TechCelerator Participants Showcase Businesses at Closing Presentations

After completing their ten-week cohort in the TechCelerator at Lackawanna County program, participants from seven technology start-ups recently shared valuable insights into their business plans. The pitches were presented to an audience of local funders, coordinators, dignitaries, and supporters at Penn State Scranton’s state-of-the-art Engineering Building on Tuesday, December 5, 2023. In recognition of their efforts, each participating business was awarded up to $10,000 from Lackawanna County to fuel their future business growth.

The seven showcased start-ups: I Need A Speaker, The Brain Trust, Washboard, NEPA Lifestyle, RentChexx, STAIPUT, and KX Arms unveiled upcoming products and services spanning a speaker connection hub, local destination discovery platform, property management solutions, and on-demand laundry services.

Bob Durkin, president of The Greater Scranton Chamber, expressed his satisfaction, sharing, “Collaborating with other sponsors for the TechCelerator program has expanded our initiatives to support and nurture local entrepreneurs through our Ignite program, seamlessly transitioning these emerging firms into our robust business development incubator sites.” Ken Okrepkie, regional manager of Ben Franklin Technology Partners, added, “The Lackawanna County TechCelerator program, designed to assist early adapting entrepreneurs in shaping their ideas into viable businesses, has undeniably been a success.”

The TechCelerator Program is a partnership between Lackawanna County, The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, IGNITE, Ben Franklin Technology Partners, and tecBRIDGE.

Ben Franklin Technology Partners Invests in IGNITE Client

The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s (BFTP_NEPA) board of directors has approved the investment of $252,500 in support of regional economic development. Five companies from BFTP_NEPA’s 21-county service area received funding. Investments identified as a continuation project indicates that the client achieved pre-determined milestones and is receiving more funding to accomplish additional project work.

BFTP_NEPA announced the early-stage company investment of the GUIDE, IGNITE client of The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce.

GUIDE, Scranton Enterprise Center, Scranton, Lackawanna County

Ben Franklin Investment: $100,000 Complete the development of a new version of GUIDE’s mobile application and commercialize the app to organizations including mid-sized corporations, first responders, and veteran groups. GUIDE provides a wellness and mental health Software-as-a-Service mobile app. The app combines daily, micro-learning practices with a peer support community to improve mental and emotional well-being and provide personal, professional, and community development.

Lackawanna College President Named to Ben Franklin Technology Partners Board

Lackawanna College President Dr. Jill Murray has been selected as a member of the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/NEP) Board of Directors. BFTP/NEP has led tech-based economic growth in the region for more than 35 years.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to serve on the Ben Franklin Technology Partners Board of Directors,” said Dr. Murray. “The appointment is an honor and I look forward to collaborating with this innovative organization to support our local economy and encourage the growth of new businesses within our region.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Jill Murray to our board,” said Angelo J. Valletta, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania. “Her deep experience and thoughtful perspectives will be a great asset to our organization.”

Dr. Jill Murray became the ninth and first female president of Lackawanna College on July 1, 2020. Prior to serving as president, Dr. Murray served as the College’s executive vice president and chief innovation officer from 2012 to July 1, 2020. From 2008-2012, she operated as the College’s vice president of academic affairs, where she was responsible for developing and overseeing all of Lackawanna College’s academic curricula.

During her time at Lackawanna, Dr. Murray has helped double the student population, increased student retention and graduation rates, expanded online learning options, and lead the creation of academic programming and support services. She also implemented a strategic planning process at the College.

Dr. Murray is the catalyst behind Lackawanna College’s successful esports program, one of NEPA’s first programs of its kind. Dr. Murray also assisted with the formation of the award-winning Level Up program, which allows high school students to affordably begin their college education and potentially complete an associate degree by high school graduation. Due to the success of the Level Up program, Lackawanna College was named one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies in 2021 by Fast Company.