July 28, 2017, BY Matt Hughes

Jacob Mendelowitz '18, Play Impossible Co-fouder Kevin Langdon and Bucknell President John Bravman
Jacob Mendelowitz '18, Play Impossible Co-fouder Kevin Langdon and Bucknell President John Bravman. Photo by Steve Stumbris

Bucknell University's Small Business Development Center (SBDC) feted the accomplishments of local entrepreneurs on July 21 at the Bucknell Annual Celebration of Small Business.

"This event is our way of celebrating small business owners in our downtown shops and small office suites, manufacturing plants and job sites," said Steven Stumbris, director of the SBDC. "That includes the next wave of innovative startups toiling away in home offices and business incubators — including StartupLewisburg, Bucknell's home for innovators in downtown Lewisburg."

Among those honored were Jacob Mendelowitz '18, a computer engineering major who shared in the Innovation in New Product Development Award presented to Kevin Langdon, co-founder of the startup toy company Play Impossible. As an intern with the Lewisburg-based startup, Mendelowitz is helping to refine Play Impossible's line of traditional toys enhanced by smartphone connectivity. Past Bucknell engineering senior design students have also partnered with Play Impossible. || Read more.

Also lauded at the ceremony was Isaac Moore, former program director of the Bucknell Professional Network, who received the Charles H. Coder Entrepreneurial Leadership in recognition of visionary leadership and for fostering a spirit of collaboration throughout Bucknell's entrepreneurship ecosystem.

The ceremony additionally recognized Kaitlin Schuck of Lewisburg clothing retailer Threading Love as the SBDC Regional winner in the U.S. Small Business Administration's InnovateHER Business Challenge. Schuck will advance for consideration to be one of 10 finalists who will vie for $70,000 in prize money in a national competition later this year. Schuck was aided in applying for the contest by Ayla Rauhala '18, an accounting & financial management major who helped Schuck develop a business plan as an SBDC student business consultant. || Read more.

Pik Rite Inc., a local agricultural and commercial equipment builder, was presented with the Small Business Environmental Stewardship Award for its accomplishments in environmental compliance, implementing energy efficiency and pollution prevention practices, bringing new innovative products to market, and developing lean manufacturing practices. Bucknell engineering students have worked with Pik Rite on design projects in the past.

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