|As an important component of the recent Startup Alleghenies initiative, the Ben Franklin TechCelerator@Johnstown, a tech-business startup accelerator, recently offered the area’s emerging entrepreneurs, small manufacturers, students, and tech-startups a one-stop-shop for entrepreneurial training.
Starting in July, 2018, the eight-week program was held in alternating locations which included 814 WORX in downtown Johnstown and the JARI Center. Six entrepreneurs received business mentoring from Ben Franklin’s Transformation Business Services Network and local economic development and startup experts at no cost. The curriculum included topics related to identifying customers; business and revenue models; value propositions; legal issues, and cost structures to name just a few.
On Thursday September 6, 2018, these six local entrepreneurs will compete for a cash prize of up to $10,000 which will be awarded at the graduation “pitch” event. A team of judges from the community will make the decision on the winning presentation. This exciting finale event will begin at 5:00 PM at the Cambria Courthouse (2nd Floor) – 110 Franklin Street – Johnstown, PA followed by a networking reception at the same address in the Press Bistro!
Snapshot of the Presenters:
· Vinzeal Wolf’s company, ETAL Transfer Authority, has developed an affordable transportation solution that will run a commuter shuttle from Johnstown to Pittsburgh.
· Travis Lodolinski’s company, Agently, provides automated tools to online businesses that will help them reach and engage with their prospects as well as follow-up after a sale.
· Ryan Kieta’s company, Real Design, is developing a proprietary line of street furniture, PopBench, for use in outdoor venues and “pop-up” locations.
· Matthew Leverknight’s company, Free Feet Shoes, will be producing a line of specialty footwear designed for those who have special needs that require the use of ankle-foot orthotics.
· Tom McConnell’s company, Eternal Remembrance LLC, delivers an easy-to-use, mobile memorial APP that provides an innovative way to connect, celebrate and honor your loved ones’ legacy.
· Joshua Barbin’s company, Zion Preparatory Schoolhouse, is creating a talent pipeline in Johnstown that will begin to turn around “brain drain” by helping students develop talent relevant to the local marketplace.
Come to support local entrepreneurs, but stay to enjoy the networking reception! The event will be attended by community partners, other startups, and potential investors. The six presenters will have the opportunity to share with the audience their intended target market, the pain point their product or service alleviates for their customers, and how their idea will make money for them and future investors.
If you’re wondering what a graduation pitch event looks like, check out this video. For more information contact Bob Dornich/BF TechCelerator at 814-865-7332 or Jose Otero, Entrepreneurial Coach, JARI at 814-535-8675.