Two startups win $10,000 in prizes at pitch competition

June 05, 2017

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Six technology startups presented their business ideas before a panel of judges and their peers with the hopes of winning up to $10,000 in prizes from Ben Franklin Technology Partners on May 23 at Innovation Park.

In the end, the prize was split between two startups. Simplr received $7,500 for its software that helps people create beautiful and impressive photos, and First Pick received $2,500 for its app that allows users to find, join and organize pick-up sports games.

All of the startups graduated from Ben Franklin’s TechCelerator@StateCollege program, a pre-accelerator held three times a year. Each startup presented a six-minute company overview and answered panelist questions for five minutes.

“Over 10 weeks, this cohort came a long way by assessing market demand, adjusting product features and business models, and forging ahead. Ben Franklin sees this as a valuable part of the startup process in order to come up with a sustainable model that leads to a viable business, economic growth and employment opportunities,” said Don McCandless, director of the TechCelerator.

This spring’s class was comprised of Penn State professors, graduate students, undergraduates and community members. The six startup graduates were:

FirstPick — a mobile application on iOS and Android that allows users to find, join and organize pick-up sports games near them. Based on user adoption from the pick-up sports app, First Pick will help sporting facilities increase their utilization.

KNN Software Associates — a patient portal (PP) website that fetches patient’s health records from various EHR systems using an industry standard and presents all the health records in one place. The customers are health care providers and insurance companies, who are interested in streamlining their operations. For an annual subscription fee, they can incorporate the patient portal into their Health Information Technology (HIT) system.

LB Diagnostics — a blood test aiming to transform clinical cancer care with liquid biopsy. A liquid biopsy using samples such as blood, saliva and urine can offer a minimally-invasive approach for clinical patient care.

Medical Mirror — a case to hold vital medical information for the elderly during hospitalizations. Medical Mirror is also designed to assist with the treatment of delirium, which is experienced by 89 percent of the elderly who have dementia when they are hospitalized. When elderly patients are hospitalized, vital medical information is often unavailable, which leads to medical complications like over medication, allergic reactions, falls and extended lengths of stay. Delirium is often overlooked and mistreated. The care of the elderly is compromised because essentials like eyeglasses, dentures and hearing aids are lost while in the medical system. 

Simplr — an automatic image analysis software to help people create beautiful and impressive photos. Existing software tools are often time-consuming and require the user to have photography. Simplr’s artificial intelligence software products bypass these requirements and help users easily and quickly compose better pictures. 

Visionese — a virtual reality (VR) company that creates customized VR solutions for businesses to best showcase their physical space and interact with their potential customers in an innovative way.

About Invent Penn State

Invent Penn State is a Commonwealth-wide initiative to spur economic development, job creation and student career success. Invent Penn State blends entrepreneurship-focused academic programs, business startup training and incubation, funding for commercialization, and University-community collaborations to facilitate the challenging process of turning research discoveries into valuable products and services that benefit Pennsylvanians and humankind.

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Last Updated June 07, 2017