The 2019 BIG IDEA StARTup Contest Provides Opportunity to our Creative Community

Wednesday Mar 13th, 2019

BF stARTup Contest v2

Are you an entrepreneur working within the creative economy, blending your creative skill sets with technology and innovation in segments such as: Communications, Design, Entertainment (Animation, Gaming), Fine Arts (Interactive, Visual), Augmented Reality, and/or Robotics? If you are, and you have not heard about Ben Franklin Technology Partners’ 2019 BIG IDEA StARTup Contest, it’s time you have!

Ben Franklin Technology Partners has teamed up with MMI Intellectual Property, Erie Arts & Culture, and SEMRUSH to bring the 2019 BIG IDEA StARTup Contest to creative innovators of Erie, Crawford, Mercer, Venango, Clarion, Forest, and Warren Counties.

This contest provides entrants the opportunity to receive:
• Up to $50,000 in cash
• Three-months of free co-working space in Knowledge Park
• A one-year pass to seminars offered by Ben Franklin’s eMarketing Learning Center
• Business mentoring and support from the BF Transformations Business Services Network
• Access to SEMrush, a powerful and versatile competitive intelligence suite for online marketing.
• A free consult on IP protection provided by Erie-based Attorney Jonathan D’Silva

To gain a better understanding of the types of careers this contest can benefit, take a moment to review the following creative + tech success stories! Below you will find examples of individuals and organizations who have prosperously integrated creativity with innovative technology in their entrepreneurial pursuits.

Castano Group:
The Castano Group blends placemaking with marketing to tell immersive stories through the creation of interactive environments. They design memorable moments that make people active, physical, and emotional participants.

Emerging Objects:
Emerging Objects is a 3-D printing make-tank specializing in innovations in 3D printing architecture and building components. The company has found ways to recycle food industry byproducts, such as coffee grounds and grape skins, to make sustainable building materials and designer furniture.

Es Devlin:
Es Devlin is an artist and stage designer who works in a range of media, often mapping light and projected film into kinetic sculptural forms. She has designed ground breaking stage shows for musicians such as The Weeknd, Miley Cyrus, Beyonce, Kanye West, and a long list of others.

Janet Echelman:
Janet Echelman is a public artist whose work can be seen around the world. She was influenced by watching Indonesian fisherman cast their nets out into the sea while conducting an artist residency in Asia. Originally, all her sculptures were hand tied. Over the years she has automated the process using technology. She has further integrated technology into her career as a public artist by allowing viewers to orchestrate what color lights shine into the kinetic sculptures through the use of a smartphone app.

Camila Chiriboga:
Camila Chiriboga converges fashion, technology, and accessibility to create graceful clothing for people with disabilities, from self-navigating shoes for the bling to cleverly hidden pockets for dialysis machines, medication, and more.

Deadline to apply is May 1, 2019. To learn more about Ben Franklin Technology Partners’ 2019 BIG IDEA StARTup Contest visit:

Erie Arts & Culture

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