APCS Wins Big Idea Contest, Expanding Through Gannon’s ETI

ETI Big Idea WinnersPosted: July 31, 2013

(left to right): Gannon Professor Yong-Kyu Jung (Adaptmicrosys president), Tom Woodward (APCS president), Karen Rzepecki (reCAP Mason Jars, founder)


Advanced Power Control Solutions LLC (APCS), which joined GannonUniversity's Erie Technology Incubator (ETI) in June, won the Ben Franklin Technology Partners BIG IDEA Business Plan Contest for Northwest Pennsylvania. The announcement of the winning submission to the contest was made Wednesday at Knowledge Park in Erie.

APCS was one of six finalists and will receive a $35,000 cash prize from Ben Franklin, six months of residency at the Erie Technology Incubator, one year free tuition for classes/seminars offered by the eMarketing Learning Center, and a free, five-hour consult on intellectual property from Attorney Jonathan D'Silva a partner in the Erie-based firm MacDonald, Illig, Jones & Britton LLC.

In addition, two other finalists who are ETI clients each received $10,000 seed money from the Ben Franklin Technology Partners for their outstanding business plan presentations.

They are Adaptmicrosys, whose president is Gannon University Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering Yong-Kyu Jung, Ph.D., and reCAP Mason Jars, whose founder is 1994 Gannon alumna Karen Rzepecki. 


APCS holds the international rights to two proprietary technologies that provide significant benefits to coal-fired power plants, allowing them to displace 30-40 percent of the coal they burn with cleaner natural gas or natural gas liquids. APCS modifies the plant's existing coal burners through a cost-effective retrofit process providing the utility with significant competitive advantage and reduced plant downtime. APCS was formed in 2013 and the Erie office, with close proximity to the coal-producing region, will be its second location in addition to one in Scottsdale, Ariz. 

"The award is opening up a tremendous opportunity for us," said APCS President Tom Woodward. "It's important to us as a young company that we connect with ETI and Ben Franklin and open up contacts with decision-makers and other resources that will make a huge difference in the trajectory of our company.

"We are appreciative for the folks who are making this opportunity for us. We are excited that Erie is going to be the place where we launch and we're hoping that our impact is made in the city, state, region and globally."

Adaptmicrosys is a leading-edge, adaptive semiconductor company that provides higher energy savings, more efficiency, and greatly increased performance in a variety of smart-connected devices.

reCAP Mason Jars, the manufacturer and Amazon top-seller of high-quality plastic caps for Mason jars, is developing an app that caters to those interested in using Mason jars for creative uses.

The Erie Technology Incubator at Gannon University is northwestern Pennsylvania's only technology incubator. It provides early-stage, high-growth technology-based companies with office space, mentoring, strategic guidance and other resources.

"We appreciate our partnership with Ben Franklin and are pleased to congratulate these outstanding entrepreneurs," said ETI Executive Director Jeffrey Parnell. "These collaborations will not only help the companies, but also Gannon, the city of Erie, and the region."

Ben Franklin Technology Partners CNP, an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and funded by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority, provides investment capital and business support services to emerging tech-based companies and small, existing manufacturers for the purpose of creating and retaining jobs in Pennsylvania.