ESU Business Accelerator Wins Four Awards At the NEPA Business Plan 2.0 Competition
East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania’s Business Accelerator received four awards at the 12th annual TecBridge – Northeast Pennsylvania Business Plan Competition 2.0 Awards dinner recently. Pictured from left to right are: Marcia G. Welsh, Ph.D., ESU president; Mendim Bardhi, a sophomore from Dingmans Ferry, Pa., majoring in computer science; Carter McClure, manager of the ESU Business Accelerator Program; Jon Weber, a senior from Stroudsburg, Pa., majoring in computer security; Mary Frances Postupack, ESU vice president for research and economic development; and Edward Connors, co-founder of Heudia Health, LLC.
East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania’s Business Accelerator received four awards at the 12th annual TecBridge – Northeast Pennsylvania Business Plan Competition 2.0 Awards dinner on April 30, 2014, at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.
The Business Plan Competition is a regional competition designed to promote entrepreneurship by encouraging innovative business ideas that stimulate the economy and retain the region’s talent. Students from the 14 colleges and universities, along with non-collegiate teams, from Luzerne, Lackawanna and Monroe counties were eligible to participate and to compete for $100,000 in cash and in-kind business services to launch tech-based companies.
“We are very proud that the ESU Business Accelerator received four regional awards for entrepreneurship,” said Mary Frances Postupack, ESU vice president for research and economic development. “The awards acknowledge the research and innovation taking place in the Business Accelerator by ESU students and early stage high-tech companies. The Business Accelerator plays an important role in the economic vitality of our region by creating a pipeline of companies that are creating exciting job opportunities.”
ESU won first place in the collegiate division and took second place in the non-collegiate division. TickChek, LLC, founded by Jonathan Weber, a senior from Stroudsburg, Pa., majoring in computer security; Thomas Rounsville, an ESU alumnus and current graduate student from Birdsboro, Pa., seeking his degree in biology; and Mendim Bardhi, a sophomore from Dingmans Ferry, Pa., majoring in computer science. TickChek is an innovative technology startup that provides a high-tech and user-friendly online interface for laboratory-grade, tick testing series. The company plans to combat the exponential rise of tick-borne diseases, such as Lyme disease, by providing services to the general public. TickChek was awarded cash and in-kind services, including marketing, business accelerator space, business memberships, accounting, legal, web-design and other services to support the business. TickChek participates in the ESU Business Accelerator program.
Heudia Health, LLC, founded by Edward Connors and Dr. Michael Dulin, placed second in the non-collegiate division. Heudia Health provides a culturally competent, cloud-based solution that increases access to care and eliminates avoidable health care expense. Heudia Health is a joint endeavor with Carolina Heath System, the second largest health system in the United States. Heudia Health is an ESU Business Accelerator company.
Carter McClure, manager of the ESU Business Accelerator Program, won the Faculty Advisor Award, which goes to the person who dedicates time and effort above and beyond to help the collegiate winning team. McClure joined ESU in 2012 and currently works with 14, early-stage technology companies participating in the program. McClure mentors companies and provides professional networking opportunities for business development and growth, including commercialization, finance and management team development.
The Smit-Webster Award was given to the ESU Business Accelerator Program. This award is given to the “Best in Class” program supporting the Collegiate Winner Institution of Higher Education. The award is named for Jaco Smit, from Sanofi Pasture, and Don Webster, from Marathon Strategies, who were the founders of the regional Business Plan competition. Past recipients include: Misericordia University (2007), Penn State University-Worthington Scranton (2008) and King’s College (2009).