News & Events

Ben Franklin’s Food and Beverage TechCelerator is hosting a Pitch Event!

Join us for a virtual event awarding up to $30,000 to a Pennsylvania-based food and beverage startup!

Ben Franklin’s Food & Beverage TechCelerator recently offered a 10-week business startup boot camp for entrepreneurs who are developing scalable, innovative, and technology-focused products/services in the food and beverage industry.

Eight entrepreneurial teams are currently in the process of completing the bootcamp and will be virtually presenting their business ideas and concepts to a panel of judges for a chance to win up to $30,000 to help launch their startup!


WHEN: March 28, 2023

TIME: 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM

WHERE: Virtual through Zoom so you can watch anywhere!

The eight entrepreneurial teams represent an exciting mix of food and beverage related products.

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.

About the Ben Franklin TechCelerator

The 10-week virtual business “boot camp” is designed to assist inventors, students, faculty, and very early-stage entrepreneurs in converting their business ideas into operating ventures. The program helps entrepreneurs explore the likelihood of success, discuss business models and financials with experts, expand their network, engage with other entrepreneurs, and develop a pitch deck for funding opportunities. Over the past ten years, the program has helped create dozens of new tech startups.

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