DUBOIS – John Sider, Deputy Secretary for the Technology Investment Office within the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) will be the main speaker for the B.I.G.* awards dinner. The B.I.G.* Competition (*Business Ideas Gone Wild) will award the grand prize winner up $11,000 in cash and services to develop and market an invention or idea. The competition is designed to spur regional economic development through support of local creative ideas. It is sponsored jointly by the North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission, the Office for Technology Transfer at Penn State DuBois, and the Greater DuBois Chamber of Commerce. The completion ended September 14, and the first, second, and two runner-up award winners will be announced at the awards dinner to be held Thursday, November 19, at the DuBois Country Club.
As Deputy Secretary, Sider manages $77 million in annual appropriations and invests and oversees $1.1 billion. The Technology Investment Office serves as a catalyst for growth and competitiveness for Pennsylvania companies and universities by financing innovation, creating partnerships, and providing support services through technology-based economic development initiatives.
Sider brings a wealth of experience in finance and economic development to his role as deputy secretary. Prior to his appointment as deputy secretary, John served as the director of venture investment for DCED and helped to significantly increase the amount of risk capital available to Pennsylvania entrepreneurs. In a previous position, as the lending group leader for Community First Fund, John conducted more than a dozen nationally certified entrepreneurial training classes in communities in Central Pennsylvania.
During his speech, Sider will present ideas to the budding entrepreneurs that are designed to help them advance their products or services to market. His message will provide new ideas to the many business, professional, chamber, college, Ben Franklin Technology Partners, Clarion SBDC staff, and county commissioners who have been invited to join Senator Joe Scarnati, Representative Matt Gabler, Representative Bud George, Congressman Glenn Thompson and other associates from the DCED at the dinner.
The B.I.G.* Competition was open to teams, small businesses and individuals, over 18, who resided in Cameron, Clearfield, Elk, Jefferson, McKean, or Potter Counties. Applications for the Competition were received from people in five of the six counties. Out of a total of 31 completed entries, eight were service-oriented; 23 entries presented product ideas.