HARRISBURG, Pa. — The winners of the Penn State Harrisburg Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Idea Test Lab final pitch competition have been announced. Held this spring, the final pitch followed an intensive five-week startup course for University and community entrepreneurs which focused on the customer discovery process, in which participants validated the customer problems they hope to solve with their proposed business ideas.
Seven entrepreneurs competed for up to $2500 in funding to use for additional customer research and further product development.
1st place – “Fantography,” by Eric Reichert, Carl Richter, Trevor Robinson – a peer-to-peer race photography sharing app, for more race photo options at better prices ($2500).
2nd place – “Firgũn,” by Danielle Spriggs – an app for browsing and locating formal dress styles and sizes in your area, that makes finding the perfect dress easier ($1500).
3rd place – “Quvits,” by Keith Landis – a quantitative financial tool for life decisions, making such decisions more informed and less risky ($500).
Best presentation – “reUse,” by Zachary Monnier – a tool sharing app that makes access to tools more convenient and less costly ($500).
First place winner Trevor Robinson said, "We were fortunate to have the opportunity to go through and complete the Idea Test Lab. It assisted us in testing assumptions, getting to know our target customers better, and provided support along the journey. We now have a solid framework, data points, and a bigger network which will assist us in testing the next phase in our process."
Judges for the competition included Sara Love, director of Catamaran; Leland Nelson, president and founder of Dirty Dog Hauling Pennsylvania; and Layla Pomper, founder of InkBale: Office Systems and Training in Central PA.
Tim Ritter, vice president of Universal Protective Packaging in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, served as coach for the TestLab.
Annie Hughes, director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, led the event.
The TestLab was sponsored by Penn State Harrisburg’s School of Business Administration and 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 can benefit Pennsylvanians and humankind.