TechCelerator at State College announces Business Startup Boot Camp winners

May 25, 2017

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — On Tuesday, May 23, the Ben Franklin TechCelerator@State College awarded cash prizes to two graduates of its latest Business Startup Boot Camp.  Six local entrepreneurs, who had been attending the Tuesday evening sessions for the past 10 weeks, made pitches to a three-member team of judges based on the market they planned to enter, the problem their product or service would solve, and how their idea can make money for them and future investors. 

The event was held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in the Technology Center, located at 200 Innovation Blvd. on Penn State’s University Park campus, and attracted a standing-room-only crowd of potential startups and investors. 

The winners were James Wang and Jia Li, with Simplr, who are developing fully automatic image analysis software to help people who are inexperienced in photography create beautiful and impressive photographs; and Farabi Sameer, with First Pick, who is developing a mobile application that allows users to find, join and organize pick-up sports events near them.

Other presenters included:

  • LB Diagnostics, Simon He – Developing a liquid biopsy method that offers a minimally invasive approach for clinical patient care by using samples of blood, saliva and urine.
  • KNN Software Associates, Kaivan Kamali — Developing a patient portal (PP) website that incorporates patient's health records from various EHR systems and houses them in one location.
  • Medical Mirror, Paula Mulhall — Developing a method for holding vital medical information for elderly patients while hospitalized.
  • Visionese, Tim Ko — Visionese is a virtual reality (VR) company that creates customized VR solutions for businesses to best showcase their physical space and an innovative way to interact with their potential customers.

“For the past 10 weeks, all the participants have been going through an intensive customer discovery process,” said Don McCandless, director of the TechCelerator. “Our program is rigorous and we consider everyone who gets to this point a winner. I’d like to applaud the collective effort and congratulate both of our winners.”   

TechCelerator is a partnership among several of the area’s economic development providers that offers budding entrepreneurs designated space, loan and investment programs, business support and mentoring services, and entrepreneurial training — all housed in one location. For more information, visit

Ben Franklin Technology Partners/CNP, an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and funded by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority, provides investment capital, operational assistance, and entrepreneurial support to emerging tech-based companies and small, existing manufacturers for the purpose of creating and retaining jobs in Pennsylvania.

  • The logo of the TechCelerator@State College
    IMAGE: Penn State
Last Updated May 26, 2017