A startup that makes it easy for small businesses to created targeted advertisements on Facebook and Instagram took the top prize in a competition for technology entrepreneurs Tuesday in Lancaster.
Six tech entrepreneurs from Lancaster County competed in the TechCelerator Pitch Presentation Finale, hosted by Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Central and Northern PA.
Following pitches before a panel of three judges at the Candy Factory co-working space, Boostpoint was awarded first place, along with $7,000 of the $10,000 given out as prize money. They were also voted the fan favorite by the audience at the Candy Factory coworking space where the event was held.
Co-founded by Sam Beiler and Jared Neff, Boostpoint grew out of Beiler’s experience doing marketing for Equipter, a Leola-firm begun by his father, Aaron, which makes debris collection equipment for roofers.
When Beiler saw success with targeted Facebook ads for Equipter, he decided to create software would help other companies create similar ads.
Taking second place and earning $3,000 was Design Trail, a startup led by Florence VonPelet and Veronika Miller that has a app for trade shows and shops that quickly exchanges information about visitors and owners.
The other finalists were:
— Gavl, led by Takaaki Agawa and Carl Richter, which is creating a app that will let users to choose their favorite piece of music in a series of head-to-head competitions meant to select an ultimate winner.
— MakeCents DIY Garage, a startup led by Amelia Pharo-Frank that seeks to create a mechanics garage for do-it-yourselfers.
— Mission Athletics, led by Marvin Sanders and Lauren Carlson, which is seeking to offer athletics training through an app.
— Plexis, led by Zach Hurst and Phil Immediato, which is creating a social media platform that can seamlessly organize events discussed in a text message group, among other things.
The six entrepreneurs evaluated in the final day of judging participated in Ben Franklin’s TechCelerator@TheCandy Factory, a 10-week in business startup program.
The Ben Franklin initiative is a program of the state Department of Community& Economic Development. It is funded by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority.