ALTOONA, Pa. — Anthony Biddle, owner of SiteRite, is the winner of the 2017-18 Bootcamp Business Plan Competition held at the Altoona LaunchBox. Biddle, an Altoona native, is the sole owner of SiteRite, which sells sight alignment training products for firearms. He takes home a $10,000 prize.
The Launchbox Bootcamp, made possible by a grant from Invent Penn State, is a nine-week program that began in October and helped provide local entrepreneurs in all stages of development with the resources and education needed to create successful businesses or bring business ideas to fruition. The Bootcamp had 20 individuals enrolled in the program, including current business owners, those looking to start a business, and students. Eight local professionals provided expert instruction to the participants.
“What I liked most about the course were the fantastic guest speakers,” said Biddle. “They talked about everything from networking to failures and how to work around problems. It was very interesting and helpful.”
Altoona LaunchBox is a signature program of the Invent Penn State Initiative, a Commonwealth-wide system to spur economic development, job creation, and student career success. The LaunchBox, which officially opened in June 2017, is a no-cost startup accelerator and co-working space designed to provide early-stage startup companies with the support and resources needed to build a sustainable business and a viable plan for growth. It is open to community members and those affiliated with Penn State.
Altoona LaunchBox is one of 21 innovation hubs located in Penn State Campus communities across the state. Penn State Altoona provides the human resources needed to operate the LaunchBox. A portion of the funding provided to Altoona LaunchBox was allocated to the creation of the Bootcamp and Business Plan Competition.
“It is very rare for one individual to possess all of the knowledge required to start and launch a successful business,” said Paul Cooney, professor of practice, entrepreneurship, at Penn State Altoona. “When individuals with diverse backgrounds come together at something like the Bootcamp, great things happen.”
Biddle said that winning the competition was a great honor, and that he will use the $10,000 prize to continue with prototyping and marketing for his products.
Find out more about LaunchBox at http://sites.psu.edu/sheetzcenter/entrepreneurship/launchbox/.