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Cybersecurity Startup Wins Lehigh Valley Collegiate Business Pitch Summit

By Colin McEvoy on April 27, 2018

The second Lehigh Valley Collegiate Business Pitch Summit was held at the Ben Franklin TechVentures business incubator in Bethlehem.

A new cybersecurity startup that seeks to help large enterprises better secure their network was the big winner at the Second Annual Lehigh Valley Collegiate Business Pitch Summit.

Six teams of students from Lehigh Valley college and universities delivered their best pitches as to why they should win the $2,000 top prize at the event, which was held April 26 at Ben Franklin TechVentures in Bethlehem.

The winner was Falchion Systems, which was presented by East Stroudsburg University students Zach Waldman and Nick Neely. The company offers a virtualization platform that counters web-based social engineering attacks and minimizes the impact of malware payloads.

During the Lehigh Valley Collegiate Business Pitch Summit, students describe their companies and products in 10-minute lightning rounds to an audience of peers and a panel of judges, who ultimately deliberate and choose a winner.

The event seeks to expose students involved in their college’s entrepreneurship programs to the wider business community, give them experience in a setting outside the campus, and show them how their idea compares to those of other students, according to Tim Lytle of Lehigh Valley Tech.

The competition was started by Lehigh Valley Tech and was hosted by the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Located in Lehigh University’s Mountaintop Campus, Ben Franklin TechVentures is a business incubator for early-stage technology companies and established manufacturers.

The runner-up from this year’s Lehigh Valley Collegiate Business Pitch Summit was Soterra, which makes a compact emergency device for women to use in the event of an attack, without the need for Internet access or a cellular phone.

The company, which previously won the Baker Institute Eureka! Competition, was presented by Lehigh University seniors Emily Randolph and Lena McDonnell, and won $1,000 for its runner up finish.

The judges this year includes Anthony Durante, Program Manager at the Allentown Economic Development Corporation; Eric Luftig, Vice President at Victaulic; and Mike Rice, Vice President of Marketing at Follett.

The other competing companies included:

  • Apperture (Lafayette College), a location-based photo-sharing app that allows you to discover nearby events, find nearby friends, and instantly share photos. Presented by Wassim Gharbi, Zura Mestiashvili, and Erik Laucks
  • Container IQ (Northampton Community College), which allows people to grow good anywhere, with a focus on the worldwide refugee population. Presented by Scott Gruninger
  • Dabl3 (Lehigh Carbon Community College), a mobile marketplace app that makes it easier for local restaurants to connect with their neighborhood. Presented by Simon Tomaszewski and Andres Weller
  • Ithaca (Muhlenberg College), a platform that connects lawyers working on the ground with refugees with lawyers willing to provide pro-bono services from their home countries. Presented by Joshua Ajamu
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