“The LaunchBox and Innovation Hub Network has impacted Pennsylvania communities beyond what we could have reasonably expected,” said James Delattre, associate vice president for research and director of Penn State's Office of Entrepreneurship and Commercialization. “The program feels especially prescient given the challenges everyone has faced during the pandemic. Their ability to pivot and provide entrepreneurial training virtually, when more people than ever are depending on it, has been a game changer in some communities.”
While the LaunchBox and Innovation Hub Network's services can be offered by every hub, each one is set up to provide resources specific to the needs of their community.
For example, the Berks LaunchBox specializes in supporting technology-based, medical innovation, and social enterprise startups. Since expanding into the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts in 2019, the Berks LaunchBox has assisted 114 entrepreneurs, graduated 18 startups, and created 10 jobs.
Located in a predominantly Latinx community, the Hazleton LaunchBox supported by Pasco L. Schiavo Esq. offers bilingual programs to help local entrepreneurs make their business ideas a reality. The programming includes accelerator programs and educational sessions, with topics ranging from idea design and test labs to business skill improvement and have extended to cover ways to help entrepreneurs deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. The Hazleton LaunchBox has supported more than 200 community members and provided a range of services for more than 30 businesses.
“Penn State’s 20 Commonwealth Campuses are embedded in their communities, which uniquely positions the University to have broad, positive economic impact across the state,” said Madlyn Hanes, senior vice president for Commonwealth Campuses and executive chancellor. “Our innovation hubs are agile — they anticipate and respond to the needs of their communities and are full partners in advancing economic development and entrepreneurship. They operate as one interconnected ecosystem, which leverages their collective capability to benefit communities throughout the state.”
Invent Penn State’s LaunchBox and Innovation Hub Network is always growing, and a construction and a capital campaign are underway for the Penn State Innovation Hub in downtown State College. Located on South Burrowes Street, the six-story, state-of-the-art, multiuse center will serve as the cornerstone of Penn State’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Key to fulfilling Invent Penn State’s economic development vision, the hub will provide the community access to high-end physical and digital making resources, while also offering co-working and event space and serving as the new home for Happy Valley LaunchBox. Find photos and more details about Penn State's newest innovation hub here.
To celebrate five years of impact, Invent Penn State will be releasing stories highlighting startups, economic development, and student success in the coming months.
Invent Penn State is a statewide initiative to spur economic development, job creation and student career success. Learn more at invent.psu.edu.
To view more Penn State-affiliated startups, visit StartupNavigator.psu.edu. Entrepreneurs seeking resources can visit ResourceNavigator.psu.edu.