STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Happy Valley LaunchBox is accepting applications for its spring 2017 startup accelerator program. Interested startups may apply online at http://launchbox.psu.edu/application to participate in the 10-week program. Applications for the spring program remain open until 5 p.m. on Jan. 20.
The LaunchBox accelerator program is a no-cost program designed to help early-stage entrepreneurs accelerate their business concepts and advance to the point where they win their first customer or are ready to seek their first investment.
The program is open to community members as well as Penn State students, faculty and staff. Five to seven startups will be selected to participate in the program, and startup founders retain all equity in their company. Participating teams receive:
- 10-week structured program;
- Co-working office space with 24/7 access;
- One-on-one mentorship from local entrepreneurs, Penn State alumni, and industry experts;
- Access to private conference rooms with teleconferencing capability;
- Free Wi-Fi, video, printing; and
- Access to professional consultation and research resources.
The accelerator program makes extensive use of lean startup philosophy, the business model canvas, and stresses customer discovery best practices. Teams are exposed to numerous tools to help them test their assumptions, de-risk their businesses, and get off the ground fast.
Over the 10-week program, startups meet weekly as a group to share their challenges and lessons learned. Additionally, each team meets weekly with a coach who checks their progress against defined milestones and help teams address upcoming challenges.
After the 10-week program, LaunchTeams will be eligible to retain their LaunchBox seats for an additional nine months to continue to develop their business concepts. Although Happy Valley LaunchBox does not provide funding, staff will connect teams that might need capital with potential investors when they are ready.
Located in downtown State College at 224 S. Allen St., Happy Valley LaunchBox is also open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. “Hot desks” are available on a first-come, first-serve basis and Wi-Fi is free.
Happy Valley LaunchBox’s on-site legal, business and professional clinics provide no-cost advice and assistance. Details on services and hours can be found at http://launchbox.psu.edu/collaborators.
Happy Valley LaunchBox is a signature program of the Invent Penn State Initiative. Invent Penn State is a Commonwealth-wide initiative designed to spur economic development, job creation and student career success. Invent Penn State blends entrepreneurship-focused academic programs, business startup training and incubation, funding for commercialization, and university-community collaborations to facilitate the challenging process of turning research discoveries into valuable products and services that can benefit Pennsylvanians and humankind.