CAN BE Innovation Center tenant, Ranek Technologies, as well as three Hazleton Area Academy of Sciences (HAAS) students were recently honored during the 20th annual tecBRIDGE Business Plan Competition award ceremony held at the F.M. Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre.
Ranek Technologies, which is led by founder and developer Joe Halcisak, won the Business Plan Competition's Wild Card award, which is selected by event attendees. The company launched its photo-sharing app, Kaydri, last November. Attendees of the awards ceremony were encouraged to use the app to share and view photos of the evening. Halcisak is no stranger to the BPC - in 2020, Ranek Technologies advanced to the finals in the collegiate division of the competition. In 2018, Halcisak was a member of the Hazleton Area High School team that went on to win the tecBRIDGE High School Business Plan Competition.
HAAS juniors Kaitlyn Marley and Jacob Marinock won the High School Business Plan Competition for developing a plan to make a medical device for dialysis patients, called a Fistula Stimulator, more efficient. Their overall presentation, which included an impressive financial plan, helps make the Fistula Stimulator work better and longer for patients. Marley and Marinock will each receive $500 and $1,000 will also be given to HAAS.
Four of the six finalists in the tecBRIDGE Big Idea Essay Competition were HAAS students. Senior Perla Villegas was selected as the overall winner and will receive $1,000. Isabelle Seratch, Ava Calabrese and Tyler DeJohn were the other finalists and each were given a $500 prize. Entrants in the competition had to write an essay describing how they see climate change currently impacting Northeast Pennsylvania, what recommendations they have for local leaders to address this issue, and how they would measure the impacts.
Hazleton Area Academy of Sciences Principal Marie Ernst said, “I'd like to thank tecBRIDGE for giving our students this amazing opportunity.”
CAN BE once again served as a mentor to all of the Greater Hazleton competitors. CAN DO Director of Economic Development Jocelyn Sterenchock said, “CAN BE was honored to once again serve as a mentor for our local entrants in the tecBRIDGE competition. I want to commend Joe and all of the Hazleton Area Academy of Sciences students for their hard work. This year's competition provided an excellent example of the entrepreneurship-led innovation we have happening in the Hazleton Area!”