News & Events

Cohort Chosen for Food & Beverage Innovation TechCelerator!

Finalists were selected from a pool of applicants who are all developing new products, processes, and solutions in the agriculture and food/beverage industries that are highly innovative and scalable.

The eight finalists will take part in our 10-week business boot camp, designed to help them explore their business ideas further and end the course with a usable pitch deck for funding opportunities.

The Food and Beverage TechCelerator Cohort includes:

Cancer Recovery Drink  (Pete Bordi Centre County) – the team has developed a cancer recovery beverage made from all-natural, organic ingredients and plant-based proteins. Ingredients were selected and combined to help the tongue, throat, stomach, and muscles recover from the effects of cancer treatments.

8fronds Pineapple Eddie Jerk Sauce (Karen Thomas and Adrienne Paul, Erie County) – has created a sauce product that is plant-based, allergen, sugar-free, and free of chemical preservatives that can be used as a marinade or sauce to give meals prepared at home great flavor and interest while saving time.

Honey Bear Kitchen (Natalie Wallace, Dauphin County) produces super premium non-dairy ice cream that is free from 6 of the 8 major food allergens using a proprietary mix of 14% plant-based fat churned with a low overrun, giving it the mouthfeel and creaminess of dairy based ice cream. As of December 2022, Honey Bear’s ice cream roster includes 20 flavors.

KEVO (Paul McMahon & Ryan Maloney, Erie County) – is leveraging growing trends in both cold brew consumption and single serve coffee. KEVO has developed a patented, innovative device to make a single cup of cold brew using either coffee pods (also known as K-cups) or regular grounds.  It is also unique in that it can use an immersion method with K-cups, producing a fuller bodied flavor.

MP for Erie (Matthew Gacura, Erie County) – is commercializing a process to grow mushrooms from agricultural/plant waste that is generated from farms, wineries, breweries, and other food producers. This win-win process will utilize otherwise hard to dispose of waste, while producing a nutritious, low-cost food which could be beneficial to impoverished communities.

On Time Delivery (Zee Elhaj & Mike Emerick, Centre County) offers a dispatch solution for restaurants delivering in-house, helping to increase sales by improving delivery time and eliminate interruptions leading to fewer late deliveries. By combining kitchen intelligence and route optimization, On Time Delivery’s technology provides efficient routes for in-house drivers and automatically calls on third party drivers like Ubereats and Doordash when necessary to avoid late orders.

Sarah’s Gourmet Pretzels (Heidi Lushko, Cambria County) – specializes in wholesaling and delivering fine, decadent chocolate gourmet pretzels for the benefit of children rescued out of sex-trafficking and in need of safety and restoration.

Unbaked Flour Company (Hannah Carney, Centre County) – is aiming to make nourishing food more easily accessible. The company is developing probiotic-fortified non-dairy food products that provide benefits from a gut health supplement in a delicious snack.  The first of its line of products are no-baked donut holes that are all gluten-free, grain-free, vegan, refined-sugar-free, synbiotic, non-GMO, and sustainably packaged in compostable materials.

A special thank you to:

Penn State SBDC for their participation and coaching and Gannon SBDC for their participation, coaching, and financial/market research support

thank you for: Penn State SBDC for their participation and coaching And Gannon SBDC for their participation, coaching and financial/market research support

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