Three companies rose to the top during the second of three planned Big Idea Contests in the PA Wilds region. One thing they all share: A commitment to community and doing good, whether that's through a piece of handmade art, a cup of coffee, or a software program.
The second of three planned Big Idea Contests in this vast, beautiful region is accepting applications, and there's a whole network of people working hard to make sure local innovators earn a shot at the $50,000 prize.
For years, factories and mills anchored PA communities large and small. The question of what to do with these beautiful, historic buildings is an essential one, and there is no single answer. In Johnstown, metalwork has returned to a shuttered steel facility, while in the Poconos, a new generation of residents are setting up laptops and sipping lattes in an old silk mill.
Two innovative companies emerged victorious from the pitch competition, earning an infusion of cash to build their businesses. The winners represent very different sectors, demonstrating the dynamicism of the region's entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Whether you're a gardener with an herbal remedy, a woodworker with a brilliant flooring solution, or a scientist with an accidental discovery, transforming an idea into a business is a major challenge. Fortunately, if you live in the PA Wilds, you don't have to do it alone — there is a wealth of funding and support, if you know where to look.
The city's first Black-owned coffee shop is led by an ambitious young entrepreneur who is already eyeing expansion and growing his wholesale bean business. He created Good Brotha's Book Café as a community gathering place for locals of all stripes.
In the latest episode of our podcast series, we chatted with Ta Enos about returning to her hometown in the PA Wilds and dedicating her career to helping the region thrive, one business at a time. We've also got information on an exciting opportunity for local entrepreneurs.