Entrepreneurs invited to apply for 2022 PA Wilds BIG IDEA Contest

Entrepreneurs invited to apply for 2022 PA Wilds BIG IDEA Contest

BIG IDEAS GROW IN WILD PLACES, AND YOU COULD WIN UP TO $50,000!

In partnership with the PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship, Ben Franklin Technology Partners, an award-winning, tech-based economic development program, is looking for innovators with BIG IDEAS located in Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, or Jefferson County, PA. If you are developing or crafting a product, process or innovation related to the maker economy, outdoors and recreation, forest products, manufacturing, or technology, you need to apply!

Why do most folks enter Ben Franklin’s BIG IDEA Contests? Because they want to win! Since the contest’s inception, more than $3 million in cash has been awarded throughout the program’s 32-county footprint in central and northern Pennsylvania.

Winning the grand prize of 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. But, the pitch experience you’ll gain, the business training offered, and the contacts you’ll make are as valuable as the money.

As part of a three-year initiative funded by the Appalachian Regional Commission, this is the first of three annual BIG IDEA Contests in collaboration with PA Wilds, focusing on counties in the I-80 Frontier landscape of the 13-county region. Subsequent contests in 2023 and 2024 will accept applications from counties in the Allegheny National Forest landscape, as well as the Dark Skies and the Pine Creek Valley landscapes of PA Wilds respectively.

The Wilds Sonshine Factory and The Laughing Owl Press Company, two companies that are based in the Pennsylvania Wilds and that are members of the Wilds Cooperative of PA, won a BIG IDEA contest in 2019.

LET YOUR IMAGINATION RUN WILD!

If you have not previously received funding from Ben Franklin or won a cash prize in an earlier contest or TechCelerator program, visit BIGIDEA.BenFranklin.org for contest rules, FAQ, and to see the easy application process.

For more Information, contact Annie Hughes at 717-948-4301 or alh618@psu.edu, or Liz Wilson at 814-898-6541 or lizwilson@psu.edu

The deadline for applications is 5:00 PM, Monday, April 18, 2022.

About Ben Franklin

The largest early-stage investor in the region, Ben Franklin Technology Partners/CNP, (an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and funded by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority) provides investment capital, operational assistance, BIG IDEA contests, and TechCelerator Startup Boot Camps to emerging tech-based companies and small, existing manufacturers to create and retain jobs in Pennsylvania.  Visit Ben Franklin’s website at www.cnp.benfranklin.org or phone the Harrisburg office at 717-948-6339.

About PA Wilds Center

The PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship, Inc., is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to integrate conservation and economic development in a way that inspires the communities of the Pennsylvania Wilds, a 13-county region that includes the counties of Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk, Forest, Jefferson, Lycoming, McKean, Potter, Tioga, Warren, and northern Centre. The PA Wilds Center promotes the region as a premier outdoor recreation destination as a way to diversify local economies, inspire stewardship and improve quality of life. The PA Wilds Center’s core programs seek to help businesses leverage the PA Wilds brand and connect with new market opportunities, including: the Wilds Cooperative of PA, a network of over 375 place-based businesses and organizations; the PA Wilds Conservation Shop, a retail outlet primarily featuring products sourced from the WCO; the PA Wilds Marketplace, an online maker marketplace featuring products proudly made in the PA Wilds; and brand licensing. For more information on the PA Wilds Center, visit www.PAWildsCenter.org. To learn more about the WCO, visit www.WildsCoPA.org. Explore the PA Wilds at www.pawilds.com. Find PA Wilds made products at www.ShopThePAWilds.com.


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