Ben Franklin Technology Partners Announces $100,000 Big Idea Business Plan Contest

Released on: October 22, 2008, 1:40 pm

Press Release Author: Altitude Marketing

Industry: Small Business

Press Release Summary: Ben Franklin Announces 100K Business Plan Contest

Press Release Body: State College, PA -October 2, 2008 - The Ben Franklin Venture
Investment Forum (BFVIF) in conjunction with the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of
Central and Northern PA (BFTP) announces the Big Idea Business Plan Contest. The
grand prize of $100,000 will be awarded to one technology-oriented company start or
further develop the business in Pennsylvania.

This grand prize represents a four-fold increase from previous Big Idea contests and
reinforces BFTP's long-standing commitment to fueling the Commonwealth's technology

Interested entrepreneurs can visit for rules, entry
forms, and FAQs. The deadline for applications is December 17, 2008.

"We are very pleased to partner with the Venture Investment Forum to co-sponsor
this Business Plan Contest. Helping to develop and support entrepreneurial
activity is at the very core of the Ben Franklin mission," said Stephen Brawley,
President and CEO of Ben Franklin Technology Partners/CNP.

"We are always proud of the folks who participate in our contests and, of course, of
those who win. But we've come to learn that everyone in the Commonwealth wins when
we support the efforts of those who are willing to take the first step to becoming
business owners," Brawley said.

Dr. Patrick Farrell, President and CEO of Forward Vision and a previous Big Idea
contest winner, praised the concept as a great initiative for both budding
entrepreneurs and established business owners.

"New business start-ups require funds, of course," Farrell said, "so winning the
contest was great! But we also need guidance afterwards. The Ben Franklin group has
been an extremely responsive in providing this support to our small rural
Pennsylvania company -- a small company with large aspirations."

To qualify for the contest, entrepreneurs must have a new marketable business idea,
less than $500,000 in sales in year-to-date 2008 and less than $500,000 for the full
year 2007, fewer than 50 employees in 2007 and 2008, and not received previous BFTP
funding for their business. Preferred industry sectors include, but are not limited
to, nanotechnology, green technologies, alternative energy, advanced manufacturing,
advanced materials, medical devices, information technology and software.

Additionally, applicants must have business operations or the willingness to start a
business in any one of the 32 participating counties in the Central and Northern
Pennsylvania region. These counties include: Adams, Bedford, Blair, Cambria,
Cameron, Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Crawford, Cumberland, Dauphin, Elk,
Erie, Forest, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Indiana, Jefferson, Juniata, Lancaster,
Lebanon, McKean, Mercer, Mifflin, Perry, Potter, Somerset, Venango, Warren and York.

"The Big Idea Business Plan Contest gives entrepreneurs the impetus to finalize
their business plans and receive feedback from the judges, in addition to the
monetary prize," said Jill Edwards, Executive Director of BFVIF. "We are delighted
when we are able to award the prize money to a company with not only vision but a
demonstrated, solid plan for commercializing their technology."

About Ben Franklin Technology Partners
Ben Franklin Technology Partners CNP provides operational assistance,
entrepreneurial support, and investment capital to emerging tech-based companies and
small, existing manufacturers for the purpose of creating and retaining jobs in
Pennsylvania. Contact the main office of Ben Franklin in University Park at (814)
863-4559 or see our website at
In 2008, BFTP was awarded the U.S. Economic Development Administration's Excellence
in Economic Development Award and the International Economic Development Council
Technology-Based Economic Development Award.

Ben Franklin Technology Partners is an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of
Community and Economic Development and is funded by the Ben Franklin Technology
Development Authority. For more information visit

Media Contact:
Jill Edwards
Executive Director
Ben Franklin Venture Investment Forum
1010 N. Seventh St., Suite 307
Harrisburg, PA 17102
(717) 948-6625
(717) 772-3594 fax

Web Site:

Contact Details: Gwen Hoover
Director of Public Relations
Altitude Marketing
610-421-8601 phone
610-216-1484 mobile

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