I want to stay in the know about events and exclusive offers. Subscribe

2023 PA Wilds $50K BIG IDEA Contest Finale Event

Thursday June 8, 2023

01:30 PM - 05:00 PM
Add event to calendar

University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, Bromeley Family Theatre

$0.00 Members $0.00

2023 PA Wilds $50K BIG IDEA Contest Finale Event

Find out who will win this year’s $50,000 Grand Prize! 

Join Ben Franklin Technology Partners and PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship for the finale of the 2023 PA Wilds $50K BIG IDEA Contest. Eight finalists will present their BIG IDEAs to a panel of independent judges for a chance to win up to $50,000 in funding - plus an additional $2,500 People's Choice Award.

This event will be a live pitch event at the University of Pittsburg at Bradford with a fun networking event, but you may choose to attend virtually via ZOOM webinar. 


Event Info

Time: 1:30  – 5 p.m. - Intros, Pitches for the $50,000, and Judging
5 p.m. – Winners for the $50,000 and the Northwest Bank $2,500 People’s Choice Awards announced followed by a Networking Reception

Location: University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, Bromley Family Theatre (Parking is available)

Download Campus Map


Optional Tour before the BIG IDEA Event

Come tour the George B. Duke Engineering and Information Technologies Building, a space that encourages creativity and collaboration. The building has dedicated spaces focused on prototype creation, welding and metal machining, 3D printing, virtual reality applications, laser engraving, and more.

Date: June 8, 2023
Time: 11 a.m. – Noon
Location: Engineering & Information Technologies Building

RSVP for the Tour


2023 PA Wilds BIG IDEA Contest Finalists

  1. Allegheny Mountain Beard Products (William Jones and Loretta Jones), located in Warren County, created all-natural personal care products that are free from harmful chemicals, synthetic ingredients, and toxins. They offer a range of products that include beard grooming, shampoos, skin creams, deodorant, and baby products. These products prioritize natural ingredients and sustainable packaging.
  2. Behavioral Health Products (Arianne Iorfido) located in Elk County, developed a window blind specifically for inpatient psychiatric and other patient care environments with high-risk patients. Standard window treatments in a psychiatric setting require curtain tracks and curtains, which presents safety concerns for patients. This window blind allows healthcare facilities to retrofit any window, easily remove them as needed to accommodate high-risk patients, and can be easily wiped down in between patients.
  3. Caregiver’s Artbox (Julie Mader), located in McKean County, is a subscription-based service that supports individuals working in a home-care setting, or other health professionals within care communities to help spread joy, a sense of purpose, and a feeling of well-being to seniors. The Caregiver’s Artbox delivers engaging art lessons for physical and cognitive abilities, using quality supplies and helpful video instructions designed by experienced artists in health.
  4. CiviLink (Ben Kafferlin and Lisa Hagberg), located in Warren County, offers a unique, first-of-its-kind software package that streamlines procedures, maintains legal compliance, and enhances operational efficiency for government entities and public-sector employees on an intuitive, customizable platform.
  5. Hoffman Appalachian Farm (Joshua Brock), located in Elk County, is a small hops farm producing both fresh and processed hops and grains for breweries and micro-breweries in the PA Wilds region.
  6. TAT Technologies (Harb Nayar and Kyle Pond), located in Elk County, created a tabletop “oven” that uses heat, humidity, and high velocity, turbulent airflow to disinfect, decontaminate, or sterilize masks, plastic tools like syringes, and stainless-steel tools used in normal medical, dental, and operational practices.
  7. White Cane Coffee, (Robert Willman) located in Warren County is bringing sustainability and more economical manufacturing to a multi-use pod-based hot drink brewing system. Created as a PA Wilds regional product – White Cane Coffee’s reusable bag just needs hot water for a quick on-the-go cup; perfect for busy people and those who are conscientiously reducing their ecological footprint.
  8. Wright Monumental (Kelly Platko), Located in McKean County, will install a Model J Automatic Sandblaster, on their present manual sandblasting booth that will allow for the constant motion of automatic sandblasting versus manual sandblasting by an operator.  This creates a more consistent sandblast, which provides better performance on the final product.



Our Sponsors


Sign Me Up

Be the First to Know Training, Events, and Specials.
Learn about scheduled training?
Do you need additional support or resources?