Startup Alleghenies Expands to Bedford, Fulton and Huntingdon Counties #StartRHRN

Pictured above: All four Startup Alleghenies coaches including the two newest additions Andrew Trexler (Bedford) and Debra Clark (Huntingdon and Fulton), as well as existing coaches Rick Lasek (Blair County) and our very own, Jose Luis (Cambria).

Startup Alleghenies (SUA) is ready to support entrepreneurs in the Alleghenies from three additional counties, Bedford, Fulton and Huntingdon.   This expansion means that the Startup Alleghenies movement has expanded to all six counties in the Southern Alleghenies, and often, beyond.

“We’re delighted to welcome entrepreneurs and partners from Bedford, Fulton and Huntingdon Counties into the Right Here. Right Now. movement we launched to create the next great startup zone in the Alleghenies,” said Debbi Prosser, director business-development, Southern Alleghenies Planning and Development Commission (SAP&DC).

“We believe our Entrepreneur Coaches are the critical entry-point and ongoing mentors for entrepreneurs, connecting them to all that the SUA network has to offer,” explained Prosser,  “so we’ve hired two new entrepreneurial Coaches, Andrew Trexler and Debra Clark, to ensure entrepreneurs in our newest counties also receive all the help they need to get their ideas to market.”

Andrew Trexler will focus on Bedford County while employed by the Bedford County Development Association, and Deborah Clark, will cover Huntingdon and Fulton Counties while employed by Huntingdon County Business and Industry.

In addition to personalized coaching, Startup Allenghenies entrepreneurs benefit from a network of resources available ecosystem-wide, including nine entrepreneur work spaces, programs such as TechCelerators and the BIG IDEA Contests organized by Startup Alleghenies Founding partner, Ben Franklin Technology Partners, as well as help with business plan development from St. Francis University Small Business Development Center (SBDC), marketing, legal and financial advice.  Startup Alleghenies partners also sponsor networking opportunities for entrepreneurs throughout the year.

Prosser credits additional funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) with making this growth possible. “In expanding our POWER grant, by just over $1.2 million, ARC acknowledged Startup Alleghenies success, due in large part to our network of committed partners in Blair, Cambria and Somerset Counties,” Prosser added.

 

 

If you have a new business idea, want to expand your existing business or just want to learn more about what it takes to take your idea to market, register with SUA today—Right Here. Right Now.

 

Startup Alleghenies: Website Facebook | Twitter

 

 

RNDT Inc. Receives Woman Owned Business Certification

RNDT Inc. recently received the National Women’s Business Enterprise Certification through Woman’s Business Enterprise National Council. This certification shows that RNDT, Inc. meets the requirements of the Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contracting Program.

“We are excited about the possibilities this certification brings to not only RNDT, but also the Johnstown area,” said Jimma Raco, President at RNDT. RNDT provides nondestructive testing (NDT) services to the oil and gas, aerospace, and manufacturing industries. The Woman-Owned Small Business Certification will provide RNDT with the ability to bid on state and federal WOSB set-aside contracts, and will also open the door for partnerships with larger corporations.

The eight-month long certification process fell mostly on Raco and her staff at RNDT. However, she gives credit Johnstown Area Regional Industries (JARI) for providing her company with the direction and insight to obtain the WOSB Certification. “JARI has been a great partner to RNDT over the years and we are grateful for their assistance in obtaining this certification,” added Raco.

RNDT Inc. is an A2LA ISO-17025 accredited NDT laboratory. The company employs highly trained NDT professionals that hold certifications conforming to the requirements of ASNT SNT-TC-1A CP-189 and National Aerospace Standard NAS-410 Rev. 3. These certifications satisfy national requirements for nondestructive testing personnel. RNDT is headquartered in Johnstown, Pennsylvania and has 30 employees.

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.

JARI Announces 2018 NAP Tax Credit Program

JARI leaders announced their Neighborhood Assistance Tax Credit Program (NAP) for 2018. Administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, the details were released during a press event at JARI Headquarters in Downtown Johnstown on Tuesday, January 30.

JARI will receive $67,000 to provide a 200-hour welding training program to 25 unemployed/underemployed individuals residing in 4 neighborhoods located in the City of Johnstown: Cambria City, Coopersdale, Morrellville and Oakhurst.

Manufacturing companies require workers who complete some type of post-secondary education that includes industry-specific credentials. Five manufacturing companies in Cambria and Somerset Counties currently have openings for more than 150 welders. One of those companies, J&J Truck Bodies, is currently seeking 40 welders according to Shawn Kaufman, Director of Human Resources. The program will enable participants to acquire the skills needed to obtain employment in jobs that pay a family-sustaining wage.

Contributors to the 2018 NAP program include: 1st Summit Bank, First National Bank, Northwest Bank and Somerset Trust.

For more information, contact Debi Balog at the JARI office 814-535-8675.

Over 4 Million Awarded in Tax Credits!

JARI is pleased to announce that $4,934,707 in tax credits have been awarded to local companies through the Greater Johnstown Keystone Innovation Zone (GJKIZ) since the inception of the program in 2005. In 2017, $118,190 in tax credits were awarded to five companies. The Commonwealth has a total annual pool of up to $15 million available to eligible companies.

KIZs are designed to foster innovation and create entrepreneurial opportunities. To qualify for the GJKIZ program, a company must be a for-profit located within the territory of the GJKIZ, be fewer than eight years old, and have its primary business within one or more of the following industry sectors:

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Environmental/Renewable Energy Technology
  • Information Systems Technology
  • Life Sciences

A KIZ company must have an innovative process or have patents, licensing agreements, trademarks and/or copyrights on products or processes created in-house. A company may receive up to $100,000 in tax credits annually if they meet the criteria and the tax credits are available. If there is no tax liability for the company, the credits may be sold for cash.

For more information or to obtain a KIZ application, contact Joette Watson at  or (814) 262-8372.

Big Idea Contest Winner to be Chosen November 16th!

The ten finalists in Ben Franklin’s 2017 BIG IDEA Contest will be making presentations to a panel of area judges beginning at 1:35 PM on Thursday, November 16, 2017.

If you know any of the finalists listed below, or if you are just excited about the Startup Alleghenies initiative in general, please stop by the Bottle Works, located at 411 Third Avenue in Johnstown, to hear the presentations:

  • Joseph DiGangi with AssureTech
  • Justin Capouellez with Boomerang Beacon
  • Heather Moyer with Crossroads Consulting
  • Mark Kasterko with MT Arms
  • Adam Stokes with muonSoft
  • Donald Nixon with Nixon’s Technical Service
  • Hunter Swisher with Phospholutions
  • Ryan Kieta with Real Design
  • James Wang with SimplrTechnologies
  • Anthony Biddle with Siterite

The finalists’ presentations will conclude at 5:00 PM, and a catered reception will immediately follow.  While the judges deliberate, you are invited to enjoy the refreshments and network with the finalists.  This will allow you to learn more about all of them in preparation for casting your vote for the People’s Choice Award which will close at 6:15 PM.  All of the winners will be announced at 6:30 PM.

This year’s cash prizes will be awarded to four winners:
First Place: $25,000; Second Place: $15,000; Third Place: $7,500; and a People’s Choice Award: $2,500.

In addition to the $25,000, the first place winner will also receive:

If you are planning to attend, please send a quick note to .

Wessel & Company and 1st Summit Bank Make 2017 List of Best Places to Work in PA

Congratulations to Wessel & Company and 1st Summit Bank on making the list of the 100 companies in PA to win a designation as a “Best Place to Work”!

The 2017 list represents 23,000 employees of 44 small, 27 medium and 29 large sized companies. In order to be eligible for this process, companies had to be a for-profit or non-profit business, be publicly or privately held, employ at least 15 people working in Pennsylvania and be in business for at least one year. What a great accomplishment!

Click here to view the full list of winning companies.

Kitron Event Marks Expanded Capabilities in the U.S.

Peter Nilsson, Kitron CEO and Jason Galiote, Kitron US General Manager, announced expanded capabilities during a Government Business Development Forum held on October 6, 2017. Recently Kitron, an electronics manufacturing services company, installed a Surface Mount Technology (SMT) line at its Johnstown facility. This technology allows Kitron to offer its customers a complete solution including printed circuit board assembly (PCBA), box-builds, and high-end assembly.

Kitron also announced a strategic partnership with JWF Industries. This partnership will allow Kitron and JWF Industries to explore opportunities for which they may not otherwise be qualified. Additional partnership building is expected as new opportunities arise. Kitron intends to continue to grow its Defense sector business but the new line and partnership creates additional market opportunities.

Please contact the JARI PTAC for any of your government contracting assistance needs at (814) 254-4022 or (814) 254-4023 or via email at .

Left to right: Ed Sheehan, CEO – Concurrent Technologies Corporation; Jason Galiote, US General Manager – Kitron; Peter Nilsson, CEO – Kitron; Bill Polacek, CEO – JWFI; and Frode Ilebekk, Business Development Manager – Kitron

First JARI Microloan Client Funded in Bedford County

JARI and the Bedford County Development Association (BCDA) are pleased to announce the first Microloan funded business in Bedford County. I.D. Graphics, a professional graphic design firm owned and operated by Corey and Monica Meckes, offers innovative design ideas and an affordable printing solution for any promotional need.

Bette Slayton, BCDA President, has been working with JARI to provide Microloan funding to the Bedford County business. “We’re excited to have this flexible new loan program now available in Bedford County. It’s an excellent program that will fill an important niche. Businesses will now be able to access microloans up to $50,000 and have experienced business coaching throughout the term of the loan. We look forward to marketing it across the county,” said Slayton. According to Linda Thomson, President, JARI, “JARI is very excited to be working with a home-grown small business in Bedford County and is hoping to assist more businesses over time.”

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

Ben Franklin’s Big Idea Contest Now Open

Have you been thinking about developing or commercializing an innovative product, process or new software application? Ben Franklin Technology Partners are looking for budding entrepreneurs, researchers, software developers or even small existing businesses. The risk-free BIG IDEA contests have been helping folks start or grow their businesses for nearly 20 years.

A simple online application could be the first step in taking you from Start UP to UP and running. Visit the Ben Franklin website for more information and to apply. The application deadline is October 2, 2017 at 5:00 PM.

Click here to find out if you qualify! For questions, contact Jill Edwards at  or phone (717) 948-6625.