Joking that he must owe his college friends a lot of beer for supporting him, Richard Thompson, founder of Factory LLC in Bethlehem, announced Justin Gelwicks and his startup company, WoodGoods Lacrosse, as the winner of the second annual Startup Lehigh Valley competition.
With 200 votes, he was the top popular vote getter during the online competition.
Gelwicks, an integrated business and engineering student at Lehigh University, founded the wooden lacrosse stick manufacturer after being sideline from the game because of a concussion he received from being mugged.
He won $3,500 in funding from Penn State’s Launch Box to help grow his business as well as an additional $1,000 “Audience Award” for getting the most votes.
The other finalists were:
The second annual StartUp Lehigh Valley event, which was held virtually this year on Nov. 18, brought together local business leaders, angel investors, industry experts, merchants, higher education representatives, students, community members and entrepreneurs.
The event is geared to position the Lehigh Valley as the innovation hub of the East Coast.
Nov. 19 is National Entrepreneurs Day.