The Executive Committee of the Advisory Board of Lehigh Valley LaunchBox, a Pennsylvania State University and community-sponsored business accelerator program, announced $50,000 in micro grants to 13 projects for the program’s initial award cycle this week. Recipients were given awards ranging from $1,000 to $8,000, and will be able to utilize the office and meeting spaces of Lehigh Valley LaunchBox, which are located at Velocity, a coworking building in Downtown Allentown where space was donated to the program by City Center Lehigh Valley.
The recipient list consists of a diverse mix of Penn State students, faculty and Lehigh Valley community entrepreneurs. The companies and projects to receive LaunchBox funding include:
- HatchLabs, software development of a “Virtual Incubator,” especially for higher education entrepreneurship programs, which will be a platform for Lehigh Valley LaunchBox projects to share knowledge, communicate and grow within an entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Team: Steve Boerner
- Crowdplsr, app development to provide a crowdfunding platform that also provides real-time access to the demand from fans for concerts and events within specific markets.
Team: George Richie, Jeff Minton, John Riener and David Moyer
- MindMe Inc., a mobile application for small business owners to attract new leads, schedule customer visits and drive customer engagement.
Team: Jeff Cohen and Alex Zhitomirsky
- Josh Nichols, recording, producing, advertising and distribution of his music.
- Kim’s Black Belt Academy, development of a new website for the tae kwon do school.
Team: Anthony Toczek
- Paige Lilly, development of a website targeting body-building enthusiasts with interactive capabilities to feature personal coaching, nutrition information and advice.
- Get2Greater, app development that will allow nonprofit organizations to collect, organize, view and share data.
Team: Aryaman Khandelwal
- Eternally Art, development of a philanthropic organization to create personalized, high quality, artistic funeral urns.
Team: Matthew Heintzelman
- Voices Renewed, software program to enhance the life story collection method process, developed with guidance from Phoebe Ministries.
Team: Mahdi Chaker, Marietta Scanlon, Michael Cimerola
- Integrate Energy Solutions for Entrepreneurs, materials to continue developing and researching energy solutions to address real-world problems in the areas of green energy and LED light applications.
Team: Tai-Yin Huang
- Auxilium Medical Services, equipment for medical scribes to chart in real time alongside a physician.
Team: Vinod Jeyaretnam
- TeraDrones, LCC, professional cases for flight equipment and POV cameras.
Team: Nicholas Miller
- FenzTech, development of a station for drones (DronePort) to wirelessly charge its batteries.
Team: Michael Yang
“We are thrilled and energized by the applications that came in to Lehigh Valley LaunchBox. I want to thank the Lehigh Valley LaunchBox Advisory Board, which is a diverse and dedicated group of local professionals, who will be mentoring awardees and assisting with our projects,” said Tina Q. Richardson, chancellor of Penn State Lehigh Valley. “All of this is sparking an entrepreneurial spirit on our campus and motivating additional students and faculty to get involved.”
Lehigh Valley LaunchBox was created as part of the Invent Penn State initiative, a program focused on leveraging Penn State’s research, knowledge and entrepreneurial spirit to bring to market needed ideas, products and services. Partners of Lehigh Valley LaunchBox will link micro grant recipients to alumni, business leaders and academic partners to provide mentorship and to help launch their ideas and turn them into useful products. The Lehigh Valley LaunchBox program will continue to award these types of grants to proposals in future award cycles. All Lehigh Valley community members and Penn State faculty, staff and students who have a scalable business idea are welcome to apply for affiliation with the Lehigh Valley LaunchBox.
For more information about Lehigh Valley LaunchBox, visit their website.
More about Lehigh Valley LaunchBox in the media:
- “Lehigh Valley LaunchBox announces first grant recipients,” Lehigh Valley Business, February 1, 2016
- “Allentown’s LaunchBox business incubator announces first grants,” The Morning Call, January 29, 2016
- “Lehigh Valley LaunchBox announces first grant recipients,” Penn State News, January 19, 2016