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Two years after launch, Penn State’s innovation hubs are paying off

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: April 12th, 2017

Pennsylvania State University is beginning to see returns from its initiative to invest in innovation hubs across the university’s multiple campuses.

Over the past two years, Invent Penn State has given seed grants to several unique sites that were created to accelerate start-ups, provide free support to student entrepreneurs, and host innovation-related events. So far, 13 hubs have been launched across the state and have assisted more than 1,000 entrepreneurs in need of highly skilled interns, legal and patent advice, business mentorship and other resources.

“We’ve launched 20 companies to date and have been amazed to see how they are taking advantage of leveraging interns to build and grow their companies,” says Lee Erickson, program director of the hub at Penn State’s Happy Valley campus.

Ethan Vazquez, a business marketing major at Penn State Lehigh Valley, was assigned to intern at the startup Helium IQ through his campus’ hub.

“My internship gave me the opportunity to work on a variety of projects,” he says. “Helium IQ entrusted their interns with a lot of responsibility, and that freedom and trust is what drove me to learn so much so quickly. Entrepreneurs throw everything into making their great ideas work. Helping to be a part of their success was truly rewarding.”

James Delattre, assistant vice president for research at Penn State, comments on the program’s success: “This type of robust ecosystem — where innovators are closely connected to each other and to the talent and resources they need — helps our campus communities attract and retain great companies in the longer term. And that will pay off by providing not just internships, but also skilled jobs for our graduating students.”

Source: Penn State News

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