News & Events

BF TechCelerator Boot Camp Participants Win $100,000 in Innovation Competition

Three emerging entrepreneurs from Penn State University, who recently participated in the TechCelerator’s Four-Week Boot Camp, just won $100,000 and took third place in Vodafone’s Wireless Innovation Project Competition™. The California-based Foundation, Vodafone Americas, recently awarded a total of $600,000 to the creators of three mobile solutions.

The winners, Zhiwen Liu, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering, Perry Edwards, and Chuan Yang, both of whom are PhD candidates, developed an affordable, high-performance optical spectrometer which when integrated with a cellular phone, makes optical spectroscopy accessible to everyone. Their innovation, which is called the G-Fresnel Cell-phone spectrometer, is not only compact and affordable, but has a broad ranges of applications, such as breast cancer detection, monitoring surgical wounds, and color analysis for assisting people with color blindness.  For more information, see

 The Vodafone Americas Foundation 2013 Wireless Innovation Project Competition ™ was open to non-governmental organizations, universities, non-profits and health-related organizations.  The Wireless Innovation Project Competition TM attracts numerous submissions from across the world. By providing both financial support and access to its vast resources throughout the world, the Vodafone America Foundation helps its winners advance their projects to the next level of development. To see photos from this year’s awards ceremony or to view a list of past winners, visit

 About the BF TechCelerator@State College

Located in the Technology Center at 200 Innovation Boulevard in State College, the BF TechCelerator @ State College is a partnership among several of the area’s economic development providers that offers budding entrepreneurs designated space, loan and investment programs, business support and mentoring services, and entrepreneurial training all housed in one location.   For more information, go to