News & Events

Finalists in $50,000 BIG IDEA Contest Announced!

DUBOIS, PADozens of people located in North Central Pennsylvania recently applied to Ben Franklin’s $50,000 BIG IDEA Contest. This week our team had the difficult job of identifying just a few finalists from all the great applications received from emerging tech startups and small manufacturers.  The eight companies moving forward in the contest will make a pitch presentation to a panel of local judges on Thursday, November 21, 2019 – location to be determined.  Stay tuned!

If you run across any of the folks listed below, be sure to offer your congratulations:

  • Jeff Billett with Billett Electric (Punxsutawney) is developing an equipotential grounding system for mobile operation to protect personnel and equipment from static and stray electricity.
  • Keith Billotte with Doing Time LLC (Clearfield) has developed an innovation in the process of distilling bourbon.
  • Peter Schramm with Lattus Inc. (Brookville) developed a platform that facilitates personal conversations about specific professional and personal topics to share insights, perspectives, and experiences.
  • Joe Lanich with Laughing Owl Press (Kane) is developing software that brings digital convenience to high-end letterpress printed products.
  • Daniel Meier with Lightdrop Harvest LLC (St. Marys) utilizes neural networks (artificial intelligence) in vision systems to inspect parts produced by the powdered metal industry.
  • Royce Novosel-Johnson with NoJo Forest Creations (Kane) is establishing alternative and creative uses for wood and wood-related products within the PA Wilds and Allegheny National Forest.
  • Harb Nayar with TAT Technologies (St. Marys) is developing a process that reduces thermal process cost and energy consumed.
  • David Conklin with Wilds Sonshine Factory (Kane) is distilling a new spirit derived from the sunflower plant grown solely in the PA Wilds Region!

 In addition to the money, the winner will receive:

  • Access to seminars offered by Ben Franklin’s eMarketing Learning Center and the Clarion University Small Business Development Center
  • A free consult on applying for federal R&D grant money from the Innovation Partnership
  • Executive business and technology growth services assistance offered by the Northwest Industrial Resource Center