DuBois, PA – Watch as area Entrepreneurs pitch for up to $50,000 today (Thursday, Nov. 21) from 2 until 6 p.m. at the North Central PA LaunchBox! Come out and support these innovators, but stay for the fun, catered networking reception that follows.

These are local business people from our area of PA who plan on creating or expanding their businesses in in our community.

The BIG IDEA pitch events are attended by not only the friends and family of the presenters, but also community partners, local dignitaries, economic development professionals, other startups, and even potential investors.

Presentations start at 2 p.m. followed by networking at 5 p.m.

The winners will be announced at 6.

Listen to the full interview with Brad Lashinsky, North Central PA LaunchBox director.

Learn more at the Ben Franklin Institute BIG Idea website.

Dozens of people located in North Central Pennsylvania recently applied to Ben Franklin’s $50,000 BIG IDEA Contest. The eight companies moving forward in the contest will make a pitch presentation to a panel of local judges on Thursday, Nov. 21 at the North Central PA LaunchBox at the corner of East Long Avenue and South Brady Street in DuBois.

If you run across any of the folks listed below, be sure to offer your congratulations:

  • Jeff Billett with Billett Electric (Punxsutawney) is developing an equipotential grounding system for mobile operation to protect personnel and equipment from static and stray electricity.
  • Keith Billotte with Doing Time LLC (Clearfield) has developed an innovation in the process of distilling bourbon.
  • Peter Schramm with Lattus Inc. (Brookville) developed a platform that facilitates personal conversations about specific professional and personal topics to share insights, perspectives, and experiences.
  • Joe Lanich with Laughing Owl Press (Kane) is developing software that brings digital convenience to high-end letterpress printed products.
  • Daniel Meier with Lightdrop Harvest LLC (St. Marys) utilizes neural networks (artificial intelligence) in vision systems to inspect parts produced by the powdered metal industry.
  • Royce Novosel-Johnson with NoJo Forest Creations (Kane) is establishing alternative and creative uses for wood and wood-related products within the PA Wilds and Allegheny National Forest.
  • Harb Nayar with TAT Technologies (St. Marys) is developing a process that reduces thermal process cost and energy consumed.
  • David Conklin with Wilds Sonshine Factory (Kane) is distilling a new spirit derived from the sunflower plant grown solely in the PA Wilds Region!

In addition to the money, the winner will receive:

  • Access to seminars offered by Ben Franklin’s eMarketing Learning Center and the Clarion University Small Business Development Center
  • A free consult on applying for federal R&D grant money from the Innovation Partnership
  • Executive business and technology growth services assistance offered by the Northwest Industrial Resource Center


The new LaunchBox location was unveiled recently in a former bank building in Downtown DuBois. The Penn State DuBois and North Central Pennsylvania LaunchBox will allow entrepreneurs and businesses to work on planning, research and development, and networking.

Learn more about the Penn State DuBois LaunchBox program.

The building, which was used to be Commonwealth Bank and currently is also home to Aegis Coffee Roasters, will have an event center, co-working areas, offices, and classrooms.

According to Penn State DuBois, these are some of the things the LaunchBox program can offer to start-ups, entrepreneurs, and businesses:

  • Boot Camp/Accelerator
  • Business Consultant Services
  • Community Education Programs
  • Competitions
  • Co-Working Space
  • Event Space
  • Low-interest Lending
  • MakerSpace
  • Mentorship Programs
  • Micro-grant Programs
  • Product Development
  • Speaker Series
  • University Classrooms

A tour of the Penn State DuBois LaunchBox in Downtown DuBois with Brad Lashinsky

Posted by Connect FM on Thursday, 14 November 2019

The DuBois Chamber Business Connections luncheon, unveiling the Penn State DuBois LaunchBox

Posted by Connect FM on Thursday, 14 November 2019

Part 2. The DuBois Chamber Business Connections luncheon, unveiling the Penn State DuBois LaunchBox

Posted by Connect FM on Thursday, 14 November 2019