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More than 100 friends, family members, and community partners tuned in via ZOOM on November 19, 2020 to see the six finalists in Ben Franklin’s BIG IDEA Contest make their pitch to a panel of independent judges.

This contest, which targeted the counties of Indiana, Jefferson, Clearfield, and Cambria, attracted dozens of emerging innovators, tech startups, and small manufacturers with a BIG IDEA who wanted to win up to $50,000.

The grand prize winner of $50,000 was Sarah Boyer and her team at Antria.  The company  has developed patented stem cell therapies that target wound care applications.

As voted by the audience members, the “People’s Choice Award” winner was Nicole Sawyers with Neonatal Loving Kare.  The company makes a FDA approved positioning device for premature babies called Nurture Rest.

The other four finalists were: 

  • Michael Reed, with Micro Gainz, has developed micro weight plates for barbell lifting.
  • Anthony Caiola, with Back 40 Funding, is developing a platform that connects real estate developers with local investors using online crowdfunding.
  • Gregory Kenning, with Nanomagnetic Electronics, has developed solid state, heat integrating sensors that monitor perishable foods, pharmaceuticals, and machinery lubricants.
  • Tanvi Bharathan, with Staff Atom, is developing a software application that consolidates and simplifies essential tasks for staffing agencies.

Stephen Brawley, President and CEO of Ben Franklin, commented, “The judges must have had a very difficult job in choosing a winner, as all those who participated in this contest did an excellent job.  Congratulations to Sarah Boyer and her team and many thanks to all who dialed in  to support these entrepreneurs.”