Follett LLC and Victaulic are proud to have supported Lehigh Valley Tech (LVTech) and the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania in the first-ever Collegiate Business Pitch Summit competition. During this business plan competition, held April 27, 2017, students had the opportunity to showcase their ideas and strategic business plans to entrepreneurs, investors, business leaders, and other students from the greater Lehigh Valley community. Follett and Victaulic are both based in the region in Easton, PA.
Business plan competitions are a key part of entrepreneurship education. They provide students with opportunities to develop and practice pitches. This year’s judges included: Michael Rice, vice president of marketing at Follett; Peter Lega, director of emerging technology at Merck and Company; and Eric Luftig, vice president at Victaulic.
“Entrepreneurship is alive and well in the Lehigh Valley,” comments Victaulic’s Luftig. “We are all proud to support the schools and students at this inaugural event as it aligns well with our collective companies — turning new ideas into viable business and customer solutions.”
Encouraging college students to apply technology knowledge and business skills to solve complex open-ended problems in a real-world context is the goal of LVTech’s intercollegiate entrepreneurial competition. “We truly appreciate the judges and sponsors, without whose support we wouldn’t be able to present the Lehigh Valley Collegiate Business Pitch Summit,” said Wayne Barz, manager of entrepreneurial services of the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania, which is the venue sponsor of the event. “The event will encourage entrepreneurship and good-natured competition among the students.”
Six colleges competed in a pitch-off at the inaugural Lehigh Valley Collegiate Business Pitch Summit at Ben Franklin TechVentures®. Teams from Lafayette College, Lehigh Carbon Community College, Lehigh University, Muhlenberg College, Penn State Lehigh Valley, and Alvernia University participated in this Lehigh Valley event.
In other news from Follett, former CEO, Don Follett, has been awarded the Daniel E. Cohen award for outstanding service to ProJeCt of Easton and its mission to “build a better community by helping people help themselves.” The Cohen award recognizes an individual, organization, or business that promotes the well-being of the disadvantaged in the Lehigh Valley and exhibits exemplary leadership and community activism.
Event chairman Steve Follett recounted how his father, Don, embodied Follett’s core value of “supporting our communities as a responsible corporate citizen.” “For over 20 years, my dad has helped guide and support ProJeCt of Easton as it continues to educate hundreds of clients on how to build action plans, acquire essential life skills, and put themselves on a path to break the cycle of poverty.”