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Are You a Small Manufacturer or Entrepreneur with a Big Idea?

You Could Win a Prize Package Valued at $200,000! 

Have you been thinking about developing a new, innovative product or process? Then, you need to think about Ben Franklin Technology Partners! Most people either know us from our Business Plan Contests, our affiliation with Penn State University, or because we have been providing investment capital and business support services to tech-based startups for more than 30 years. Click on

However, many people don’t realize that Ben Franklin also makes investments in small manufacturers. This year, in order to remind companies to think about Ben Franklin, as a resource, when planning to introduce new or improved products to the market, our BIG IDEA Contest will focus on helping small manufacturers and entrepreneurs turn their ideas into real business opportunities. Investing in innovation is the core of Ben Franklin’s mission, and this year’s prize package, valued at $200,000 is designed to support every aspect of a development project.

It’s easy to submit your BIG IDEA to Ben Franklin on-line by filling out a simple questionnaire at No need to share your “secret sauce” or any detail you believe is proprietary. The deadline to apply is January 20, 2015. Finalists will be notified in February 2015.

Here’s what you can win:

  • $50,000 in cash
  • An “Innovation Adoption Grant up to $25,000 to work with a PA-based research university
  • Priority access to a low-interest $100,000 loan from Ben Franklin
  • 60 hours of Innovation Engineering project time from the NW Industrial Resource Center ( as well as access to an Advanced Manufacturing Apprentice to assist in prototype development or pre-commercialization services.
  • A one-year pass to seminars offered by Ben Franklin’s eMarketing Learning Center
  • A free consult (and proposal prep) on how to access Federal R&D grant money from the Innovation Partnership

You are eligible to apply to the BIG IDEA innovation competition if you are located in one of the 13 counties located in NWPA*, if your business generates no more than $10 million in revenue per year, and if you or your business have not previously received Ben Franklin funding.

*Go to for a listing of eligible NWPA counties or phone 814-898-6650.