Ben Franklin News

Ben Franklin Venture Idol Contestants Announced

 Crowdfunding-Style Event Scheduled for November 20

 The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania will host its annual Ben Franklin Venture Idol on Thursday, November 20. The event will be held at the Innovation Institute in Ben Franklin TechVentures®, the award-winning technology incubator/post-incubator on Lehigh University’s Mountaintop Campus.

Ben Franklin Venture Idol is like a cross between Shark Tank® and American Idol®, but with entrepreneurs and investors instead of vocalists and celebrities. The event illustrates a significant way in which early-stage entrepreneurs seek and obtain seed capital. Ben Franklin Venture Idol will also be an in-person “crowdfunding” event.

Contestants were selected competitively. The 2014 Ben Franklin Venture Idol competitors are:

EthosGen LLC, Wilkes-Barre
EthosGen produces a proprietary on-site alternative energy waste-heat-to-electrical-power generator that generates electricity from sustainable and renewable sources. EthosGen’s generator produces energy from waste heat from industrial, solar, and biomass sources. The generator provides on-site, consistent, secure electricity in a highly sustainable and environmentally conscious manner by capturing current, emission-free waste heat streams.

JUJAMA, Inc., Scranton
JUJAMA, Inc. provides well-designed, customizable, fully supported event technologies for meetings and conferences in many industries around the world. With 24/7 customer support plus available onsite support at events, JUJAMA delivers technologies that make events more productive for attendees, exhibitors and sponsors, and more successful for event organizers. In addition, JUJAMA provides specialized meeting and intelligence tools that enhance the networking capabilities of companies in the life sciences industry, significantly facilitating partnership in a space in which partnering is critical to success.

Map Decisions, LLCBen Franklin TechVenturesBethlehem
Map Decisions produces infrastructure asset and work management software and provides field mapping and data management services. The company’s secure, cloud-based mobile platform is designed for state and local governments, utilities, oil and gas, transportation, and construction industries. Map Decisions helps organizations increase operational efficiency, improve customer service, reduce compliance risks and decrease operational costs.

Medtrics Lab, Lewisburg
Medtrics Lab is seeking to become a leader in medical education and clinical performance management software. The company’s product utilizes the latest advances in web and mobile technology to improve administrative workflow. Its platform allows health care institutions and universities to coordinate, schedule, evaluate, and track the performance of individuals in clinical training environments.

MyNetwork, LLC, Bethlehem
MyNetwork, LLC has developed a proprietary personal-relationship management (PRM) application designed to help college students and professionals easily foster and strengthen relationships in their various networks. Business opportunities for the company include yearly licenses to colleges and universities, individual subscriptions to professionals worldwide, and targeted advertising.

 Orbweaver Sourcing, LLC, Ben Franklin TechVentures, Bethlehem
Orbweaver produces a cloud-based software solution for electronic circuit board manufacturers. Current sourcing and procurement models in the electronics manufacturing industry are highly inefficient. Orbweaver’s software platform will allow for more well-negotiated terms with suppliers, thereby reducing costs and increasing productivity for clients.

 Skaffl, LLC, Ben Franklin TechVentures, Bethlehem
Skaffl is a new mobile application through which teachers and students can exchange class materials, assignments, completed homework, assessments, and grades. This digital application addresses the growing use of tablets in K-12 classrooms and the needs of teachers as they develop tools and curricula to enhance real-time educational interaction. There are no other applications that address these needs comprehensively while also being simple to use for students, teachers, and administrators.

 TSG Software, Ben Franklin TechVentures, Bethlehem
TSG is expanding market share of its software for business cleaning services, property and facility managers, and building management contractors. TSG’s Accelerator CC® brings traditionally manual processes into cloud software with mobile solutions to automate mission-critical processes. This eliminates workflow disruption. Its innovative approach provides compelling value to a large market.

After earning their way through two rounds of judging in the afternoon prior to the evening event, three start-up technology company finalists will be selected. Following short critiques from a panel of investors, the audience members will “fund” the companies, crowdfunding style. With $100 of “Ben Bucks,” each guest will distribute his or her “investment dollars” in whole or part among the three finalists. Ben Franklin will award $15,000 in real dollars to the companies based on the “crowdfunded” audience vote. In addition to a cash investment, the winning company will receive a start-up package from Award Sponsor Altitude Marketing, which includes a revamped website, and a branding and messaging upgrade.

Approximately 225 guests attended last year’s sold-out Ben Franklin Venture Idol, which included pre- and post-event executive networking receptions. Registration is now open, and available at http://nep.benfranklin.org/coming-fall-2014-ben-franklin-venture-idol-2/.