Local Entrepreneurs Will Pitch to Win Up to $10,000 in Somerset!

Do you know Mark Barbera, Kirk Sherbine, Tim Kretchman, BJ Opett, Dan Morris, or Emily Mahler? For the past several weeks, these local entrepreneurs have been participating in a business startup accelerator program, the TechCelerator@Somerset. On March 14, 2019, they will each make a graduation “pitch” to a team of judges from the community. The winner will walk away with up to $10,000!

Come and support local entrepreneurs, each of whom will have the opportunity to share with the audience their intended target market, the problem, their solution and how their idea will make money for them and future investors. While the judges deliberate, stay to enjoy the fun networking reception, co-sponsored by the Somerset Trust Company and Uptown Works, that follows.

When:           Thursday, March 14, 2019 / 5:00 PM
Where:          Historic Somerset Trust Building – 131 N. Center Avenue
Why:              Local entrepreneurs will “pitch” for a cash prize of up to $10,000.

Join us for the presentations, but also stay and enjoy the reception! Click here to RSVP by March 9th!

About the TechCelerator@Somerset:

As an important component of the Startup Alleghenies initiative, www.startupalleghenies.com, the team at Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Central & Northern PA developed a curriculum that is providing Somerset County entrepreneurs, grad-students, faculty members, and emerging tech-startups with a weekly business training accelerator program.

Flood City Flooring Hosting Ribbon Cutting Event


Flood City Flooring LLC will host a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Friday, March 8, at 2 PM for their grand opening at 225 Washington Street, Johnstown, PA. Please plan to join us in celebrating this new business!

Justin and Christina Schrengost are the owners and operators of Flood City Flooring LLC. Justin has worked for almost 20 years in the flooring industry. “Christina and I are very excited to have our own new business! It would not have been possible without the help of JARI, the City of Johnstown and the support of friends and family”, said Justin. Linda Thomson, President, JARI, stated “JARI is pleased to welcome another home-grown small business into our local economy. Flood City Flooring will be a great addition to the downtown business community.”

Flood City Flooring LLC now has their showroom open to the public at 225 Washington Street, Johnstown. Justin and Christina are proud to create local jobs to help the community prosper and provide customers with excellent service at an affordable price.

JARI Funds Blair County Business

JARI is pleased to announce the Microloan and USDA funded business, Open Season Outdoors. Open Season Outdoors, owned and operated by Chris Fedora, is an authorized Prime, Hoyt, Bowtech and Elite archery dealer. They are also the only Mathews dealer in Blair County.

Chris Fedora started in the archery industry in 1989. He is on the board of directors for the Pennsylvania State Archery Association and is the president of Flood City Bowmen in Johnstown, PA. He is also a USA Archery Level 2 instructor and a member of the NFAA and USA Archery. “Opening my own shop has always been adream. That dream became a reality in November of 2018 when I opened the doors of Open Season Outdoors, LLC,” said Chris.

Open Season Outdoors recently launched their new website. For more information about their business visit www.openseasonoutdoors.net.

If you would like more information on the JARI Microloan Program, please contact Michele Clapper at (814) 262-8368 or via email at mclapper@jari.com.


Startup Alleghenies & Innovate PGH Appear on TECHVibe Radio

José Otero, Entrepreneurial & Procurement Specialist

Happy New Year! In 2018 the collaboration between various agencies within the entrepreneurial ecosystem grew stronger and deeper. On December 18, 2018 ETAL Transfer Authority, Bridge to Pittsburgh and Startup Alleghenies participated with Pitt Tech Council on TECHVibe Radio.
Right around minute 30 is where you can hear our section, but if you want more information and resources, the entire podcast will be a true delight.
Our local economy is growing due to the rising interest of entrepreneurship and the resources available to those that are seeking them. Let’s continue the momentum of collaboration to continue to build our economy into a prosperous new year.
Follow this LINK to listen right now!

Grand Opening – Ribbon Cutting for Cruise Planners/AE Travel

Congratulations, Anita Rummel, for the opening of Cruise Planners on Scalp Avenue in Johnstown! We wish her much success in 2019 and for many years to come.
If you are like Anita, or know someone like her, and want to become a business owner or entrepreneur in our region, reach out today to begin building a pathway to entrepreneurship.
Please contact José Luis Otero at (814) 254-4023 or .

QuickBooks Online

On Tuesday, May 22nd, Lynn Rovan, Barnes Saly & Company, will present QuickBooks Online. Attendees will receive a general overview of QuickBooks while learning to select company and user preferences and the setup of chart of accounts. Attendees will also learn about invoicing and payments, billing and paying bills, bank reconciliation and reporting.

This Lunch & Learn will be held at JARI Center (160 Jari Drive, Johnstown, PA) from 12:00 PM to 1:15 PM. The cost to register is $5 per person and lunch will be provided. Please click here to register by May 21st. No shows on the day of the event will be billed.

What’s So Cool About Manufacturing Student Video Contest

Catalyst Connection, which has been helping regional manufacturers grow their businesses for 30 years, celebrated the What’s So Cool About Manufacturing Student Video Contest at the University of Pittsburgh’s Johnstown campus on Thursday, March 23. The program focused on getting students out of the classroom and into the manufacturing environment. The event attracted more than 175 people, including manufacturers, industry leaders, students, teachers and parents.

For the video content, 8 manufacturing companies were paired with 7 middle schools from Cambria, Indiana and Somerset counties who were encouraged to interview employees and go behind the scenes to learn about the manufacturing industry. Each team submitted its video to Catalyst, and voting took place on dreamitdoitpa.com. The contest yielded more than 48,000 votes over a five-day period.

Award winners included:

Best Manufacturing Message
Greater Johnstown with Lockheed Martin

Most Creative
Rockwood with ASSA ABLOY

Viewer’s Choice
Rockwood with ASSA ABLOY

Best Marketing Plan
Blairsville-Saltsburg with Clark Metal Products

Bonus Video on Community Impact
Forest Hills with JWF Industries

Cambria County Resident Competing in Ben Franklin TechCelerator@Altoona

Jobe Matula, a resident of Cambria County, will be competing in the Ben Franklin TechCelerator@Altoona on Tuesday, March 13, 2018. Matula, with The LiveFirst Company, has developed the cleanest, safest way to protect new pets from accidental poisoning.

An important component of the recent Startup Alleghenies initiative, the TechCelerator@Altoona offers the area’s entrepreneurs, students, faculty members, and emerging tech-startups a one-stop-shop for entrepreneurial training!

Six local entrepreneurs will compete for a cash prize of up to $10,000. Presenters will have the opportunity to share with the audience their intended target market, the pain point their product or service alleviates for their customers, and how their idea will make money for them and future investors. A team of judges from the community will make the decision on the winning presentation followed by a networking reception.

Event Info
Time: 5 – 8 p.m.
Location: Catalyst Space – 1331 12th Avenue – Altoona, PA 16601
Register Now

Here’s A Quick Look At The Other Presenters:

  • Mark Kasterko, with M&T Arms, has developed a device for securing an officer’s weapon during an incident where he/she needs to restrain a perpetrator.
  • Benjamin Hutchinson, with Your Reptile Company, has created a way to protect a pet reptile through proper caging techniques.
  • Daniel Bowers, with Advanced Diabetes Technologies, is developing an app that allows for the safe and easy monitoring of blood glucose.
  • Joey DiGangi, with AssureTech, is developing a technology that helps people with food allergies keep their medication easily on-hand.
  • Tony Biddle, with Site Rite, has developed a clip-on rear site for hand guns that dramatically improves accuracy.

Right Here. Right Now. Thought Leader Summit on Entrepreneurship

Join the Startup Alleghenies for a day of thought-provoking presentations at the Right Here. Right Now. Thought Leader Summit on Entrepreneurship on Monday, April 30th from 12:30 PM to 5:30 PM (registration beginning at 11:30 AM) at Seven Springs Mountain Resort.

Keynoter Chris Heivly, co-founder of MapQuest, one of the nation’s leading experts in how to turn startups into multi-million dollar companies, will share his lessons on startup success. National and local experts will explore ideas about how to turn the Southern Alleghenies into the next great startup zone during two round table events.

Successful entrepreneurs and Entrepreneur Coaches from Startup Alleghenies will be available to answer your questions at the networking cocktail reception to close the day. If you’ve thought about starting a business, already own a business or just want to be part of of the movement, join us.

Registration is free. For more information or to register, visit the Right Here. Right Now. website. If you’re interested in becoming an event sponsor, click here for the sponsorship kit.

JARI Funds Entrepreneur in Downtown Johnstown

JARI is pleased to announce Microloan funding for a business in downtown Johnstown. Rocco’s Sub Shop, a sub and pizza restaurant located at 345 Main Street, is now owned and operated by Jordan Schroll.

Rocco’s originally opened in 2013 and quickly became a popular destination in Johnstown. When it was time to turn the business over to a new owner, Schroll decided he was ready to own and operate his own shop. “I’m very excited to be my own boss and take on this new challenge with the assistance of JARI,” noted Schroll. Linda Thomson, JARI President, commented “JARI is excited to be working with another small business in the City of Johnstown providing an excellent restaurant option to the downtown community. ”

If you would like assistance in starting or financing your business please contact Michele Clapper, VP of Economic Development, at (814) 262-8368 or via e-mail at .