The Erie Technology Incubator at Gannon University (ETI) announced
today that it will offer two additional programs to assist area
entrepreneurs in early 2016.
The first program is a continuation of the University's
successful Technology Business Accelerator, which debuted in
September, 2014 and has trained nearly 75 entrepreneurs
representing 48 businesses and concepts. Applicants accepted to the
Accelerator program receive training in such areas as sales,
marketing, finance, accounting, raising capital and the legal
environment, while preparing for a competitive pitch event in which
the winner receives a $10,000 startup grant.
"The Accelerator program addresses a significant skills gap or
entrepreneurs in Northwest Pennsylvania, and with four successful
programs under our belt, we are extremely pleased to offer
Accelerator number five beginning on February 16, 2016," stated
Jeff Parnell, ETI executive director.
The second component is an new program called Gannon
Entrepreneurship Microgrants for Startups (GEMS), which will
provide grants ranging from $3,000 - $9,000 to technology-enabled
businesses for specific growth initiatives. The GEMS fund will
provide access to $155,000 in investment capital, as microgrants
are awarded between January - May, 2016.
As part of the University's Integrated Business Transformation
initiative, GEMS will include key leaders from ETI, Gannon's Small
Business Development Center (SBDC), and Gannon's College of
Engineering and Business, along with executives from Bridgeway
Capital and Ben Franklin Technology Partners.
"Entrepreneurs benefit tremendously when we bring key
stakeholders together to learn more about their businesses and
growth strategies. Bridgeway and Ben Franklin invest significantly
in the region, so we're excited to welcome these organizations to
the GEMS team," according to Parnell. "Clearly, we have a unique
and immediate opportunity to drive economic growth, and we're
excited to begin the process."
To learn more about the Accelerator and GEMS, applicants are
encouraged to visit and complete short screening applications for
the Accelerator here and for the GEMS program here.
The Accelerator and GEMS programs integrate resources from
Gannon's College of Engineering and Business, Small Business
Development Center, and Erie Technology Incubator, and were created
to give participating entrepreneurs an opportunity to test or grow
a new concept, idea or line of business through the support of the
Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development
(DCED). Program funding was provided to build capacity statewide to
support Pennsylvania's businesses and to spur creativity and
innovation in the provision of economic development.