Civic News

#GrowPA roundup: Here’s what’s happening across the state

News and events from Johnstown, York, Bethlehem and beyond.

Harrisburg is a

This story is part of Grow PA, a reported series on economic development across 10 Pennsylvania counties supported by the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia. Sign up for our weekly curated email here.

Grow PA, our reporting series and partnership with the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, has spent the past six months reporting on economic development trends in ten counties across the state.

Above all else, one thing we’ve learned is that people who are invested in economic development and growth in Pennsylvania from different parts of the Commonwealth aren’t great at communicating with one another.

It’s with that knowledge that we’ve been hoping to provide a platform for shared discourse about the future of Pennsylvania’s economy as it relates to innovations in healthcare, infrastructure and post-secondary education.

With that in mind, we asked a handful of Grow PA readers from across the state to share what they’re up to. The high-level takeaway? Everyone loves pitch competitions.

Let’s travel the commonwealth, shall we?


  • Ben Franklin Technology Partners (BFTP) is hosting Ben Franklin Venture Idol, a Shark TankAmerican Idol hybrid competition with $15,000 in venture capital on the line. Eight startups in BFTP’s Northeastern Pa. portfolio will compete at the fund’s newly-expanded Ben Franklin TechVentures West Wing at Lehigh University Tuesday.


  • Ten finalists in BFTP’s BIG IDEA Contest will go head-to-head this Thursday for a $25,000 first-place prize.


  • BFTP is getting ready to launch TechCelerator@Altoona. Starting in January, the eight-week startup bootcamp will provide tech entrepreneurs with one-on- one mentoring sessions.


  • The Pittsburgh Technology Council has launched PGH TechFuse, a media hub for information on the organization’s members and the region’s tech ecosystem.


  • Over 80 companies from York-Harrisburg-Lancaster submitted to the Rise of the Rest competition last month, but only Device Events, a software tool that identifies issues with medical devices, took home $100,000 investment. Local organizations such as York County Economic Alliance believe the tour stop itself is a sign of things to come.


  • Harrisburg University of Science and Technology has joined the National Association of Collegiate eSports (NACE), making eSports the university’s first varsity sport. The team, which will compete in a variety of video games including Overwatch and League of Legends, is set to launch in Fall 2018.


  • Montgomery County Community College is kicking off Global Entrepreneurship week today with a pair of competitions. The event as a whole, which features a keynote from venture capitalist Wayne Kimmel, will mark the opening of nominations for the inaugural Montgomery County Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Want more Grow PA? Follow our reporting here, sign up for our weekly curated newsletter here and register for our event in Harrisburg on Nov. 15 here


Series: Grow PA

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