Awards Ceremony Honors Local Entrepreneurs
Local professionals and students gathered at the F.M. Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre for tecBRIDGE’s 20th Annual Business Plan Competition. The event on April 21 celebrated NEPA’s innovators with divisions for high school students, college students and early-stage entrepreneurs. Winning teams shared $25,000 in cash prizes and over $100,000 in in-kind services.
The evening began with a cocktail reception and voting for the Wild Card Award. Finalists presented their pitches, and attendees voted for their favorites using “tecBUCKS.”
The awards ceremony opened with an introduction from Michael G. Stanton, Master of Ceremonies and Market Manager at Bold Gold Media. Then, Alex Brunelle and Ted Brunelle, event co-chairs and winners of the first-ever Business Plan Competition, welcomed the audience.
The following winners were recognized during the ceremony:
Business Plan Competition Collegiate Division Award
All Belgium – Billy Berry and Toon De Schepper, Wilkes University
tecBRIDGE Education Partner of the Year Award
Mark Leffler, King’s College (retired)
Business Plan Competition Non-Collegiate Award
Showcase Daily – David Yeager and David Erlich
Business Plan Competition High School Division Award
Fistula Stimulator – Jacob Marinock and Kaitlyn Marley, Hazleton Area Academy of Sciences
McNally Mentor of the Year Award
Big Idea Essay Competition
Perla Villegas, Hazleton Area Academy of Sciences
Wild Card Winner
Smit Webster Cup
tecBRIDGE is a regional economic development organization that promotes entrepreneurship, innovation and the knowledge economy in NEPA. Over the past 20 years, more than 700 students and 200 aspiring entrepreneurs have participated in the Business Plan Competition. To learn more and get involved, you can visit their website and follow them on social media.