Today, HeadRoom announced details of their first Innovator of the Year Award, powered by PECO. The competition will create a forum for employees, entrepreneurs and inventors throughout the region to spotlight how technology is being used or could be used to create a product service or process. The winner of the competition will receive a $5,000 grant from PECO and a one-year residency at HeadRoom to support the development of their innovation.

Entrepreneurial spirit is a defining element in the American history and economy. “This competition is part of HeadRoom’s pledge and commitment to create an eco-system that will promote innovation and propel the growth of startups and small businesses,” says Dan Lievens, HeadRoom Co-Founder. “PECO is an ideal partner because of their commitment to innovation and the use of technology to enhance customer service and improve safe and reliable delivery of electric and natural gas in our region.”

“Innovation is a key focus for us at PECO,” said John McDonald, vice president of Technical Services. “As a company, we are committed to finding new ways to help customers harness the future of energy, and we are thrilled to help support the participants in the Innovator of the Year Award.”

Innovative ideas will be considered and evaluated by a prestigious panel of judges, including McDonald, representing civic, academic and business leaders in our region, including: John McDonald, PECO vice president, Technical Services – With more than 30 years of experience at PECO, McDonald is responsible for electric distribution system engineering, project management, long-range planning, and vegetation management for PECO. He also oversees PECO’s advanced metering technology program and grid modernization initiatives. McDonald earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and master of business administration from Drexel University.

J. Patrick Killian, Commerce Director of Delaware County. Pat Killian has lead responsibility for and supervision of all economic development programs in Delaware County. Killian also serves as Executive Director of the following: Delaware County Economic Development Oversight Board, Delaware County Industrial Development Authority, the County Redevelopment Authority, the Chester Delaware County Waterfront Industrial Development Authority and is Executive Director and Secretary/Treasurer of the Delaware County Industrial Development Corporation. He is Chairman of the Board of the Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union, a county based Credit Union, with $850 million in assets. Pat is a graduate of the University of Scranton and U.S. Navy veteran. Karina Sotnik, University of Pennsylvania Karina Sotnik is a serial entrepreneur, mentor, adviser and an educator. She spent over a decade in Silicon Valley in senior positions helping companies grow globally. She also launched three ventures of her own. In the last five years her concentration has been on growing WorldUpStart, a consulting practice focused on providing mentorship, consulting and advice to academic incubators, including PCI Ventures at UPenn, Accelerace Life (Scandinavia) and ITMO QD (Russia). In addition, Karina recently conceived and launched AppITUP, an accelerator program for Mobile Apps at the University of Pennsylvania.

T.J. Greco, Strategic Architect - Ebay Enterprises. TJ Greco has a strong track record of distilling business strategies into effective programs across people, process and technology. TJ is a proven team leader, architect, development manager and strategic thinker capable of balancing strategic and tactical to achieve business value. He is focused on building high performance teams though coaching, mentoring and team building.

Bob Simpson, Managing Partner - Brinker and Simpson. Bob Simpson is the Founder and Managing partner of Brinker Simpson. He has a varied background of entrepreneurial pursuits, and established the firm in 1989. He’s also owned retail businesses, entertainment and computer consulting firms. He enjoys the world of small business, and is especially proud of the success of many companies he’s advised from start-up operations to 2ndand 3rd generations. Bob has also taught Entrepreneurial Courses at a local college, and consults on budgeting and finance issues with many local charities and non-profit groups.

JB Braun, Publisher – Main Line Today Magazine. JB Braun is a publishing professional with over twenty years of publishing industry experience in all aspects (Digital, Print, Production, Sales, Marketing, Business Development, Strategic Planning, Advertising, Editorial, Circulation and more) assimilating into the very niche of what makes a publishing house successful. He has been involved in creating, managing and launching new digital and print products, events, and services.

The Innovator of the Year Award, powered by PECO, will spotlight local entrepreneurs and business people who are creating a product, service or process that represents a new idea or use of technology.

An entry form and details on the competition can be found at . Entries will be taken through August 10, 2015. Semi-finalists will be announced in August and invited to a HeadRoom workshop which is designed to help them prepare and hone their presentation to the judge’s panel. Finalists will present ‘Shark Tank’ style to our judges and a winner announced on September 24, 2015 in Media, PA.

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