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Bethlehem startup wins Ben Franklin “Venture Idol”

Bethlehem-based startup Ilico Genetics won the 20th annual Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s “Venture Idol” April 25 at TechVentures.

Ilico Genetics received the $2,500 Judge’s Choice and the audience-voted $15,000 Grand Prize.

Ilico Genetics is developing the first methylated DNA-based molecular test for the early detection of gastric cancer with only a blood sample.

Venture Idol brought together 300 community members, entrepreneurs, students, and investors from Northeast Pennsylvania for an evening of networking, awards, and a pitch competition.

The event featured all local partners, including catering by Zekraft and The Aging Moon, mobile bar services by Sol & Spirits Mobile Bar Co., wine by Binah Winery and Franklin Hill Vineyards, and beer by Sherman Street Beer Company.

Venture Idol was made possible through presenting sponsors Activate Venture Partners, ARS Investment Partners, Service Electric Business, and PenTeleData; cocktail sponsors Fulton Bank, M&T Bank Wilmington Trust, MarshMcLennan Agency, and Penn Strategies, and silver sponsors Agility Systems Group, BMI Mergers & Acquisitions, Made by Craft, ESPI, Graham Partners, Insperity, Involve Technology, Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp. MarketGenesis, Prelude Solutions, Rittenhouse Ventures, Social T Marketing & PR, Tech Council Ventures, and TWG Security.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MARCO CALDERON Fernando Alarcon, founder-CEO, Ilico Genetics, winner, 20th annual “Venture Idol” of Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania.