Organizers are gearing up for the second annual StartUp Lehigh Valley, which will be hosted – virtually –by Bethlehem-based food, beverage and pet industry incubator, The Factory LLC.
Entrepreneurs from throughout Pennsylvania are being invited to submit entries for their business ideas to compete in a virtual pitch competition.
The purpose of the event is to continue to position the Lehigh Valley as the innovation hub of the East Coast by bringing together local business leaders, angel investors, industry experts, merchants, higher education representatives, students, community members and entrepreneurs.
“With the support of the local community, we believe that the Lehigh Valley is positioned to be in alignment with Austin, TX or Boulder, CO—cities that are currently hotbeds for entrepreneurial start-ups,” said Richard Thompson, managing partner at Factory LLC and former CEO of Freshpet. “We chose the name StartUp Lehigh Valley for this event to signify that it is truly inclusive of everyone in the Lehigh Valley community.”
The event will include a virtual pitch competition in which Lehigh Valley entrepreneurs, and start-up founders will present their business ideas to the local community and panel of judges.
Ten finalists will be chosen out of the submissions.
“We are looking for the 10 most exciting Lehigh Valley entrepreneurs,” said Thompson.
The finalists will have the opportunity to pitch for two minutes at StartUp Lehigh Valley Virtual.
A total of $10,000 will be awarded by Penn State Lehigh Valley Launchbox.
The virtual audience will be judging the pitches via a smartphone application and will decide the “Audience Award” for the best entrepreneur pitch.
“The Lehigh Valley is situated in a wonderful location to be a center of innovation. We have easy access to major airports in New York and Philadelphia, great distribution centers, good manufacturing opportunities and wonderful local colleges and universities where we’ve found a lot of bright talent to intern at Factory,” Thompson said. “What we need to do is organize all of these local assets into attracting more and more entrepreneurs and angel investors to grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the Lehigh Valley.”
The virtual event, which will be held Nov. 18, is being organized by the Factory, Penn State Lehigh Valley Launchbox and JPMorgan Chase & Co.
All interested entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply by October 28th. For more information visit startuplehighvalley.com.