Gannon University’s Technology Business Accelerator Begins Second Session
Posted: January 27, 2015
Twelve local technology-enabled businesses and business concepts
are expected this week for the second Technology Business
Accelerator, which will conclude with the awarding of a $10,000
grant to a local entrepreneur.
As part of Gannon University's Integrated Business
Transformation Program, participants, who each applied for and were
selected for the Accelerator, will meet with professionals from
Gannon's Erie Technology Incubator (ETI), College of Engineering and Business and Small Business Development Center (SBDC), along
with other regional experts, for eight weeks of intensive coaching,
skill building and guidance about key concepts such as marketing,
sales, accounting, budgeting, raising capital, competitive
planning, business strategy and key legal issues.
At the end of the program, each business will present its
concept to a panel of five independent judges with the winning
pitch receiving the cash award and six months of residency at the
Incubator, along with further coaching and strategic mentoring.
The Accelerator was created to give participating entrepreneurs
an opportunity to test a new concept, idea or line of business
through the support of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and
Economic Development's Discovered in PA, Developed in PA (D2PA)
At press time, participating entrepreneurs represent the digital
health/telemedicine, e-commerce, education, big data, tourism and
manufacturing segments of the local economy. Some are in the idea
stage while others are producing revenue. All are looking to take a
concept and put it into action.
"Every one of these businesses has a strong technology
orientation, and all plan to leverage technology to accelerate the
growth of their business," said Jeff Parnell, ETI executive
director. "Many of these companies will also work closely on
developing their business plans through Gannon's SBDC, which serves
hundreds of technical and non-technical businesses across Erie,
Crawford, Mercer and Warren counties."
Jack Barton, owner of the Roast Assured @ Out of the Grey Coffee House Cafe in Fairview, Pennsylvania, was the winner in the initial
Accelerator round that concluded in November. Barton successfully
pitched his idea to develop online software that will enable
customers to create unique, personalized coffee and tea blends.
"It was an incredible experience being around the entrepreneurs
in the Accelerator program. It changed not only how I look at my
business, but also how I do business," Barton said. "We had always
been able to customize coffee to the individual that comes in and
out of our building and I can now do that nationwide. If it wasn't
for the Accelerator, I never would have taken that step."
The third Accelerator session will begin in March. Entrepreneurs
or business owners interested in participating can apply