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StartUp Lehigh Valley Pitch Competition Awards $33,000 in Prizes to Entrepreneurs

Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp. — By Colin McEvoy on October 27, 2022

BETHLEHEM, Pa. — With Meraki Co., the maker of a probiotic supplement for urinary and vaginal health, took home the grand prize of $20,000 at the fourth annual StartUp Lehigh Valley, a pitch competition co-founded by Penn State Lehigh Valley LaunchBox that showcases regional entrepreneurs and the innovation taking place in our community.

The event took place on Oct. 26 at Factory LLC, a Bethlehem-based investor and operator for food, beverage, and pet health companies in Lehigh Valley. The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) was one of the sponsors.

“We’re in our fourth year, and we’ve cemented our place as a pitch competition for inspired entrepreneurs who are ready to take their business to the next level,” said Liz Keptner, the Director of Multimedia Innovation Center at Penn State Lehigh Valley, who co-hosted the event. “Designed to showcase innovation happening in our community and in surrounding communities, Startup Lehigh Valley also supports the next generation of business leaders.”

In the entrepreneurial pitch competition, 10 finalists pitched their products and businesses to a panel of judges in front of a live and virtual audience. A total of $33,000 in prize money was up for grabs, along with essential resources for startup businesses.

Additionally, Lehigh Valley LaunchBox Boost Awards were presented to three recipients: Baleena, a company building a ball with a hard outer shell and soft, porous inner filter, which can be placed in laundry machines to capture microfibers that are released from clothing during the laundry cycle to prevent them from being released into water and the environment; Fila Manila, a maker of Filipino-American sauces and flavors; and Steel City Motorsports for “Stand Handz.”

The event was broadcast live online and on WFMZ-TV, and can be viewed here.

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