Posted: April 9, 2017

Todd Erdley, local technology entrepreneur and champion of economic growth, will speak Thursday during the awards banquet for the Ag Springboard student business pitch contest.

Todd Erdley is the keynote speaker for the Ag Springboard business pitch contest finale Thursday.

Todd Erdley is the keynote speaker for the Ag Springboard business pitch contest finale Thursday.

Erdley founded Videon Central in 1997 and is the CEO of the State College company. Videon is a partner and supplier to global technology leaders like Intel, Sony and Google. Videon provides product vision, design, integration and manufacturing. More than 30 million devices use Videon's media technology.

The audience of about 60 invited guests will include administrators of the College of Agricultural Sciences and students whose teams are Ag Springboard finalists, competing for the $7,500 grand prize. Ag Springboard encourages student growth and innovation in the agricultural sciences and is the signature event of the college's Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program.

The final five teams are:

  • ModZero, a new "rail" device that allows the same rifle scope to be used on multiple rifles (Luke Yost, team leader),
  • Sweet Dreams Pet Lodge, which offers pet boarding and pampering services (Megan McCunn, team leader),
  • Little Farm, a new farm-to-consumer model in China (Hui Wang, team leader),
  • Pasta2050, a new pasta made with cricket flour to address food sustainability (Weslie Khoo, team leader), and
  • War Chest Supply Company, which offers a party supply kit in an upcycled military ammunition canister (Nathan Pearlman, team leader).

The teams will pitch their business concepts live before judges throughout Thursday, April 13. The best team wins $7,500 and second-best wins $2,500. Winners will be announced Thursday evening, following Erdley's talk during the awards banquet at the Nittany Lion Inn.

Erdley, a native of Centre County, studied electrical engineering at Penn State, earning bachelor's and master's of science degrees.

He is passionate about entrepreneurship and volunteers his time and expertise to mentor others with ideas and a desire to create and grow their own businesses. Erdley formed the Centre Region Entrepreneur Network in 2009 to help entrepreneurs network and share best practices. He serves on the board of local organizations like New Leaf Initiative and university organizations like the Penn State Research Foundation and Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Central & Northern Pennsylvania.

Erdley recently initiated a movement named 3B33 with a goal of achieving $3 billion in annual private economic output in central Pennsylvania by 2033. The Chamber of Business and Industry of Centre County supports the major initiative focused on the growth of entrepreneurial companies.

Erdley plans to speak about how everyone is their own CEO -- whether for a business, or in life -- and the risk-fail-pivot process essential to entrepreneurs. He will tell his own risk-fail-pivot story and share his vision of economic growth in the region.