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Entrepreneur Pitch

October 25, 2023

Presented by

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StartUp Lehigh Valley is a pitch competition for entrepreneurs designed to showcase innovation happening in our community and support the next generation of local business leaders.

The 2023 StartUp Lehigh Valley competition will be hosted by:
Laura McHugh and Bo Koltnow



Wednesday, October 25, 2023; 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM
Join us at Factory LLC
315 Columbia St. Bethlehem, PA 18015


Broadcast live on WFMZ-TV 69News from Factory LLC. Join us in-person at Factory, watch the broadcast on WFMZ, or stream on YouTube or Facebook!


The three top winners take home a slice of up to $33,000 in prizes awarded!

Grand Prize: $20,000
1st Runner Up: $3,000
2nd Runner Up: $2,000

Ben Franklin Award: $5,000
Click here for more information about Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania

Penn State Lehigh Valley Launchbox Awards:
NEW! $3,000 Founders Award
(3 )$500 Boost Awards.

Lehigh Ventures Lab Award: Six months of direct support to meet a meaningful business milestone.

Audience Choice Award: $1,000

All participants get connected with Lehigh Valley LaunchBox’s resources for startup businesses, including legal advice, marketing resources, mentors, grant funding opportunities, and more! You’ll be pitching your company in front of local business leaders, investors, and community leaders and will have the opportunity to network before and after the main event.



How It Works

Seven entrepreneurs will each have two minutes to pitch their products to a panel of judges. Afterwards, the judges will have two minutes to ask questions. After all contestants have pitched, the judges will select the winners. The audience will also vote for an Audience Choice Award.

How to Apply

All startup founders and entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply. Products and companies in any industry are welcome. Your company does not need to be established in order to participate (though preference will be given to companies that are up and running), but at least have a prototype/product available for the judges to evaluate.

The StartUp Lehigh Valley committee will review applications and invite seven startups to participate.

The application is now closed. Applicants who are chosen will be notified. Good luck to all! 

Join Us!

Interested in watching the action live and in person here at Factory?
Tickets are now available! 


The Judges

Sue Yee is the founder and CEO of Active Data.

Giana Jarrah is the founder of Meraki Co. and grand prize winner 2022 + Ben Franklin Tech Award Winner.

Rich Thompson serial entrepreneur and is the founder of Factory LLC.

George Lewis Senior Assistant to the President and CEO, LVEDC – Supporting LVEDC objectives for business attraction and retention, talent strategies, and marketing economic assets.

Past Winners


Grand Prize Winner
Giana Jarrah
With Meraki Co

1st Runner Up
Katy and Gwen
Beckon Ice Cream

2nd Runner Up
Sarah Beth Gleeson

LaunchBox Boost Awards
Jake Deleon
Fila Manila

Sarah Beth Gleeson

Steel City Motorsports

Kick Butt Award
Lehigh University 

Ben Franklin Award
Giana Jarrah
With Meraki Co

Audience Choice Award
Sarah Beth Gleeson


Nicole Chinnici

1st Runner Up
Amberlee Veni
Pippy Sips

LaunchBox Boost Awards
Nicol Cancelmo
DN Organics

Jonathan Grossman

Kenneth Keitt


Justin Gelwicks
WoodGoods Lacrosse

1st Runner Up
Jonathan Epstein
Salamander Reservoir

2nd Runner Up
Wesley Hart
Mantis 3D Printer


Matt Bilsky
FLX Solutions


Who is eligible to enter?

Entrepreneurs and founders of startups are eligible to participate. You must also be 18 or older to apply to pitch.

Does my company need to be up and running to enter?

No, but we recommennd you at least have a prototype of your product available for the judges to evaluate. However, preference will be given to businesses that have already launched or are actively working towards a launch.

Can I attend the event if I’m not pitching?

Yes, we will post registration info closer to the event date.

Where is the event located?

StartUp Lehigh Valley is hosted by Factory, at our innovation center in south Bethlehem.

Are there rules for how I can use the prize money?

Prize money must be used for costs associated with advancing your business, and you will need to provide receipts.

Startup Lehigh Valley