Gannon University’s Erie Technology Incubator Hosts BIG IDEA Contest Training

ETI ExteriorPosted: May 29, 2013

Six finalists for the Ben Franklin BIG IDEA Business Plan Contest will participate in a day of entrepreneurial training on Thursday, May 30 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Erie Technology Incubator (ETI) located on the Gannon University campus.

The contest, run by the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Central and Northern Pennsylvania, is for entrepreneurs looking to start their businesses. The training event at ETI precedes judging that will take place later this summer in Erie at a date and location to be determined.

The six finalists are vying for a grand prize that includes the following:

  • $35,000;

  • six months of residence at the Erie Technology Incubator at Gannon University (;

  • one year free tuition for classes/seminars offered by the eMarketing Learning Center;

  • and a free, five-hour consult on intellectual property (IP) from Attorney Jonathan D'Silva with the Erie law firm, MacDonald, Illig, Jones, & Britton.

The morning session of entrepreneurial training, led and facilitated by Jeff Parnell, the interim executive director at ETI, will cover advanced business plan development. The afternoon's topic will focus on making successful pitch presentations offered by Jill Edwards, the executive director of Ben Franklin's Venture Investment Training Forum.

The contest finalists include: Direct Allergy (Robert Schultz, CEO), Adaptmicrosys LLC (Kyu Jung, Ph.D., president), reCAP Mason Jars (Karen Rzepecki, founder), LLC (Stephen Kovacs, CEO), Advanced Power Control Solutions LLC (Christopher Abeyta, CEO), and CNG One Source, Inc. (Karen Teslovich, president).

  • Direct Allergy - Robert Schultz/CEO - providing a turnkey service to primary-care doctors for testing, diagnosis, and treatment of patients, especially those in underserved rural areas, who suffer from allergies. 
  • Adaptmicrosys LLC - Kyu Jung, Ph.D./president - 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 - Karen Rzepecki/founder - 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. reCAP was the 2011 winner of the InnovationErieDesign Competition.*
  • LLC - Stephen Kovacs/CEO - has developed a unique model that provides the expertise of three medical specialists to be offered as an online medical service.
  • Advanced Power Control Solutions LLC - Christopher Abeyta/CEO - Developed an innovative coal/natural gas hybrid burner technology that allows compliance with EPA requirements and increases power output from existing coal-fired power generation facilities that are prevalent in Pennsylvania.
  • CNG One Source, Inc. - Karen Teslovich/President - Manufactures natural gas engines for diesel trucks and installs conversions for gas powered fleet vehicles.

*Denotes company is an Erie Technology Incubator client.

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


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.


For more information about Ben Franklin, contact its Erie office in Knowledge Park at 814-898-6650 or visit For more information about ETI, call 814-459-6037 or visit