A pair of crime fighters took prizes Thursday night at the Second Annual Lehigh Valley Collegiate Business Pitch Summit.
Falchion Systems based at East Stroudsburg University took the top prize and will receive $2,000 for its cyber security platform system.
The system aims to alleviate downtime, minimize the impact of malware payloads and counter web-based social engineering system attacks.
“About 53 percent of email is spam that can cause [a malicious] attack,” said Zach Waldman, Falchion Systems CEO.
Waldman, 20, of Mechanicsburg, is a junior at East Stroudsburg majoring in computer science, cyber security and math. Waldman’s Falchion partner, Junior Nick Neely, 21, also from Mechanicsburg, was unable to attend.
Runner up Soterra from Lehigh University will receive $1,000. Soterra whose name is a merging of the names of the Greek goddesses of safety and land is a team of undergraduate engineering students creating a discrete, low cost, compact emergency device to help protect women from being attacked without the need for a Smartphone or internet services.
“Students [tonight] are pitching new businesses and striking out on their own. My advice is get a job,” said Wayne Barz, manager of entrepreneurial services at the Ben Franklin Technology Partners.
Barz said working for a large dynamic company embracing innovation and being part of that structure would help them better understand what it means to be an entrepreneur.
“Spend time with the people…listen more than you speak and understand how customers make purchasing decisions,” Barz said.
Teams from Lehigh Carbon Community College, Northampton Community College, Lafayette College and Muhlenberg College also pitched their services or app products ranging from restaurant services apps connecting small businesses to potential consumers using a GPS system to a pro bono legal virtual network platform to provide services to lawyers helping refugees in the field.
Lehigh Valley Tech hosted the event at Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania in its building at Lehigh University.
Six finalists pitched their ideas in 10 minutes intervals before a panel of three judges.
This year’s judges were Eric Luftig, vice president at Victaulic; Mike Rice, vice president of marketing at Follett Corp., and Anthony Durante, program manager for Bridgeworks Enterprise Center at the Allentown Economic Development Center.