Entrepreneurs Learn, Engage, and Collaborate During GEW Penn State

Penn State Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), presented by the Penn State Small Business Development Center (SBDC), hosted a total of 52 events in Penn State campus communities from November 8-12. Seven more will perform in the coming weeks, bringing the total to 59 events.

Events took place through online, in-person, and hybrid formats, connecting community members and entrepreneurs to Penn State’s vibrant ecosystem of investors, researchers and startup champions.

“From networking events to speakers and panels, GEW Penn State showcased the variety of entrepreneurial resources available to students, faculty, staff and community members,” said Tim Keohane, director of Penn State SBDC. “The events provided practical advice covering a multitude of entrepreneurial topics, such as client discovery and influencer marketing, that will help aspiring and experienced entrepreneurs advance their startups, businesses and innovations.”

GEW Penn State has partnered with Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics for an influencer marketing event titled “Making Your Mark: Maximizing the Impact of Your Brand”. The panel included emerging influencers and marketing professionals who explained how entrepreneurs and businesses can apply influencer marketing tactics to launch and grow their brands.

Another event, titled “The First Steps to Small Business Success,” provided insight into what it takes to start and run a business. Organized in partnership with the Pennsylvania College of Technology and SCORE Mentors from Central PA, the seminar brought together experts from small businesses who shared key aspects of starting a business, such as building business structures and l development of a business plan.

In addition to expert panels and speakers, GEW Penn State has hosted competitions for Penn State students. The Cardboard Challenge, presented by the Penn State Engineering Entrepreneurship Program in partnership with the Women in Engineering Program, Multicultural Engineering Program, Clark Scholars Program and Happy Valley LaunchBox powered by PNC Bank, invited engineering students to innovate the vending machine by building cardboard prototypes in less than two hours. By winning a cardboard trophy, the winning team consisted of Engineering College students Jessi Altiero, Tyler Hazlett, Emmanuel Hernandez and Reynaldo Orpinel.

“The Engineering Entrepreneurship Program created this event to provide College of Engineering students the opportunity to be creative, innovative and have fun,” said Director of Engineering Entrepreneurship Ted Graef . “In doing this, they also practiced their teamwork, design and pitch skills, which are key attributes of entrepreneurs.”

The very first Cardboard Challenge was made possible with the help of Graef; Lauren Griggs, Director of the Multicultural Engineering Program and Director of the Clark Scholars Program; Cheryl Knobloch, Senior Director, Women in Engineering Program; Lee Erickson, Jack White Family Manager at Happy Valley LaunchBox powered by PNC Bank; and Brad Groznik, assistant instructor.

In addition to events at University Park, GEW Penn State events were held at the Invent Penn State LaunchBox & Innovation Hub Network and Penn State campuses. These events included:

  • The way of teaching coding – Presented in Spanish by Hazleton LaunchBox supported by Pasco L. Schiavo, Esq. and Penn State Hazleton, this webinar detailed the world of coding with Milka Santana, founder of Perfecto Lab +, a school bringing coding, robotics and machine learning to kids.
  • Building an entrepreneurial operating system – Presented by Great Valley LaunchBox powered by Penn State in partnership with Penn State Great Valley, this event discussed tactical business decisions and principles that play a critical role in the success and failure of entrepreneurship.
  • Finance 101 for startups – Presented by Altoona LaunchBox supported by the Hite family in partnership with the Sheetz Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence at Penn State Altoona, panelists discussed important financial documents, loan programs, venture capital and angel investors, and the importance of personal credit.

Watch the following events, including Making Your Mark: Maximizing the Impact of Your Brand and The First Steps to Small Business Success, on GEW Penn State YouTube:

About the Penn State SBDC

Financial support and resources are provided through a cooperative agreement with the US Small Business Administration; by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania through the Department of Community and Economic Development; and in part with support from Penn State and with assistance from Lock Haven University. All services are offered to the public on a non-discriminatory basis. SBDC’s services are not available to individuals or entities who have been excluded or suspended by the federal government.

SBDCs are hosted by leading universities, colleges, state economic development agencies, and private partners, and funded in part by the United States Congress through a partnership with US Small Business Administration. There are nearly 1,000 local centers available to provide free business advice and low cost training to new and existing businesses. Penn State SBDC, Clinton, Lycoming and Mifflin counties in central Pennsylvania.

About Invent Penn State

Invent Penn State is a Commonwealth initiative aimed at stimulating the economic development, job creation and career success of students. Invent Penn State combines entrepreneurship-focused university programs, start-up training and incubation, funding for commercialization, and university-community-industry collaborations to facilitate the difficult process of transforming research discoveries. into valuable products and services that can benefit Pennsylvanians and mankind.

Edward K. Thompson