Thank you for your interest in this year’s Venture Idol! This is your chance to connect with Ben Franklin’s finest startups in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Each featured Ben Franklin portfolio company must earn their way through an afternoon selection process by investors, and three technology-based companies will have the opportunity to pitch live at the event to attendees for their chance to win a percentage of $15,000.

All those in attendance will be eligible to vote, so please join us for an evening of networking and an immersive Shark Tank® experience at our state-of-the-art facility located at the Mountaintop Campus of Lehigh University.

Thread Bioscience Won 2020
Ben Franklin Venture Idol

Thread Produces a New UTI Diagnostic Test

Thread Bioscience, Inc.  was selected as the winner of the 2020 Ben Franklin Venture Idol competition. The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania hosted its 17th annual Ben Franklin Venture Idol, held virtually last year because of the pandemic, on Tuesday, November 17. More than 200 guests attended free-of-charge.

Thread Bioscience, Bethlehem, is poised to disrupt the urinary tract infection (UTI) testing market with its innovative new diagnostic test, CultureStat. Using patented technology, CultureStat detects UTIs at the Point of Care faster, more accurately, and at a lower cost than current testing methods.

UTIs are the number one infection afflicting women, and are responsible for the largest number of antibiotics prescriptions. Delays inherent in current testing methods lead to the greatest number of improperly prescribed antibiotics for any infection. There is an urgent need for a rapid, reliable, cost effective test for UTIs to provide results quickly to improve patient care and support proper antimicrobial stewardship by reducing the frequency of improperly prescribed antibiotics. With an estimated 150 million UTIs worldwide annually and accounting for $6 billion in health care expenditures, there is a global market for a more efficient test for UTIs to reduce the incidence of improperly prescribed antibiotics.

Ben Franklin Venture Idol started with a keynote panel presentation by Joe Blair, Cota Capital; Paul Martino, Bullpen Capital; and Todd Pietri, Activate Ventures on What Has 2020 Taught Us About Start-Ups And Funding Them In 2021?” Wayne Barz, Chief Investment Officer, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania, moderated.