News & Events

There’s Still Time to Apply to Ben Franklin’s BIG IDEA Business Plan Contest!

Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Central and Northern PA  announced today that the winner of the BIG IDEA Business Plan Contest will get even more than the money!  In addition to the grand prize of $35,000, one entrepreneur or tech-based startup in NORTHWEST PENNSYLVANIA will also receive six months of residence at Gannon University’s Erie Technology Incubator ( , one year free tuition for classes/seminars offered by the eMarketing Learning Center (, and a free five-hour consult with Jonathan D’Silva, a local IP Attorney!

So far 1,700 Potential Entrepreneurs Have Gone to the Site!  The deadline for applications is 5:00 P.M. on April 19, 2013

 It’s easy to qualify for the contest:

  • Be located in one of the seven counties served by the Erie Office: Erie, Clarion, Crawford, Mercer, Venango, Warren, or Forest
  • Have a new, marketable tech-business idea that includes a commercialization plan
  • Have no significant sales if a product has already been developed
  • Have less than 50 employees if a company has been formed
  • Never received previous BFTP funding. 

Visit or click on the contest button on our home page, for a complete description of the rules, entry forms, and FAQs.

Stephen Brawley, President/CEO of Ben Franklin commented, “We always knew that Northwest Pennsylvania hosted a very entrepreneurial environment, and the 1,400 people who checked out the landing page in the first weeks of the contest proved our theory. Ben Franklin has been investing in entrepreneurs and tech startups for 30 years, and we’re excited to meet this latest batch of folks who have a BIG IDEA.”