Penn State Altoona cut the ribbon, Thursday, on a new venture with the goal of bringing innovation and economic development to the Blair County region. The university and community leaders dedicated the Altoona Launchbox, in the Gables building.
It’s a free working space where startup companies receive support and resources to turn ideas into products and services. The Altoona site is part of the Invent Penn State Initiative, in which the university collaborates with entrepreneurs and communities, near its campuses across the state.
Penn State President Dr. Eric Barron said, Penn State believes our job is not just to graduate students, but really to drive the economy, by taking all that innovation and making sure that it creates jobs and creates student success and creates community success.”
Dr Barron says the Altoona Launchbox will be able to facilitate 20 startups per year. Six business startups have already begun a partnership with the program.
The university president pledged that any contribution for the Altoona Launchbox of $1 million dollars would be matched by an endowment from Penn State in order to ensure that the focus on innovation and entrepreneurship continues in perpetuity.
Penn State Altoona Chancellor and Dean Lori Bechtel-Wherry said the Altoona Launchbox symbolizes Penn State Altoona’s commitment to the economic revitalization taking place throughout Blair County and the entire commonwealth.