News & Events

The BF TechCelerator@State College Awarded a $10,000 Cash Prize to Another Local Startup!

State College, PA – Last night, seven budding entrepreneurs made their final eight-minute presentations to a panel of judges – all vying for the top prize of $10,000.  These seven people represent the fourth class – a total of 24 participants – who have graduated from the BF TechCelerator Boot Camp Program since its inception last year.

Some of the past graduates have had their work written up in popular scientific publications or were able to participate in national competitions.  To date, six of them have received a follow-on investment from Ben Franklin Technology Partners/CNP.

Last night’s winners, Nina Jenkins and 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. With just one application, their natural, urban pest-control product becomes an effective barrier for up to four months.  Their company, ConidioTec, will offer the product for sale in one gallon containers that can treat up to 30-40 rooms.

Everyone in the graduating class did an excellent job!  The panel of judges and a full-house audience heard presentations from:

  • Jian Xu and Jie Liu, who have developed “The Next Generation Light Source”, a single AC LED chip solution that will dramatically decrease the cost of LED-based solid-state lighting by 20-50% while doubling lifetime.
  • Jack Langelaan, who is developing the “Sea Wing”, an electric powered foilboard that allows the rider to surf on flat water.
  • Justin Smith, who is creating a platform using proprietary algorithms to provide 100% secure data storage via encryption software.
  • Serena Fulton and Eric Sauder, from New Leaf Initiative, offer their customers a neutral, physical meeting space and co-working environment for professionals and community organizers to collaborate outside of their existing organizations.
  • Rick Kubina, a Special Education Professor, who has developed an iPad app (Chart APP) based on the Standard Celeration Chart, allowing users to quantify important aspects of performance and learning.
  • Diana and Adri van Duin, who have developed a method, using computational chemistry that will simulate the chemical and physical behavior of certain materials as they interface, ultimately allowing for the design of new materials.

About the TechCelerator@State College 

Located in the Technology Center at 200 Innovation Boulevard in State College, the 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


Ben Franklin Technology Partners/CNP, an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and funded by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority, provides investment capital, operational assistance, and entrepreneurial support to emerging tech-based companies and small, existing manufacturers for the purpose of creating and retaining jobs in Pennsylvania.