Gannon University’s Technology Business Accelerator Business Pitch Winner Takes Home $10,000
Posted: November 1, 2014
The winner of Gannon University's Technology Business
Accelerator business pitch event went home with a $10,000 check,
along with six months of residency, coaching and strategic
mentoring from the Erie Technology Incubator this morning.
The winning entrepreneur, Jack Barton, is the first recipient of
this award and prize through the Integrated Business Transformation
program's inaugural Technology Business Accelerator. Barton, who
owns the Roast Assured @ Out of the Grey Coffee House Cafe in
Fairview, Pa., received the grant after successfully pitching his
idea to develop online software that will enable customers to
create unique, personalized coffee and tea blends. He and 11 other
entrepreneurs presented their concepts and businesses to a panel of
five judges during the last class meeting of the first Accelerator
program, which concluded on Wednesday evening.
Jeff Parnell, executive director of the Erie Technology
Incubator at Gannon University, said, "Jack's five-minute pitch
accentuated his vision to create a software solution that combines
his coffee market expertise with strategic 'mass customization'
thinking. His new business will leverage technology and enable
coffee connoisseurs to efficiently create their own customized
blends. He achieved tremendous progress during our eight-week
program, and his passion to create a differentiated business that
expands his customer base far beyond northwest Pennsylvania really
resonated with the judges."
The four finalists, who also included Chris Firment
(Skunkwirkz, LLC), Fran DiSanti (Santi, LLC), and Susan and Dale
Hofius (Rail Ryder, LLC), were revealed Wednesday evening and were
also recognized at today's event.
Three additional Accelerator training opportunities will be
available to participants beginning in early 2015, and applications
are being accepted online here.
The Accelerator integrates resources from Gannon's College of
Engineering and Business, Small Business Development Center, and
Erie Technology Incubator, and was created to give participating
entrepreneurs an opportunity to test a new concept, idea or line of
business through the support of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development's Discovered in PA,
Developed in PA (D2PA) program, which was established by Gov. Tom Corbett
in 2011 to build capacity to support Pennsylvania businesses and to
spur creativity and innovation in the provision of economic
development services. Last fiscal year, the D2PA program supported
initiatives tied to growing life sciences, advanced
manufacturing, business incubators, and education, workforce and
economic opportunity collaborations.