BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Startup Lehigh Valley, now in its 3rd year, is a Shark Tank-style competition for local startups pitching in front of business leaders, investors, and the community.

It's hosted by Richard Thompson at the Factory LLC in Bethlehem, and sponsored by Chase Bank and Penn State Lehigh Valley Launch Box.

"And we're trying to get anybody with a great idea to come and pitch it out on our stage over here," said Rich Thompson, with Factory LLC.

Out of 40 applications, 10 were selected and vetted by judges.

The winner gets $5,000, the runner up gets $2,500, and $1,000 cash goes to the audience choice.

All participants are connected with Lehigh Valley LaunchBox's resources.

"We do a lot of food here, beverage here, and pet, and I'm really anxious to hear from people that have really great ideas in the pet space," Thompson said.

Which they hope will be a benefit for the community.

"There's about 25,000 students within about 20 miles of the factory building, so every one of those students has a dream, an idea that they want to do. So the more that we can get them involved in the program, the more we can turn the Lehigh Valley into sort of the Austin, Texas or the Boulder, Colorado of the East Coast," Thompson said.

DISCLAIMER FOR COMMENTS: The views expressed by public comments are not those of this company or its affiliated companies. Please note by clicking on "Post" you acknowledge that you have read the TERMS OF USE and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Your comments may be used on air. Be polite. Inappropriate posts or posts containing offsite links, images, GIFs, inappropriate language, or memes may be removed by the moderator. Job listings and similar posts are likely automated SPAM messages from Facebook and are not placed by WFMZ-TV.