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Hey what's the BIG IDEA? Ben Franklin's business plan contest is open

Got a big idea for a tech-based startup in Northwest Pennsylvania? Here's a chance to win $35,000 to develop it further. 
 
Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Central and Northern PA  is once again sponsoring its BIG IDEA business plan contest,  with the $35,000 grand prize awarded to one entrepreneur or tech-based startup to further develop and grow a business.
 
To be eligible, you must:
 
• Be located in Erie, Clarion, Crawford, Mercer, Venango, Warren, or Forest counties;
• Have a new, marketable tech-business idea that includes a commercialization plan;
• Have no significant sales if a product has already been developed;
• Have less than 50 employees if a company has been formed;
• Never received previous BFTP funding.
 
Examples of applicable industry sectors include, but are not limited to, green technologies, alternative energy, advanced manufacturing and materials, medical devices, information technology, software and nanotechnology. 
 
Erie's Advanced Insurance Products & Services took the prize last year to further develop an advanced predictive model, developed through a proprietary platform that enables insurance providers to bring usage-based insurance products to market in substantially less time. 
 
At the time, CEO Jeff Stempora said, “Preparing for this contest really helped us hone our message as we move forward with our sales and marketing efforts."
 
Time is now to think big: the contest deadline is 5pm, April 19. Final judging is set for June 21.
 
Source: BFTP/CNP
Writer: Elise Vider
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