ALTOONA, Pa. — Penn State Altoona is the recipient of a $50,000 seed grant to expand entrepreneurial endeavors through the Invent Penn State initiative, one of six campuses recently named as part of the newest wave of entrepreneurial sites across the Commonwealth that are poised to become economic strengths in their region.
“Penn State Altoona is extremely pleased to receive this funding and thanks the University for providing resources to advance this important initiative,” said Penn State Altoona Chancellor and Dean Lori J. Bechtel-Wherry. “Our college is committed to working with others in our community to advance economic development and entrepreneurial activities in our region. Our Sheetz Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence in downtown Altoona was an important first step in the advancement of this mission, and the awarding of this grant for the Innovation Incorporated project will enable us to continue to grow our efforts and impact our community in a meaningful way.”
Invent Penn State is a Commonwealth-wide initiative that blends entrepreneurship-focused academic programs, business startup training and incubation, funding, and key regional partnerships together for the benefit of Pennsylvania and beyond. These six new awards follow on the heels of six similar $50,000 grants awarded to Penn State campuses in 2015.
Through the Innovation Incorporated project, Penn State Altoona will provide the general public, students, faculty, successful area entrepreneurs and other stakeholders with off-campus, co-working space, integrated with an entrepreneurial training program, to accelerate the transformation of innovative ideas into sustainable businesses. In addition to the training program, Innovation Incorporated will be an open space, made available to the public for the purpose of idea and innovation creation. The project will provide the community with a permanent resource and continued assistance for growing ideas into thriving businesses that will spur further development of the local economy.
"The process for awarding these six additional grants was very competitive,” said Madlyn Hanes, vice president for Commonwealth Campuses. “I congratulate the recipients who share a deep commitment to the economic well-being of their communities. They are connecting the talent of Penn State faculty and students with community partners to bring innovation and entrepreneurial activity to the regions we serve. The Invent Penn State initiative is a powerful driver of economic development."
Other campuses in addition to Penn State Altoona that are receiving funding in this latest round include Berks, Great Valley, Schuylkill, Shenango and York.
Prior to this round of funding the Penn State campuses of Abington, Behrend, Harrisburg, Lehigh Valley and New Kensington received seed-grant awards for collaborative economic ventures on their campuses and within their communities.
“These funds will enable us to help promote entrepreneurship in our community and provide a nurturing environment for entrepreneurs to further their innovative business ideas," said John Horell, president of KIZ Resources, LLC, and Innovation Incorporated community partner.
For more information on Invent Penn State, visit www.invent.psu.edu.