,000 People’s Choice Award and the $1,000 Heddleson Award. Journeyman Products has developed a Hammock Camp – a simple, complete, robust hammock camping system that makes sleeping outdoors easy, comfortable, and warm.

The other team’s presentations included products and services with chemotherapy treatment, smart home software, and innovative hand sanitation technology.

The judges for this event included:

  • Linda Stevenson is founder and chair for Erie ATHENA PowerLink/ATHENA Erie and retired, Senior Vice President, PNC’s Women’s Business Development Program. She founded and trademarked the Women’s Economic Development Outreach Tour; expanding it to nine states reaching over 11,000 professional women and women in business, to bring information and focused resources to them.
  • Don Morrison is a serial entrepreneur and visionary leader who has consistently leveraged technology to improve the customer experience and top and bottom-line results. Don has been involved in the growth and development of several businesses, including American Eagle Outfitters, from one to 165 stores as President and CEO, Sundance Catalog Company as Executive Director, and Bear Creek Corporation as Senior VP of Sales and Marketing.
  • Tara Arnold joined Bartell & Bartell as Director of Business Development and oversees Marketing, Sales, Contracting, and Project Management. She serves as the central point of coordination between the senior consulting team, clients, and the assessment/diagnostic team. Her specialty is in listening to the client’s needs and proposing an appropriate solution to unleash the potential in their people and optimize their organizational health.
About the TechCelerator Program
Ben Franklin Technology Partner’s TechCelerator Program is a free ten-week program that provides entrepreneurs with mentorship and framework to help them bring their business idea to reality. The program provides weekly group sessions with content experts in marketing, sales, finance, and more – to help entrepreneurs shape their business and develop a pitch presentation to take the first step toward funding.  This program has helped over 170 companies and invested more than $5 million dollars in 32 startups. To learn more about the TechCelerator program and see our upcoming programs, visit


About Invent Penn State
Invent Penn State blends entrepreneurship-focused academic programs, business startup training and incubation, funding for commercialization, and university/community/industry collaborations to facilitate the challenging process of turning research discoveries into valuable products and services that can benefit Pennsylvanians and humankind. GEW Penn State partners with Invent Penn State to help further its mission of economic development, student career success, and job creation. Learn more at


About Ben Franklin Technology Partners: The largest seed investor in our region, Ben Franklin Technology Partners (an initiative of the PA Department of Community & Economic Development and funded by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority) has been providing investment capital, business support services, and operational assistance to emerging tech-startups and small manufacturers for nearly 40 years. Learn more at