Posted On On: February 4, 2015 Categories Filed Under: Member News

ERIE, PA – More than 3,100 people have visited Ben Franklin’s landing page since we announced our latest $200,000 BIG IDEA Contest!  This year we targeted small manufacturers and entrepreneurs to encourage them to share their new, innovative product or process ideas, and the response was overwhelming.


“There’s a lot of entrepreneurial energy in this area,” said Stephen Brawley, Ben Franklin’s President and CEO.  “We had so many great applications, it was difficult to choose just a few finalists. It takes guts to put your ideas out there to be judged by strangers, and we applaud all who did. Those who did not make it into the finals, should feel free to contact Ben Franklin’s Erie office at 814-898-6650 if they want to pursue other options.”


This year’s finalists are:


Wei-Shin Lai with Acoustic Sheep, LLC

Zak Stahlsmith with ApexDrop Influence Marketing

Duane Clement with Data Inventions

Todd Scalise with Higherglyphics

Mary Jo Light with Integrated Machine Company

Fred Zeyfang with Plastic Innovations and Technologies

Harb Nayar with TAT Technologies.


The finalists will now be busy preparing presentations which will be made to a panel of independent judges in mid-April, with the winner being announced in May 2015.

About Ben Franklin Technology Partners:


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 funding, operational assistance, and entrepreneurial support to emerging tech-based companies and small, existing manufacturers for the purpose of creating and retaining jobs in Pennsylvania.  Contact the NW PA office of Ben Franklin in Knowledge Park, Erie, PA at (814) 898-6650 or see our website at