Johnstown, Cambria County, Pa. – A new program will help anyone with a tech-based business, idea or product launch their own startup company.

Mark Kasterko enrolled in the Startup Alleghenies’ Ben Franklin TechCelerator in Altoona over the winter and won $10,000.

After more than 20 years in law enforcement, Kasterko hadn’t found a safe and easy solution to keep a long gun out of the way on the job. He and fellow officers have tried slings and bungees, but nothing worked efficiently. That’s why he created the MTArms Locker. A device that clips onto a vest and can secure a weapon in any position, leaving your hands free.

“You just slide it right down into the system and it locks in place,” Kasterko said. “If we’re trying to open a door, or climb a ladder or restrain somebody on the ground or anything. Anything you have to use both hands.”

The next TechCelerator course kicks off in July in Johnstown. Coaches are now looking for applicants.

“Take a shot at it. Our goal here is to really help the economy grow,” said Jerry Hudson, a portfolio manager for Ben Franklin Technology Partners.

Six businesses will be chosen to attend the free, eight-week course. They will get $1,000 and the chance to win $10,000.

Kasterko said he learned the basics he needed to get his business off the ground. He plans to start production in August. With a little guidance, he says anything is possible.

“There’s a lot of people who have good ideas. They just don’t know where to start. That’s the best place to start.”

Applications for the BF TechCelerator @ Johnstown are due on June 28th. To apply click here.



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