PittJohnstown LIVE Rewards Entrepreneurs, Showcases Makers


posted June 06, 2016

Cash prizes for entrepreneurs and creative displays by vendors were in order at PittJohnstown LIVE, the second installment of the annual Makers Showcase and PITTchFest Competition on the Pitt-Johnstown campus. The free event took place June 3 and 4, 2016, at the Wellness Center and Sports Center.


The BrakeSafe team explains its product.

 flickr  PittJohnstown LIVE photos on Flickr >

A team of Pitt-Johnstown entrepreneurs won another investment for its product Brake Safe. The group, which had won at PITTchFest and Inc. U last year, landed an additional $5,000 in investments. The product, a helmet-based brake light for motorcyclists, warns drivers behind the bike of a slow down or stop.

Brake Safe co-founder, Dustin Hallenbeck, pitched a technology that he and cofounders, Luke Schroyer and Dan Janczweski developed in an engineering design class.

The lights respond to a change in speed, lighting when a driver brakes and turning off when the driver accelerates. The technology is portable and can be used for any type of recreation including biking, snowmobiling, or skiing.

Other winners included:

  • X Material Processing, a 3-D printer that creates metal parts instead of plastic, landed $4,000 in funding. 
  • The Parking Bee, which uses technology to make parking more affordable and help parking-space owners earn money when a space is not in use, won $2,000.
  • Teams from Greater Johnstown High School and Richland Senior High School won recognition – and $500 each – for their innovations. 

The Makers Showcase provided a visibility venue for independent, non-traditional businesses and makers to sell their goods, share their skills, and network with peers. Maker Joshua Boland of Bakersville earned the top award in Goodwill Industries of the Conemaugh Valley’s Waste Art program. The on-site workshop gave visitors a hands-on participation experience in creating “upcycled” art or products. 

PittJohnstown LIVE is the informal extension of the Showcase for Commerce, the largest business-to-business and defense trade show in the Laurel Highlands.