Bethlehem-based consumer product manufacturer Electrikus Incorporated won Ben Franklin’s Venture Idol contest, held in November at the Innovation Institute in the newly expanded Ben Franklin TechVentures.

Electrikus COO Bill Crompton won Ben Franklin's Venture Idol contest.

Electrikus COO Bill Crompton walked away with a $5,000 cash investment in his company.

The “American Idol”-style competition started with an afternoon “speed dating” session, in which 14 companies delivered multiple rounds of eight-minute presentations to nine panels of investors representing nine venture firms and 13 angels. Three finalists – Electrikus, and RantNetworks – then presented pitches to a final panel of investors, from whom they received critiques. An audience vote gave the prize to Electrikus.

Electrikus manufactures consumer products that address the dangers, losses and inconveniences associated with power outages. Its initial product, the Illumaguard, provides up to 10 hours of backup for residential lighting in the event of a power outage. Electrikus has patented its ElectroFlo technology, an innovative and energy-smart battery backup system for use with lighting and critical home appliances. Electrikus is currently developing refrigerator power backup units for the consumer market.

Venture Idol began with a keynote presentation by New Vantage Group managing partner John May. Investor panelists included Originate Ventures managing partner Mike Gausling, Lehigh Valley Angel Investors representative Gus Kamnitsis, Edison Venture Fund business development associate David Nevas and NextStage Capital managing partner Terry Williams.