Are you an entrepreneur with a great idea or simply love the frenzy of a shark tank competition? Apply to compete in or register to attend the second annual StartUp Lehigh Valley Pitch Competition presented by Factory, LLC and Penn State Lehigh Valley LaunchBox. JPMorgan Chase & Co is also an event sponsor. Ten entrepreneurs will be selected to pitch their business for a chance to win money. Penn State Lehigh Valley’s business accelerator, Lehigh Valley LaunchBox will award a total of $10,000 in prize money.
This virtual event, hosted by Factory, LLC., an investor and operator for food, beverage and pet health companies, will be held from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Nov. 18.
StartUp Lehigh Valley will include a virtual pitch competition where Lehigh Valley entrepreneurs will present to a panel of judges. The virtual audience will judge the pitches via a smartphone application and decide the Audience Award for best pitch while the judges will determine who wins the rest of the awards. Ten entrepreneurs will be selected to participate through an application process. To apply, submit the StartUp Lehigh Valley application form by Nov. 6.
The top winners will be awarded monetary prizes from event sponsor, Penn State Lehigh Valley LaunchBox, and connect to the extensive Factory and LaunchBox network of resources. Through Lehigh Valley LaunchBox, entrepreneurs gain access to Penn State Entrepreneur Assistance Law Clinic, Penn State Intellectual Property Law Clinic, business accelerator programs, mentoring, advisory services and networking resources as well as free co-working space at Velocity, a City Center property in Allentown.
“Entrepreneurs have long been the backbone of our economy – and our workforce. More recently however, the global impact and forced pivots of the pandemic clearly demonstrated how important their ability to think differently, to problem solve and boldly forge new ground is in our rapidly evolving world. It’s why we formed LaunchBox five years ago and doubled down on our commitment to foster innovation within our community and students through its massive network of resources and our partnership with Factory,” said Tina Q. Richardson, chancellor, Penn State Lehigh Valley. “Beyond a monetary reward, the StartUp Lehigh Valley contest offers a forum for aspiring entrepreneurs to help their ideas gain exposure and traction. We’re excited to be part of this Shark-tank inspired event that’s sure to impress!”
The event is designed to position the Lehigh Valley as the innovation hub of the East Coast by bringing entrepreneurs, local business leaders, angel investors, industry experts, merchants, higher education representatives, students and community members together.
“With the support of the local community, we believe that the Lehigh Valley is positioned to be in alignment with Austin, Texas, or Boulder, Colorado -- cities that are currently hotbeds for entrepreneurial start-ups,” said Richard Thompson, managing partner at Factory LLC. and former CEO of Freshpet. “We chose the name StartUp Lehigh Valley for this event to signify that it is truly inclusive of everyone in the Lehigh Valley community.”
“As our firm continues to grow in the Lehigh Valley, we couldn’t be more proud to support Factory’s StartUp event,” said Susan Youngs, relationship executive for JPMorgan Chase Commercial Banking. “JPMorgan Chase has a strong commitment to small businesses and entrepreneurs as they generate jobs, create diverse communities and are vital to prosperous cities. It’s our pleasure to help shine a spotlight on local entrepreneurs.”