A local startup’s Big Idea has won $25,000 from Ben Franklin Technology Partners. Nina Jenkins of Penn State’s Department of Entomology and her business partner, Giovani Bellicanta, have developed a patent-pending, nontoxic, bio-pesticide that successfully removes and further prevents bed bug infestations in homes and hotel rooms.
Their company, ConidioTec, offers a natural, urban pest control product that with one application becomes an effective barrier for as many as four months. Current treatments typically require up to three applications and have no guarantee against re-infestation. It’s currently expected that the pesticide will be available for sale in 2015. Jenkins received her check at the 2014 Chamber of Business & Industry of Centre County Awards Gala held March 13 at the State Theatre.
In addition to the cash, this year’s Big Idea competition offered a prize package including:
-- One-year of virtually managed business services offered by Netrepid -- The opportunity to participate in a BF TechCelerator Boot Camp for Startups -- Assistance from the Innovation Partnership in preparing a proposal to receive a federal research (SBIR) grant -- Access to all Ben Franklin’s business support services at no charge
Stephen Brawley, CEO of Ben Franklin Technology Partners, commented, “Encouraging and investing in entrepreneurship is the core of Ben Franklin’s mission. We are proud of all the participants who had the energy and guts to take the first step toward starting their own business. We applaud all eight finalists and heartily congratulate the ConidioTec team for their winning Big Idea.”
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.