StartUp Lehigh Valley 2022

Lehigh University, Factory LLC Announce Fifth Annual StartUp Lehigh Valley Pitch Competition for Entrepreneurs

Submissions are now being accepted for the 2023 event.

Lehigh University, in partnership with Factory LLC, will host the 5th Annual Start Up Lehigh Valley pitch competition for entrepreneurs on Oct. 25, 2023. The submission deadline for the fifth annual event has been extended until Sept. 29. Entrepreneurs from the Lehigh Valley and beyond are encouraged to apply.

Participants will pitch their company to local business leaders, investors and community leaders. This year’s competition will take place at Factory’s headquarters in South Bethlehem from 6:30-8 p.m. and will be broadcasted and livestreamed on WFMZ-TV.

“Lehigh is proud to be a partner for this year’s event. Richard Thompson [founder of Factory] and his team have created an exciting pitch competition, which we are proud to support,” said Lehigh University Provost Nathan Urban. “The wide variety of entrepreneurs and products coming out of this competition in the past have been innovative and interesting, and we look forward to engaging with the contestants and the community. We are excited to see what new ideas will be a part of StartUp Lehigh Valley this year.”

The event will feature a contest format that showcases startup companies in the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania and beyond. Seven finalists will pitch their products and businesses to a panel of judges before live and virtual audiences. More than $30,000 in prize money will be awarded to the winners, along with essential resources for startup businesses. The goal of the event is to foster a startup-friendly environment in the Lehigh Valley.

This year Bo Koltnow, Emmy winner and anchor of “69 News at Sunrise: Weekend Edition Saturdays,” will be co-hosting the live broadcast of the competition. Laura McHugh, vice president of marketing and communications at United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley, will also serve as co-host.

The grand prize winner will take home $20,000, with two runners up earning $3,000 and $2,000 respectively. The live and virtual audiences may vote for the winner of a $1,000 Audience Choice award.

Additionally, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania will present a Ben Franklin Technology Partners award to the top early-stage technology-based firm. This winner, which may be the grand prize winner or another competitor, will receive a $5,000 Ben Franklin Business and Technical Assistance grant for a specific project that is crucial to the company’s development.

Event sponsors include JP Morgan Chase; J.G. Petrucci Company; Lehigh Valley Health Network; HNL Lab Medicine; City Center Group; Ben Franklin Technology Partners and Penn State Lehigh Valley. Support provided by Factory LLC, Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, Lehigh Economic Development Corporation, United Way, WFMZ, Bubble Goods and Adams Outdoor Advertising.

Details on the program and event can be found at

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