Industry-Sponsored Research Week

Pepsi partners with Alvernia U to support experiential learning


By David Schwartz
Published: July 14th, 2020

Alvernia University and Pepsi, the Reading, PA-based school’s exclusive beverage supplier, have expanded their partnership, with Pepsi throwing support behind entrepreneurship programs as well as Reading CollegeTowne initiative, which is redeveloping the city’s downtown area.

Pepsi will become a founding sponsor of the University’s O’Pake Institute for Economic Development and Entrepreneurship, in addition to supporting experiential learning opportunities through a student fellows program and the institute’s new business incubator – located in the CollegeTowne development.

“Corporate partnership is essential to our experiential learning model and our efforts in reviving engagement and energy in downtown Reading as we support entrepreneurs and new business development,” said Alvernia President John R. Loyack. “Pepsi’s enthusiasm for the CollegeTowne strategy and nurturing the growth of our students and local entrepreneurs is inspiring and will foster real change for the City of Reading.”

Pepsi, which became the exclusive beverage supplier for Alvernia in January 2019, has pledged to provide both financial support and mentors for the O’Pake Institute. The Pepsi mentors will work directly with students and new businesses in the areas of sales and marketing, providing real world experience and guidance for the students from a leading international company. In addition, Pepsi will fund an internship opportunity for an Alvernia student, who will develop and lead a marketing campaign on campus.

“The expanded partnership with Alvernia University provides a great opportunity to support programs that will help create future business leaders and spur entrepreneurship, including the future development of the restaurant business segment,” said Lauren Libby, VP of Foodservice in PepsiCo’s North Division.

The Pepsi deal comes on the heels of recently announced partnerships with SCORE Berks Schuylkill Chapter and Lehigh Valley Angel Investors, which will help set up the Alvernia University Technology Transfer Office and Office of Industry and Community Outreach. They will also help fund a financial services operation that will financing, investment and mentoring for student entrepreneurs.

“The Reading CollegeTowne model is creating a truly unique entrepreneurial and economic climate in Reading and the greater Southeastern Pennsylvania region,” said Dr. Rodney Ridley, vice president, associate provost and COO of the O’Pake Institute,. “Our corporate partners have the ability to create vast change through the Reading CollegeTowne initiative by providing specialized mentorship and life-changing financial support, and we look forward to adding new partners for the betterment of our students’ educational experience.”

Source: Alvernia University

Posted under: University-Industry Engagement Week

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