CAN BE Innovation Center client IntelliGreen has been selected as one of seven companies that will compete for $15,000 in investment funding during Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania's 18th annual Ben Franklin Venture Idol.
This is the second consecutive year that IntelliGreen will compete in Ben Franklin Venture Idol. Ryan Robinson, VP - Sales and Marketing for IntelliGreen, said the company gained tremendous value from last year's competition and has evolved significantly since then. He feels IntelliGreen stands a better chance to win this year.
“Venture Idol brings way more value than just a competition. You learn how to concisely and accurately pitch a product and show investors that you know what you are talking about. Our team is well experienced in running a business but we learned about going out for funding. It allows us to see what investors are looking for and how they make decisions. It taught us that people invest in people, not companies,” he said.
Robinson added that the “trial by fire” nature of the competition provides a phenomenal experience for start-up companies and especially young entrepreneurs who haven't been exposed to high-pressure sales.
“As a whole, that aspect for entrepreneurs is extremely valuable and is what I'd put at the top for being important for economic development in our area because sales is the number one driver for a company,” he said. “Venture Idol provides an amazing platform to provide real value to customers and connections. For IntelliGreen, it allows us to venture in different areas we haven't been exposed to in terms of the opportunity to pitch an investor or raise an investment round. Having this as a platform is valuable.”
IntelliGreen launched in 2019 with a vision to use its energy industry knowledge to supply consulting support to its customers, including strategic planning, procurement, engineering services and business optimization. However, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the company quickly pivoted its operations to develop products and services focused on technology that enables society to maintain its well-being better.
The company’s Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform works with its Intelli-Temp Facial Recognition Temperature Scanner, which can detect and identify a face, including for an individual wearing a mask; direct a person to put on a mask as a requirement to entry; detect a reference temperature within 0.5 degrees accuracy; and provide alerting for fever conditions, all within one second.
Robinson praised the support of Ben Franklin Technology Partners and Ken Okrepkie, the organization's Regional Manager for the Pocono Northeast, as well as current officer and treasurer of the CAN DO Board of Directors, for how they've helped IntelliGreen evolve over the past two years.
“We wouldn't be where we are without Ben Franklin Technology Partners and the mentorship and guidance that Ken Okrepkie has provided to us,” he said. “Ben Franklin has provided multiple rounds of investments to IntelliGreen. Ken has years of experience. He's seen it all and can provide a devil's advocacy angle that really helps us. He's like an unofficial chairman of the board for us. That's been really valuable.”
Okrepkie said, “We are proud to have Greater Hazleton’s very own IntelliGreen joining the list of presenters this year. They’ve demonstrated that their team can successfully develop and deploy new and novel Software as a Solution products in the temperature screening and gate access marketplace. Today, they are raising capital to grow and scale their efforts in additional verticals.”
Ben Franklin Venture Idol is a cross between Shark Tank® and American Idol®. After earning their way through the selection process held earlier in the day, three technology entrepreneurs will briefly pitch their start-up companies to angel investors, venture capitalists and attendees. This year, more than 40 investors will be present to hear the pitches. Audience members will “invest” 100 “Ben Bucks” among the companies and Ben Franklin Technology Partners will award the top prize based on the “crowd-funded” audience vote.
The virtual event will be held on Tuesday, November 9, from 6-8 p.m. and is free of charge for guests. Anyone who is interested in viewing the Ben Franklin Venture Idol competition can registration now at https://ventureidol.ticketmambo.com/.