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You Could Win $50,000 for your BIG IDEA!

Calling All Visionaries in Cameron, Clinton, Lycoming, Potter, and Tioga Counties, PA! Let the BIG IDEA Contest turn your entrepreneurial dreams into reality. 

Are you a trailblazing entrepreneur with a game-changing idea in the maker economy, outdoors and recreation, forest products, manufacturing, or technology? Your innovation could be the spark that transforms industries and landscapes. Welcome to the 2024 BIG IDEA Contest: Where WILD Ideas Thrive!

As a finalist, you’ll dive into an exciting competition vying for not just a $2500 People’s Choice Award but also the chance to win up to $50,000 in prize money. Picture yourself on the stage, pitching your BIG idea at the finale, surrounded by your cheering supporters—family and friends who can cast their votes to support your vision. It’s an amazing opportunity to showcase your innovation and potentially secure the resources to bring your idea to life. Don’t miss this incredible chance to make your mark and turn your dreams into reality!

Learn more about the BIG IDEA Contest

Applications are due by Tuesday, April 18, 2024

Winning up to $50,000 will go a long way in helping you further develop your BIG IDEA and infuse your new startup with much-needed cash. In addition to the cash, the pitch experience you’ll gain, the business training offered, and the contacts you’ll make are just as valuable.

Why should you apply?

  • Ignite Your Innovation: Dive into a community of like-minded creators and thinkers, ready to amplify your BIG IDEA. 
  • Prize Money: The winner stands to receive up to $50,000 in cash – a vital resource to propel your BIG IDEA to new heights. 
  • Network & Pitch Experience: Beyond the cash prize, gain invaluable pitch experience, and business training, and forge connections that last a lifetime.

The winner will receive:

  • Up to $50,000 in cash
  • A chance to win an additional $2,500 in the People’s Choice Award
  • An opportunity to pitch the business concept for a $10,000 Seed Grant from Ben Franklin
  • A guaranteed spot in a business accelerator program offered by either Ben Franklin or Penn State’s LaunchBox network
  • Business mentoring and support by Ben Franklin’s Transformation Business Services Network

You qualify to apply if: 

  • Your business is located in Cameron, Clinton, Lycoming, Potter, or Tioga County, PA 
  • You have not previously received Ben Franklin funding or a cash prize from either a BIG IDEA Contest or a TechCelerator program
  • You plan to commercialize your innovation
  • You do not have more than $1,000,000 in annual sales revenue (as an established business)

Big Idea Contest Informational Webinar

Get Insider Tips, Ask Questions & Maximize Your Chances!

The BIG IDEA Contest Informational Webinar will be held on January 24, 2024 from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM.

Get an edge with insider knowledge on how to excel in the contest, receive expert guidance from regional economic development leaders, and discover the range of support services provided by Ben Franklin, PA Wilds, SBDC(s), PennTAP, and more, all geared towards accelerating your entrepreneurial ideas.

Join us live and ask your most pressing questions!

PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship

Special thanks to our sponsors